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Looking for more how-to on writing?
Then please try books by Fiction University's Faculty.
Books by Founder, Janice Hardy
Understanding Conflict (And What It Really Means)
Do you struggle with creating conflict in your novel? You don't have to.
Janice Hardy, award-winning author and founder of the popular writing site, Fiction University, takes you deep inside one of the most important aspects of storytelling--conflict. She'll help you understand what conflict really is, discuss the various aspects of conflict, and reveal why common advice on creating conflict doesn't always work.
With in-depth analysis and easy-to-understand examples, Understanding Conflict (And What It Really Means) looks at how to develop and create conflict in your novel. It also explores the things that affect conflict (such as tension), and the misconceptions that confuse and frustrate so many writers.
This book will help you:
- Understand what conflict means and how to use it
- Tell the difference between external and internal conflicts
- See why conflict isn't a "one size fits all" solution
- Determine the type of conflict your story needs
- Fix lackluster scenes holding your writing back
Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It)
Award-winning author Janice Hardy takes you deep into one of the most frustrating aspects of writing--showing, and not telling. She'll help you understand what show, don't tell means, teach you how to spot told prose in your writing, and reveal why common advice on how to fix it doesn't always work.
With in-depth analysis, Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It) looks at what affects told prose and when telling is the right thing to do. It also explores aspects of writing that aren’t technically telling, but are connected to told prose and can make prose feel told, such as infodumps, description, and backstory.
Her easy-to-understand examples will show you clear before and after text and demonstrate how telling words change the prose. You'll learn how to find the right balance between description, narrative, and internalization for the strongest impact. These examples will also demonstrate why showing the wrong details can sound just as dull as telling.
This book will help you:
- Understand when to tell and when to show
- Spot common red flag words often found in told prose
- Learn why one single rule doesn't apply to all books
- Determine how much telling is acceptable in your writing
- Fix stale or flat prose holding your writing back
Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure
Go step-by-step through plotting and writing a novel. Learn how to find and develop ideas, brainstorm stories from that first spark of inspiration, develop the right characters, setting, plots and subplots, as well as teach you how to identify where your novel fits in the market, and if your idea has what it takes to be a series.
With clear and easy-to-understand examples, Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure offers ten self-guided workshops with more than 100 different exercises to help you craft a solid novel. Learn how to:
- Create compelling characters readers will love
- Choose the right point of view for your story
- Determine the conflicts that will drive your plot (and hook readers!)
- Find the best writing process for your writing style
- Create a solid plot from the spark of your idea
- Craft your one-sentence pitch
- Create your summary hook blurb
- Develop a solid working synopsis And so much more!
For those who like a hands-on approach with easy-to-use worksheets, a companion guide, Plotting Your Novel Workbook is also available in paperback.
Plotting Your Novel Workbook
Janice Hardy guided writers through the often challenging process of planning a novel with her book, Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure. At reader request, she created this workbook as a companion guide. Its larger workbook format is perfect for writers who enjoy brainstorming on paper and developing their novels in an organized and guided format.
- No more searching for ideas jotted down on bits of paper
- No more losing notes just when you need them most
- Keep all your thoughts in one, easy-to-use workbook
Plus Bonus Questions! The Plotting Your Novel Workbook offers writers additional exercise questions not found in Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure.
Work through the exercises of ten workshops that build upon each other to flesh out your idea as much or as little as you need to start writing. Find exercises on:
- Creating Characters
- Choosing Point of View
- Determining the Conflict
- Finding Your Process
- Developing Your Plot
Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft
Janice Hardy takes you step-by-step through the novel revision process. She’ll show you how to analyze your draft, spot any problems or weak areas, and how to fix those problems.
With clear and easy-to-understand examples, Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft offers eleven self-guided workshops that target some of the toughest aspects of writing. It will help you:
- Develop a strong and effective revision plan
- Analyze your manuscript to find its strengths and weaknesses
- Spot common red flag words for problem areas (such as told prose)
- Determine the best way to revise a scene, plot, character, or novel
- Fix problems holding your novel back
- Develop weak characters into strong ones
- Strengthen plots and subplots
- Flesh out your world or setting
- Control your novel’s pacing to keep readers hooked
- BONUS Workshop: How to salvage half-finished manuscripts
The Shifter (Book One of The Healing Wars)
A dangerous secret. A deadly skill.
Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers, Nya's skill is flawed: she can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden. If discovered, she could be used as a human weapon.
But one day Nya pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. She refuses—until Tali and other League Healers start disappearing mysteriously. Now Nya must decide: How far will she go to get Tali back alive?
Blue Fire (Book Two of The Healing Wars)
Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.
Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.
Darkfall (Book Three of The Healing Wars)
War has come.
Nya’s the one who brought it. And the people love her for it.
With Baseer in shambles and Geveg now an impenetrable military stronghold, Nya and the Underground have fled to a safer location—without Tali. Nya is guilt-ridden over leaving her sister behind and vows to find her, but with the rebellion in full swing and refugees flooding the Three Territories, she fears she never will.
The Duke, desperate to reclaim the throne as his own, has rallied his powerful army. And they are on the move, destroying anyone who gets in the way.
To save her sister, her family, and her people, Nya needs to stay ahead of the Duke’s army and find a way to build one of her own. Past hurts must be healed, past wrongs must be righted, and Nya must decide: Is she merely a pawn in the rebellion, a symbol of hope—or is she ready to be a hero?
Eight Against Reality The short story Man's Best Enemy
Books by Laurence MacNaughton
It Happened One Doomsday
Unfortunately, Dru isn’t one of them.
