Category Archives: Memoir

Is Your Sex Scene Worthwhile? (Encore)

When working with beginning novelists and reviewing their work, I’m often tasked with reading their very first sex scenes. One might be tempted to say, “Oh, you dawg! You get to jump straight to the good stuff.” But, one would … Continue reading

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Okay, I’m Done. Now What?

You’re “done” you say? That begs a few questions. Like: Are you finished with the rough draft/first “complete” manuscript? Are you finished with all the updates of your first draft? Have you given up altogether? Are you ready to start … Continue reading

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Stop the music?

What I’m about to reveal will surely come as a surprise to some of my long-time writer friends. The news is, to me anyway, simply shocking. According to an item published not too long ago in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, listening … Continue reading

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Huge debate: Prolog or Prologue? (Encore)

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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My memory resembles Swiss cheese… (Encore)

The bigger the memory, the bigger the hole. Or, maybe it’s the better the memory, the bigger the hole. That’s not really the issue. It’s more of a “which hole represents what” kinda thing. I’ve no problem with stuff I … Continue reading

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The Spice Rule (Encore)

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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Thinking and Feeling (Encore)

What is it that’s so hard about getting into a character’s head? It’s a problem many of my writing friends and students encounter, and it happens all too often, or so it seems to me. I suspect in most cases … Continue reading

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Tension: We’ll be right back, after this… (Encore)

Tension is (or should be) a writer’s stock in trade. It’s what causes readers to stay up late to “finish just one more” page, scene, chapter, part, or volume of your epic–be it fiction or something else. Tension is shorthand for … Continue reading

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Why bother with writing exercises? (Encore)

If you’re inspired enough to take a writing class of some sort, you’re almost certain to be presented with a creative challenge of one kind or another. Usually, these are in the form of writing exercises. Some writer friends of … Continue reading

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A Little Voice Exercise (Encore)

In writer’s circles, “voice” is often discussed as if it’s some mystical element which seeps out from the heavens, or the depths of an adult beverage, to infuse one’s writing with the essence of truth, gravitas, or some other damn … Continue reading

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