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    No matter how brilliant your copy is, if you can't get your readers to nod along as they read, you haven't made that all important connection yet.

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    Your antagonist can make the difference between a ho-hum novel and a break-out one.

    A fully realized villain is someone who shows us parts of ourselves in his or her makeup. If you can connect in some human way with the antagonist, it's going to bring up all kinds of tension for readers.

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    Bored by your own writing? You could be suffering from the toll of ignoring your best ideas. ‘But why on earth would I ignore an idea if it’s good?’, you’re wondering. The answer is that you probably don’t even know you’re doing it.

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    An editing tool checks for writing issues that go far beyond mere grammar problems.

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    “The Coop” is more than just a Medium publication — it’s a community. And it’s growing.

    The motto of The Writing Cooperative is, “Helping each other write better”. This phrase ultimately guides all that we do.

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  • 06/03/17--17:00: The Evolution of Copywriting
  • Throughout history, copywriting has been integral to the success of millions of advertising and marketing campaigns. Here’s how copywriting has evolved, and what today’s copywriters need to bear in mind.

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    ProWritingAid's sentence length check is one of the most important reports I use for every piece of writing. I have a tendency to write long, flowing sentences that meander around, trying to connect numerous ideas together that perhaps don't belong. (The latter sentence a case in point.)

    But did you know that's not a technical run-on sentence? It's more of a run-off-at-the-mouth sentence.

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    Do you regularly create great content for your target audience? Let's have a show of hands: how many of you use an editorial calendar to organize your content?

    Not everyone uses an editorial calendar, and if you're one, you're making life more difficult than need be.

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    Use ProWritingAid's Word Explorer to look at any word 14 different ways. Yes, it's true. Here's the list of ways you can check out any given word:

    • Dictionary
    • Reverse Dictionary (this shows you words with your given word in their definition)
    • Thesaurus
    • Lists (lists of dated terms, ironic terms, often used terms)
    • Alliteration (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs with the same letter or sound at the beginning or adjacent to your given word)
    • Clichés (to help you avoid them)
    • Spelling (good to know if you write frequently in American, British, and Australian English)
    • Rhymes
    • Pronunciation
    • Collocations (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs that come before or after your given word)
    • Common Phrases (2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-word phrases using your given word)
    • Commonly Possessed By (words that can own your given word)
    • Anagrams (in case you need help)
    • Examples (From books and quotes using your given word)

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    Did you know that if you spend 15 minutes a day improving your grammar and vocabulary on freerice.com, you will be helping end hunger?

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    Do you always check your work for repeated or overused words or phrases? I know I don't. Sometimes I can be so close to my writing that I don't notice when I've used a certain word too many times in the space of 3 or so paragraphs. In my mind, it sounds natural.

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    When to use "affect" or "effect" is so confusing that people are switching to "impact" to use in its place.

    Never fear—it's not difficult to use "affect" and "effect" properly. Here is what you need to know:

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    When I began working for Charlie, I knew he was talented. He's the writing partner of a well-known leadership expert and together they've authored over 100 books. Several have become New York Times best sellers.

    I embraced the job with a learner's mindset. I determined every day to improve my writing skills. My first professionally edited draft looked like a murder scene. Red letters covered the page with countless words crossed out, rearranged, and rewritten.

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  • 06/18/17--17:00: When Symbolism Goes Too Far
  • Are we hard-wired to seek symbolism in everything from our literature to our everyday life? Spirituality is rife with symbolism, advertisers use symbols to sell their products, and we interpret a smile from someone as a symbol of friendship.

    Symbolism in literature uses an object or a word to represent something abstract in your work. A person, an action, a place, a single word, or an object can have symbolic meaning. Symbolism, done well, allows you to hint at a certain mood or emotion instead of showing it.

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    Great content needs to be more than just "pretty". It needs depth and insight. It needs to avoid purple prose not like the plague, but because it is the plague.

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  • 06/25/17--17:00: Copywriting's 7 Deadly Sins
  • Here's how to use the 7 Deadly Sins like an angel to present your product or service in its best possible light. Master these tips and they'll be eating out of your hand.

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    Well, it depends on which side of the pond you're on.

    If you're American, license is both a noun and a verb, and licence is not used at all.

    If you're anywhere else speaking English, licence is the noun meaning a permit from an authority figure to do something particular, like driving, and license is the verb form.

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    Whether you write for yourself or you're a hired gun, you need to answer a basic question: is your blog successful? The only way to determine success is to measure your blog's results, and to do that you need Google Analytics.

    Since there are dozens or more posts out there on how to use Google Analytics, let's focus on what exactly you need to measure to determine how successful your blog is. Let's face it, you could spend a month analyzing the various metrics from Google, but you really only need a few. We will peel back the many layers and show you the 6 key blogging analytics you need to track.

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    What is it about a great story that keeps you turning the pages? Think of the last book you devoured in one sitting. What kept you so engrossed you had to stay up until 4am to finish it?

    For those of us who sit bleary-eyed in front of a computer because we couldn't put a good book down last night, we stumbled across an author who knows how to raise the stakes.

    And the higher the stakes, the better—am I right?

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    At ProWritingAid, we want our writers to be as successful as possible. And so, when we come across a potential opportunity for writers to make money, we check it out.

    The folks at Contena got in touch recently and asked us to have a look at their new platform for freelance writers. Their mission is to help you launch your own freelance writing business.

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