Category Archives: editing

Huge debate: Prolog or Prologue?

Actually, I’ve known writers crazy enough to get into arguments over nonsense like this. Toe-may-toe or Toe-mah-toe? Prologue or Prolog? Seriously? The awful truth is they’re completely missing the point. Either spelling is okay, but using either is not. At least, … Continue reading

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The Curse of Backstory

Of all the story-writing sins committed by beginning writers, by far the worst consists of dumping a trailer-load of backstory on the unsuspecting reader. Fortunately, this error becomes clear almost immediately, at least to the reader. As an editor, this practice … Continue reading

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Story as striptease

Despite being opposites–stories are additive; striptease is subtractive–one can still draw parallels. An ecdysiast (look it up) teases her (or his) audience by making them wonder how much farther she/he will go. Successful genre fiction does much the same thing, … Continue reading

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The Spice Rule

One of the many things those who are new to novel writing fail to ask is, “How much is enough?” I’m not talking about length; I’m talking about specific kinds of content, something that impacts all writers in all genres, … Continue reading

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Chapters vs short stories

A writer friend of mine occasionally takes a chapter from one of her books and fashions it into a short story which she then puts on the market. She’s managed to sell several of those tales. And, since she has … Continue reading

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Let’s take a step back

Normally, when I’m working on a new story, I’m all about forging ahead, full steam if possible. But I realize that may not be the proper approach for everyone, especially if what they’re attempting to do isn’t what they’re ready … Continue reading

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Ya gotta have heart

Though clichéd, it’s true that the building blocks of a good novel are the scenes. I imagine if one looked hard enough it would be possible to find a novel with neither scene nor chapter breaks, but it would definitely … Continue reading

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