January 10, 2024

Five New Year’s Resolutions Every Writer Should Embrace

By Paul Goat Allen

A new year is the perfect time to set some new goals, or establish better habits that will improve and enrich your life. Writers, in particular, are very much goal-oriented, self-motivated people who thrive on setting lofty goals and striving to achieve them. For those of you hoping to make […]

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November 2, 2023

Two Reasons to Avoid the Info Dump Trap at All Costs

By Paul Goat Allen

Let’s get right to it. Info dumps are called “dumps” for good reason—using them is a sure way to turn the commercial viability of your novel into garbage.

It’s one of the most frequent criticisms of our BlueInk reviewers—and has been for years—but writers just don’t seem to grasp how […]

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September 26, 2023

Truth Bomb: Talent Has Very Little To Do with Writing Success

By Paul Goat Allen

I watched a presentation recently given by Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he said that talent has very little to do with success in football. “It’s not what you’re capable of, it’s what you’re willing to do. I know plenty of people that are capable. […]

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September 6, 2023

Too Much Information! Two Big Reasons Not to Over-explain Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

Over-explanation in storytelling is always a big red flag—in large part because it reveals to the reader one of two (very bad) things: either the author doesn’t have confidence in their own writing ability, or they don’t think that their poor ignorant readers will understand the brilliance of their own […]

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May 17, 2023

The One Big Evolutionary Step in Writing that You Need to Know!

By Paul Goat Allen

In the almost three decades that I’ve been a book critic, and the 50 years that I’ve been a hard-core reader, I’ve seen genre fiction—and fiction in general—evolve in radical and remarkable ways. Watching the rise of genre fiction hybridization (novels that blend together seemingly disparate genre fiction elements) has […]

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January 9, 2023

4 ways indie authors go wrong writing a book description

By BlueInk Review Staff

Every book needs a description of its contents – that snappy teaser copy you traditionally see on the back cover. When done properly, it lures readers in, as well as signals what audience the book is targeting. And it’s invaluable on marketing materials, author websites and other promotional materials.

[…]

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November 9, 2022

The Ending is Everything! Is Your Novel’s Conclusion Strong Enough?

By Paul Goat Allen

Straight from the files of Stating the Obvious comes the next BlueInk blog about the monumental importance of a novel’s conclusion. It’s a no-brainer, right? Your novel needs a memorable ending in order to have any chance at commercial success.

But then why do so many novels have weak conclusions?

[…]

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September 12, 2021

Emotions in Motion: Does Your Novel Move Your Reader?

By Paul Goat Allen

Some writers are so engrossed with the minutia of their work-in-progress that they lose sight of an obvious indicator that should be a primary focus: reader experience. And a big part of that overall experience is feeling an intimate connection with the characters, feeling what they’re feeling—be it sorrow, joy, […]

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December 16, 2020

Where’s the Hook? Five Ways to Make Your First Chapter Unputdownable

By Paul Goat Allen

If you’re writing a novel with the hopes to entertain—to facilitate the literary escapism of your readers—you want those readers to pick up your book and not be able to put it back down. I’ve described these kinds of reads as “unputdownable” in the past—they’re page-turners, and everyone loves a […]

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November 2, 2020

3 Elements Writers Need to Create Great Characters

By Paul Goat Allen

Well-developed and complex characters are integral to creating a novel that resonates with readers and critics alike. Even with other noteworthy narrative attributes like readability, immersion, plot intricacy, and thematic profundity, a storyline is inevitably going to fail without interesting and identifiable characters.

Ask yourself this: what are some of […]

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