Monthly Archives: December 2018

Why Write? Why Read?

Downloaded the Kindle edition of Victoria Mixon’s Art & Craft of Writing Fiction. Four bucks, why not? Came to a screeching halt at the end of Chapter 2, where she says this: “Readers read stories for two purposes: (1) to … Continue reading

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Who’s on First?

Every writer of fiction, as a new story begins to take shape, has to choose whether to write it in first person or third. (Tom Robbins once wrote an entire novel in second person, but that was a stunt. No … Continue reading

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DIY Publishing, Part 1: e-books

There are, I’m sure, many ways to self-publish your e-book(s). I’m not an expert, but I do have some recent hands-on experience, which I may as well pass on in case anyone is interested. In a future post I’ll cover … Continue reading

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Enough or Too Much?

Conversations with aspiring writers. One says her beta readers complain there’s not enough detail in her descriptions. Another says her readers get bogged down in too much detail. How much is enough? The old gag (apologizing to women, but I’m … Continue reading

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The Writer’s Chisel

Next month I’m going to be participating in an online writers’ workshop, or class. (The terminology is a little vague, and it’s their terminology, not mine.) This particular free-for-all is called “Getting the Big Picture.” It’s about revising your novel, … Continue reading

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The Music of the Prose

I’ve been reading Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages. Lots of good writing tips, in nice short digestible chapters. In Chapter 2 he recommends cutting adjectives and adverbs. Chapter 3 is called “Sound,” but it’s mostly about the use of … Continue reading

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The Opening Gambit

Some books on writing urge the writer to set out the plot problem clearly as soon as possible. The first page is not too soon — the first paragraph, even. But is this good advice? Sometimes it is. The opening … Continue reading

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Hunger Dames

Next month I’ll be participating in a well-organized online fiction-writing workshop. More on that experience later, I’m sure. The assigned reading for before the first meeting is The Hunger Games, a best-selling novel I’ve never been tempted to tackle. The … Continue reading

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Conflict Is Not Plot

Aspiring writers are often advised that their stories need conflict. But a story can have plenty of conflict and yet not have a trace of plot. What’s actually important is plot. A plot will always embody conflict; but conflicts, even … Continue reading

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Stop Making Sense!

My next novel is coming apart at the seams. First I thought I just needed to change a few things in the final act — the thrilling dramatic climax. There’s already a complete rough draft, but the events were starting … Continue reading

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