Category Archives: fiction

Superstructure

If you’re writing fantasy, and especially fantasy novels, you’ll want to devote some serious attention to world-building. If you google “fantasy novel world-building,” as I did this evening, you’ll find any number of blog posts that will offer suggestions. Some … Continue reading

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The Wrong and Grinding Load

It’s never a good idea to criticize one’s fellow authors, especially in public. But I’m in a hellish mood today, so I may as well slop a little of it around. In search of a jolly distraction, I ventured into … Continue reading

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Characters

True confession: I have trouble coming up with a decent plot. Sometimes I can do it. Other times I have what I think is a strong plot, but sooner or later it turns out to be weak. One way of … Continue reading

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Beta, Schmeta

When I was first starting to write fiction, there was no such thing as beta-reading. The term comes from software development, and it’s certainly vital in that area. I have beta-tested other people’s software, and I’ve had others beta-test my … Continue reading

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Don’t Ever Change, Dahling

Ah, well. Sic transit gloria mundi and all that. I spent several hours today doing a detailed and thoughtful critique of the opening of a novel by a fellow in one of my Facebook writers’ groups. I emailed it to … Continue reading

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The Book Business

As a writer, sitting all alone at your desk or tapping away on your laptop in a coffee shop, you’re in a one-on-one relationship with your book. There’s really no alternative. You can’t constantly be jumping up, dashing over to … Continue reading

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…and the beat goes on…

This week I’m shopping not one but two mystery novels to agents, meanwhile wondering what I want to write next. One of the two is a realistic historical mystery; the other is a crossover YA/fantasy/mystery set in another world, so … Continue reading

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In the Dark, All Cats

I’m sure it’s hard to set yourself up as an indie publisher. What services will you provide to your authors? Will you specialize in some particular genre? How will you promote the books on your list? How will you bring … Continue reading

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The Curtain Rises

Reading a few of the little essays in Lawrence Block’s Telling Lies for Fun and Profit got me off the dime. Last night and today I sent an even dozen queries to literary agents to try to find someone who … Continue reading

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Time Keeps On Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’…

Stories about time travel have been a staple of science fiction ever since H. G. Wells invented the idea. The obvious advantage of the time-travel tale is that it allows the writer to drop a modern human, a character whose … Continue reading

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