Exercise 35: Building atmosphere with word choice

fall feature

Welcome to the last entry in our atmosphere series. I know this is a complex subject, but I think it’s worth exploring. If you want to achieve long-term success as a writer, you need to create stories that have an emotional impact on your reader–and atmosphere is a tool you can use to do that. […]

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Exercise 34: Atmosphere and Pace

fall feature

Last month, we talked about writing on macro and micro levels. Macro is the large scale of the story–plot, character development, and so on. Micro is the small scale–word choice, spelling and grammar, sentence structure. Both of these come into play when we’re looking at a story’s pace, and how your pacing affects your story’s […]

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Exercise 33: Dialogue and Atmosphere

autumn header

Welcome to another atmospheric exercise! So far we’ve had an overview and then talked about using your setting to build an atmosphere. Today, I want to talk about how dialogue can affect your story’s atmosphere. Your characters’ interactions play a part in creating your story’s mood. It’s not just what they say, but how they […]

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Exercise 32: Setting up atmosphere

autumn header

Last week, we did kind of an overview on creating a mood or tone in a story. Today, let’s talk about how your setting can affect your story’s atmosphere. Emotion I touched on this last week, but I feel like it bears repeating. A rich atmosphere relies heavily upon senses and emotion. Before you get […]

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Exercise 31: Atmosphere

fall header 1

It’s spooky time! Or, for those of you who aren’t interested in Halloween, it’s autumn! Either way, this is a perfect time to talk about atmosphere. No, not the weather. Atmosphere is the mood of a story. It brings your reader closer to your characters by allowing them to feel what the characters feel. Building […]

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Exercise 29: Micro Edits

I debated writing this at all. You can find a lot of apps out there that will help you deal with minor issues instead of doing it all yourself. Look into Grammarly and AutoCrit. I think even Google Docs has a grammar option. I don’t think an app is going to beat a human reader […]

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Exercise 28: Macro Edits

Last week we talked about some of the differences between macro and micro edits. Today, I want to go all-in on macro edits, and what you might look for when you’re doing a critique of someone else’s work. The easiest way to do a macro edit is to just read the story and make notes […]

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Exercise 27: Macro and Micro Edits

Today’s exercise is less of an exercise and more of a rant, but bear with me please. There are ways and ways of tackling your critiques, but today I wanted to talk about two very basic concepts: macro edits and micro edits. You can also apply these to your self-edits. Let’s go over what they […]

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Exercise 26: Checking for Adverbs

I warned you this was coming. Wednesday, I wrote about different ways you can–but maybe shouldn’t–use adverbs in your writing. Today I want you to practice that. Get out one of your older stories and highlight all of the adverbs. Then take a good, hard look at each one and decide if it’s the best […]

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Exercise 25: Describe a Sunset

Like showing and telling, sensory description is another one of those things that we’re going to revisit from time to time. It’s one of those things that helps you insert emotion into your writing, which in turn helps you to bond with your readers. You don’t want to overdo it, of course, but you need […]

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