Author Archives: joshlangston

About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!

When Yay Becomes Yuck

There comes a point in the development of most novels, maybe even all ’em, when the writer throws up his hands, his pen, and maybe his beer, and says, “This is shit. It isn’t working. The characters aren’t talking to … Continue reading

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Deconstructing Cinderella

Here’s a handy way to review the 7-Point Plotting approach. We’re going to take apart an old and well-loved tale and completely rebuild it. In the process, we’ll experiment with Point of View as well as the plotting formula. And, … Continue reading

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Dialog Ain’t Just Talk

The things that make dialog great are the same things that make plots and characters great–imagination. Dialog should present surprises. The unexpected makes stories not only more interesting, but more challenging. At it’s heart, dialog is action, and its value … Continue reading

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A Conversation About Dialog

What is it that makes one novel better than another? What facets of the craft elevate a story from pro forma to profound? The first two are absurdly easy to pinpoint: great characters and intriguing plots. In addition to clear … Continue reading

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A Word About Mechanics

I’m talking about writing mechanics, not the folks who keep our cars running. (That’s a whole different breed of magic about which I’m not qualified to comment.) Of all the many things a novice writer can do to improve his … Continue reading

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The Scoop on the Scouts

Sorry, this isn’t about kid scouting. It’s about horn-blowing. My own, actually. And something called Kindle Scout. And my new book. More about that anon. One of the hardest things for independent authors to do is self-promote. Doing it well … Continue reading

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Trust Your Readers!

After all, they trusted you enough to buy your book. Let’s back up a step or two. Just who are these people who took a chance on your ability to string nouns and verbs together in an entertaining fashion? Where … Continue reading

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