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Add conflict through details and beats

This writing exercise is meant to be used in conjunction with the 3-part All About Conflict series of article on the Castelane Author Resources. If you haven't read those articles, START HERE. Then come back here to give this writing prompt a try. Post your created scenes in the comment for a ch…

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All About Conflict, Part 3

The Sticking Point & Line in the Sand

So far in this series, I’ve talked about the different levels of conflict (macro, mini, micro) and external vs internal conflict. If you missed those articles, you might want to START HERE.

Now, I’d like to address the last two layers of conflict, w…

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All About Conflict, Part 2

Last time on the Castelane Author Resources blog, I talked about the different levels of conflict. If you missed that article, you might want to START HERE

In Part 2 of the discussion on conflict, I want to look at External vs Internal conflict and how these relate to the different levels …

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All About Conflict, Part 1

Without conflict, you have no story. Sound like a simple concept, right? But what exactly is conflict and where do you find it? Understanding that you need conflict is a far cry from figuring out how to create the conflict and sustain it across three-hundred-plus pages. 

Part of the problem is t…

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Expanded Distribution Made Simple

As a publishing coach, I spend a lot of time walking new authors through the series of steps required to get their book up for sale, so I know how overwhelming the process can be. One question that comes up every time is, “Should I choose KDP’s expanded distribution for my paperback or not?”

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Have we lost the romance?

Today's author/reader question: How do you feel about characters that meet on page 1 and have sex by page 5?


I didn't pull this question out of the blue. I've been reading copious amounts of urban paranormal fantasies since this is what I like to write. Some are adventures with a touch of r…

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Write what you know? I don't think so.

Let’s call her Kate (secretly, my favorite name in high school). She’s fourteen years old, completely unaware of life barreling down on her. An idea pops her head. Where does it come from and why? Thankfully, she’s too green to question it.  She decides to write a story about fox hunting. 

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Why Size your book video trailer


Grab your readers with a video hook

I’m a sucker for videos of cute baby animals. Kittens, elephants, bears. Thankfully, the Internet is full of these and millions of other videos that help pass the time between waking up and when the caffeine kicks in. I must confess that I’m miserly with thi…

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Insidious "the" and 23 other words to cut from your writing

When I was fourteen, my descriptive paragraph of a drowning man won me a place at the school district’s yearly creative writing workshop. This workshop turned out to be a big deal for me, and not just because I got out of classes for a week, though that was a terrific bonus for a tenth-grader. This …

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Don't Make Me Blush! Is Your Cover too Hot?

You might have noticed that Facebook groups are all abuzz about the new changes to the mysterious algorithm that Facebook uses to decide what content gets pushed out to your fans from your author page. 

I say mysterious because FB doesn’t really want you to know all the details. That would…

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