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    Mind maps have been a useful tool for creative folks to brainstorm for quite a while. Remember the old days when you’d draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and draw lines from there to connect your thoughts? It’s much easier today.

    Brainstorming is a huge part of preparing for any writing project. Mind maps help you capture your creativity in a right-brained manner, by graphically displaying the connections between ideas. If you’re trying to outline a novel (left-brained) and it’s just getting messy, consider trying a mind map first to let the ideas flow naturally.

    With a mind map in front of you, ideas will spark and you’ll see connections where you hadn’t before. It’s also a great tool for generating new ideas, like scenes for your story or character traits for each character.


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    Do you use "which" and "that" as interchangeable words in sentences because they mean the same?

    That couldn't be further from the truth. We're here to help you determine when to use each word.


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    I Googled “blogging advice” and found 16,400,000 results in 0.49 seconds. Wow. That’s a lot to take in. Perhaps the better way to start is to talk about what not to do.

    Here’s a compilation of the worst blogging advice we’ve ever heard.


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    One of the biggest problems that creative people face is how to take their imagined ideas and communicate them clearly and effectively in writing. I dread to think how many incredible adventures, concepts, and viewpoints are locked up in the brains of people who struggle with the technical elements of writing. The part of the brain that we use for imaginative thinking is quite different from the part that actually crafts the sentences. And the quickest way to lose a reader’s confidence—even if your ideas are water-tight—is to present them with clumsy, awkward, error-filled writing.


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    Let’s face it. A lot of writers are introverts who would rather stay holed up in front of a computer writing their next novel than go out there and network. (I humbly include myself in this crowd.) Networking experts, however, say you need to meet as many people as possible to find the right connections. This leaves us at quite a disadvantage when marketing and promoting our books or writing services thanks to the painful nature of getting out in public.


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    Expectations are high. Chocolates and flowers. Jewelry and trinkets. Will this be the year?

    It’s Valentine’s Day.

    Or as Bridget Jones says:

    “Oh God. Valentine's Day tomorrow. Why? Why? Why is the entire world geared to make people not involved in romance feel stupid when everyone knows romance does not work anyway. Look at the royal family. Look at Mum and Dad.” ― Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary

    Here are a few reasons why you should stay home and write this Valentine’s Day.


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  • 02/27/17--16:00: Where We Write… Write!
  • We’re obviously mad for technology at ProWritingAid, and there are so many apps, gadgets, and programs out there to help you finish your novel or write content for clients.

    Here, in the sixth post of our Where We Write… series, Kathy Eden checks out minimalist writing platform Write!.


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    Many writing experts advise that you consider the current market as you write. If a reader buys one kind of book and likes it, they will look for more of the same. This notion is why you’ll see clone books pop up whenever there’s a breakout novel that runs up the best-seller list. Those writers follow the market.

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    Being a writer does not mean sitting and waiting for the inspiration. It's a life of hard work and perseverance, and each writer must find a way to keep their own inner flame burning.

    Check out these 7 approaches from 7 authors, each of whom found their own methods that allowed them to keep producing amazing work.


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    Business writing is such an fascinating application of writing. It’s very pragmatic. Strong business writing can propel both careers and businesses. It’s the channel that transmits nearly all business work and insight and interaction. It flows up, down, laterally, internally, and externally to customers. It’s the foundation of business.

    Why then, is it so bad?

    Business writing is notorious for bloated, business-speak nonsense. Despite its off-putting name, I highly recommend the book Why Business People Speak Like Idiots. It was originally published in 2005, yet it sadly still captures the epidemic of business-speak so well.


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    Compound adjectives are made up of a combination of noun plus adjective, noun plus participle, or adjective plus participle. More often than not, these are hyphenated. Let’s look at a few.


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    After spending months on research and writing, you’ve finally published your first e-book. You know you’re offering the best knowledge and expertise, and your book includes unique insights that your readers won’t find anywhere else.

    Yet it’s your competitor’s e-book that’s selling like hotcakes. People are buying and reviewing theirs, but only a handful are even aware that yours exists.

    What could possibly have gone wrong?


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    EQ (emotional intelligence) is your ability to identify emotions you’re feeling, understand them, use appropriate means of expressing them, and manage your emotional responses in positive, effective ways. Those with High EQ communicate better with others, manage conflicts better, have better relationships, and can empathize with another person—exactly what copywriters do.


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    Are you using social media platforms to promote yourself as a writer? Believe it or not, proper social media activity can get you the job you’re after.


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    You may have noticed that we at ProWritingAid have a fondness for technology that makes writers better, stronger, more organized, and highly productive. If you like creating a storyboard for your novels, or if you want an innovative app to capture all of your to-do’s for your client work, let us introduce Trello.

    For those of us who use sticky notes, index cards, and other forms of reminders to help you organize everything you need for a writing project, Trello is the easiest, most intuitive way to organize your work.


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    Pacing is a lot like the throttle on a vehicle. There are times when driving that you need to move slowly, like through a city or in a school zone. Then there are times when you need to move a lot faster, like on the freeway. And there are times when you need to just coast along at a moderate speed.

    The pacing in your novel is a writer’s tool to help you manage the speed and rhythm of your story. Sometimes you want fast action, just as other times, you need to slow things down and let the scene unfold.

    It’s up to you to know when to use pacing. A lot of your pacing decisions will be based on your genre. If you’re writing an action story, it’s pretty fast-paced with exhilarating moments of danger mixed with adventure juxtaposed with quieter moments when your characters do some heavy thinking. If you’re writing an epic that spans over generations, it might move more slowly.


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    We all know that you can work for the greatest organization in the world, doing the most amazing things, but if your fundraising application is poorly written, you aren’t going to get the funds.

    Here are 7 ways an editing tool can improve your writing and ultimately increase your bottom line.


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    Want to be a writer? Wondering where some of the bestselling American authors got their educations?

    Check it out!


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    I'm the guy you read about that works from any of the hundreds of sidewalk cafes in Buenos Aires, travels to Uruguay to wander the avenidas, fishes for Piranha in the Amazon, camps in Patagonia, watches the monkeys play in the rainforest and spends the night in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's cabin in Bariloche.

    And then I write about it.

    I live the life that thousands of people say they want to live. Someone said if you want to be doing something in life, find someone who is doing it, and then do what they do. I want to peel back the veil and show you what I do.


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    Kurt Vonnegut, author of such classics as Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions, stands today as one of the 20th century’s most important American writers. I can’t think of anyone better placed to give literary advice, and, thankfully, he agreed with me.

    These eight tips were originally written by Vonnegut to apply exclusively to writers of short stories, but I reckon they’re just as useful for writers of longer fiction.


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