Category Archives: fiction

Head-Hopping

Writers of fiction are always advised not to switch from one viewpoint character to another within a given scene. This mistake is called head-hopping. The reason it’s frowned on is because it yanks the reader out of the story, at … Continue reading

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Cliffhangers

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Laini Taylor’s new book Strange the Dreamer — right up to a few minutes ago. The writing is wonderful, the fantasy premise fresh and vivid, the characters both believable and memorable. But then … but then … Continue reading

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Vision and Revision

Not sure where I’m going with this — it’s just something I’m noticing. Twice in the past few weeks I’ve been approached by writers about editing their novels. That’s not a lot of potential clients, but I don’t promote my … Continue reading

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Details Do Matter

Once upon a time, there were editors. Or, to quote Cole Porter’s song, “In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. Now, heaven knows, anything goes!” Somebody was raving about a YA fantasy novel by … Continue reading

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Casual Racism

A hundred years ago, racism was common in fiction written by white people. It can be shocking, when reading something by a fine writer like F. Scott Fitzgerald, to see him quite casually refer to a Jewish character using a … Continue reading

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Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind

Writing a novel is very hard. There are so many ways to go wrong! This week I’ve been looking at an unpublished manuscript by a writer who is thinking of hiring me as an editor. I’m not going to mention … Continue reading

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It’s a Marvel

I never read comic books when I was a kid. I read Mad Magazine, but that wasn’t a comic, it was freewheeling satire suitable for the warping of impressionable young minds. Last week, at the local used book store, I … Continue reading

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