Sure, she’s got a smidge of magical potential. She can use crystals to see enchantments or brew up an occasional potion. And she can research practically anything in the library of dusty leather-bound tomes she keeps stacked in the back of her little store. There, sandwiched between a pawn shop and a 24-hour liquor mart, she sells enough crystals, incense, and magic charms to scrape by. But everything changes the day a handsome mechanic pulls up in a possessed black muscle car, his eyes glowing red.
Just being near Greyson raises Dru’s magical powers to dizzying heights. But he’s been cursed to transform into a demonic creature that could bring about the end of the world.
Then she discovers that the Harbingers, seven fallen sorcerers, want to wipe the planet clean of humans and install themselves as new lords of an unfettered magical realm. And when they unearth the Apocalypse Scroll, the possibility of a fiery cosmic do-over suddenly becomes very real.
There’s only one chance to break Greyson’s curse and save the world from a fiery Doomsday – and it’s about to fall into Dru’s magically inexperienced hands....
A Kiss Before Doomsday (Dru Jasper, Book 2)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound | Kobo
Conspiracy Of Angels
The Spider Thief
From the cobweb-choked ruins of a lost city in the Amazon emerges a gold spider statue with flashing emerald eyes. If the legends are true, the gold spider has the power to erase the past . . . change the future . . . perhaps even grant eternal life. But touching the spider will steal your memories -- and then your life.
For centuries, men have killed to possess the gold spider. Like the man who murdered Ash's parents. Now, the killer has returned, and Ash is trapped in the grip of the spider's curse.
His only hope is Cleo, his embittered high-school sweetheart, now a highly-trained agent obsessed with tracking down the spider. But Cleo knows something she's not telling Ash -- about a million dollars in dirty cash, and the terrifying secret his parents died to keep.
Can they solve the riddle of the gold spider before its deadly curse claims them next?
Books by Bonnie Randall
Divinity & The Python
The Cards Forecast Work
Shaynie Gavin is so much more than the sexy siren who mixes cocktails at The Python. A carpenter with a business plan, Shaynie is trying to amass enough funds to launch her own dream - Divinity, a place where up-cycled furniture from the past is sold alongside Tarot readings forecasting the future - and all in a setting that could not be more perfect: a former funeral parlor. Shaynie's belief that Divinity is attuned with the passions, the loves, and even the lies of its departed souls, allow her to feel satisfied when the cards she draws there reveal Wands, the Tarot's symbol for work. And yet...Shaynie would be so grateful if the Tarot would also, just once, illuminate a Hellnight from her past. A lost evening whose scars still slither over her skin, Hellnight haunts Shaynie. Yet when she calls the question of that chilling evening into her deck...
The Cards Forecast Love
...and love appears in the form of pro hockey star Cameron Weste. Weste is haunted by scars and superstitions of his own, and he wants Shaynie's Tarot to answer far deeper questions than she first guesses this sexy Lothario to be capable of. Who knew Weste was this intense? The Tarot, apparently. And yet...
The Cards Forecast The Devil
When Cameron Weste lands in her life, a stalker surfaces too, dropping clues to a connection between Shaynie, Cameron, and her lost, brutal Hellnight. Suddenly every card warns of deception, and nowhere feels safe. Shaynie and Cameron have to fight for their love - and their lives - as The Devil, their stalker, is determined to turn the Death Card for them both.
Andrew Gavin knows he's a train wreck. Before he even became a detective, Andrew’s first trauma—at only seventeen—occurred when he witnessed a gruesome suicide. Ever since, a delusion he calls The Dead Boy appears when his anxiety spirals too close to the edge…
Goaded by The Dead Boy, Andrew shoots and kills an unarmed teenage bully in what appears to be a fit of rage. Suspended from the force, and awaiting a possible murder charge, he retreats home to the Rockies. There The Dead Boy taunts him daily. Except…
Elizabeth McBrien, the childhood sweetheart he scorned, is back home in the mountains too, and shocks Andrew by revealing that she too sees The Dead Boy. Astonished that the spirit is not a delusion, but real, Andrew is further unnerved when he learns that The Dead Boy has ‘befriended’ Kyle, a gravely ill kid Elizabeth adores.
Now it's specter vs. cop in a race to save Kyle's life, and The Dead Boy insists that Kyle’s survival hinges on secrets Andrew holds about that long-ago suicide. Yet Andrew knows the entire truth will destroy him, and also annihilate any new chance he may have with Elizabeth. But they are running out of time; Kyle is dying, and The Dead Boy is ready to sacrifice anything in order to once again walk among the living…
“Within the Summit’s Shadow is a paranormal romance unlike any you’ve ever read. Set in the resort town of Jasper amid the splendor of the Canadian Rockies, this novel combines love, mystery, and a persistent, deeply psychological, very personal haunting. Randall really delivers the goods with this one.”
When therapist Lucas Stephen’s sister returns from a legendary Los Angeles hotel, she’s a shell of the artist she once was. Nearly catatonic, deteriorating rapidly, Michelle alarms Lucas by painting the same old-style straight razor over and over.
Heartbroken and frightened, Lucas resolves to find out what happened to her. With his beautiful—and psychic—colleague Della, Lucas travels to L.A., booking a room in the hotel Michelle stayed at.
They barely cross the threshold when Della senses evil. She sees bodies falling out of the sky. Broken dreams. Imprisoned nightmares. She begs Lucas to leave, but the hotel makes both time and truth shift, and when Lucas looks into the mirror in his sister’s room, he sees the straight razor—and is drawn to the bright, scarlet stain of fresh blood…