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StoryShop University Blog

Dialogue Tags and Speaking Denotation

Dialogue Tags and Speaking Denotation

Photo by Aleksandra Mazur on Unsplash He said, she said, Gary said. All of these are dialogue tags. Their purpose is letting the reader know who just said, or is about to say, a line of dialogue, which is pretty important if you want your reader to be able to imagine who’s speaking. But there’s more to letting…

Finding & Naming Characters

Finding & Naming Characters

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash Your story can have the coolest world-building and biggest ideas ever, but unless your readers love the characters you create, your writing will fall flat. We are drawn to stories because of the characters: characters we want to be, characters we fall in love with, characters we hate…but have so much fun…

How and When to Use Periods, Commas, and Semicolons

How and When to Use Periods, Commas, and Semicolons

Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash Congratulations! You’ve finished your book! Well, the first draft at least. Or maybe you’ve gone through and made some big-picture changes… Got rid of a couple plot holes, gave one of your protagonist’s allies a character arc… But as you’re reading through the first couple pages again, like most authors, you realize…

What are the StoryShop templates?

What are the StoryShop templates?

Beats templates can be found on the create a book card. Click Beat Template, select a world, select a series and hit “let’s roll” and you’ll get a list of beats to choose from. Available Beat Templates: Overcoming the Monster (Dracula)  1. Anticipation: A great evil threatens the land 2. Journey to the new world:…

Exercise: Create a Promo Pack

Exercise: Create a Promo Pack

Create your first draft for each of the following: Tagline Kicker Product Description What did this process bring to light about your story and your audience? In what ways are you more excited to start writing now than you were before this exercise?

Geography, Geo-Politics, Maps

Geography, Geo-Politics, Maps

Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash Ever notice how, when watching science fiction shows, that when encountering the strange, alien race from Tau Celtic 4 or wherever, the aliens all look and sound exactly the same? Like, the entire population of the planet dress alike, speak the same language, and appear to share the same societal mores? Whereas,…

How to Write Promotional Copy

How to Write Promotional Copy

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash “Why in the world should I be concerned about promotional copy before I’ve even started writing the first draft?” you may ask. Kudos to you. You’re asking questions, and that’s always a good thing. The answer is promotional copy will help you focus your writing so that you stick close to the…

Mythology, Origins, History, Language, Culture, Religion

Mythology, Origins, History, Language, Culture, Religion

Photo by 贝莉儿 NG on Unsplash Readers want to be transported out of their reality and into a brand new world, but that only works if the imaginary setting feels real to them. Fleshing out your worlds by giving them their own history, folklore, languages, and cultures can create the illusion of a world which feels lived in,…

Genre Rules & How to Break Them

Genre Rules & How to Break Them

Image Attributed to Mark Dixon via Flickr By the time someone reads the opening line of a new book, they already have certain expectations. The book’s stated genre and the genre tags used to market it online indicate to the reader what likely awaits them in the story. And since most fans return to their…

Slogging Through the Mushy Middle

Slogging Through the Mushy Middle

Photo by Валерия on Unsplash It’s easy to get pumped up about writing the start of a book. New worlds, new characters, exciting possibilities! And after the inciting incident, the reader has typically been presented with an intriguing question—will the characters fall in love? find the treasure? defeat the villain? etc.—so you also get excited to write the…