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The key ingredients I look for in a fully formed breakout premise are (1) plausibility, (2) inherent conflict, (3) originality and (4) gut emotional appeal.
— Donald Maass, Writing the Breakout Novel
There is no substitute for being a reader of the genre in which you are writing, and for reading in other genres for contrast and inspiration.
— Elizabeth Lyon, Manuscript Makeover
“Foreboding” and “ominous” is what you're striving to achieve—not mention.
— Joseph Novakovich
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