Monthly Archives: June 2013

Dialog Do’s and Don’ts

It’s possible that Jack London may have written a few stories with no dialog at all, because one of his fascinations was man in the wilderness. For most writers of fiction, though, dialog is a central concern. There are no … Continue reading

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Concerning Heroes

For reasons that I may explain someday, I’ve been looking into the field of YA (“young adult”) fantasy fiction. I’m certainly not the target reader for these novels, so it would be wrong for me to try to write a … Continue reading

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What Makes It Real?

The art of fiction is the art of creating an illusion. When we read a story, we think we’re visiting places we’ve never been, seeing and hearing people as they say and do things, and so on. What we’re really … Continue reading

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Getting Inside

When I was writing my first novel, almost 30 years ago, I had a 3×5 card thumbtacked above my desk. On the card were my two rules for writing fiction: Tell a good story. Put the reader in the scene. … Continue reading

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Another Angle

Here’s an odd chess variant I’ve been looking at for the past couple of days. It’s in the family of games you can play using an ordinary chessboard and pieces — no extras required. It’s called Leghan’s Chess. Except for … Continue reading

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Makin’ the Right Moves

What if you had a piece that was a rook sometimes and a knight sometimes? Ooh, that could be good. As I continue my leisurely stroll through the fallow, yet fertile fields of chess variants, I’m finding a few fascinating … Continue reading

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Turn & Spit

Over the course of the last 50 years I have had only three dentists. All of them were Mormons, as it happens, and all three were excellent. Coincidentally, my current dentist bought his offices from the first dentist when the … Continue reading

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Things That Go Bump

For many years now, my slogan for music technology has been, “If this stuff was any more powerful, it wouldn’t work at all.” Malfunctions are as normal and inevitable as tumbleweeds tumbling across the desert. Some of the malfunctions are … Continue reading

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