Month: January 2017

Why Theme Is the Key to Unlocking Your First Chapter’s Potential

First chapters are hard to pull off. You need to introduce your protagonist, your story’s setting, and the beginning of your plot in an engaging way that entices people to keep reading. This last point gets hammered on again and again by editors and agents, which can make writing the first chapter seem imposing. You may wonder whether it’s really worth it to throw yet another element into the first chapter. At first you might assume it’s optional to include theme. I’d like to propose, however, that a strong thematic presence is far from extraneous and can actually be...

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Set Your Novel Up for Success by Sharing Your Outline

It’s January, the month of new beginnings. You’ve made your New Year’s resolutions, and maybe, just maybe, one of them involves writing. Maybe you resolved to write a novel. An entire novel. And maybe this time you’re actually going to do it. So you sit down in front of a word processor with your fantastic new idea and start tallying up the word count. Not so fast. Before you get carried away, you should take a minute to set yourself up for success in your novel-writing endeavor. First, you need an outline. If you don’t have one yet, check...

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A Collection of Poems

Sublime In the softest swaying of a tree Lurks a certain quiet mystery Up above the sky in outer space Of this mystery we find a trace Hiding then in shadows of the dawn By a secret order goes the fawn Onward go all things in ordered pace Ruling of a kingdom, stitching lace Grasping every subject in His hold By Him all things happen as He told Turning water into potent wine By Him chaos sea is turned sublime Pain of Life and Mental Strife What lies ahead? Oh! What shall I find? Shall all come to ruin...

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How to Write the First Page of Your Novel

There are no set rules for an opening line of a novel. Nearly anything goes—be it description, dialogue, or a statement of philosophical truth. But that flexibility does not apply to the first page of your novel. All good novels contain several essential elements that immerse the reader in the story world and keep them there, ideally to the end of the book. Here’s a breakdown of the five key components to include in the first page of your novel. 1. Your Protagonist As our Editor-in-Chief, Josiah DeGraaf, helpfully explained last year, the novel is distinguished from other storytelling...

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KP Critiques – 35

Welcome to the 35th edition of KP Critiques! May others be inspired by your bravery, Lady Tessa. Even the most skilled wordsmiths shudder at the sight of an editor’s dagger, but it’s a necessary training procedure. Although you may emerge with blood splatters on your hands, your sword will be sharpened and your story will wield more impact. I issue a challenge to all the squires in the audience. I beseech you to don the armor of a knight and come forward. Dost thou hear the trumpet sounding? Send us your novel excerpts! Now, onward to the analysis of...

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