Category Archives: novel writing

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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It’s All About the Sex — Part 2 (Encore)

Last time we scratched the surface of writing sex scenes. The essential takeaway was that a sex scene should be two-fold, at least. In other words, make sure there’s more to the scene than just sex. Pick an extra element … Continue reading

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It’s All About the Sex — Part 1 (Encore)

If you’re writing a novel for adults, and these days “adult” often means Young Adult, too, there’s a very good chance you’ll need to include some sort of sex scene. Many writers new to the craft approach this opportunity with … 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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How much is enough? (Encore)

Writers can be very competitive folk, especially when it comes to the topic of production. Like people in any other profession, some writers exaggerate while others are painfully honest. I know several who claim to churn out amazing quantities of … 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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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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Writing a novel is like… (Encore)

…eating an elephant. You have to do it one bite at a time. No one seems to care how the elephant feels about this. The point, obviously, is that writing a novel is a big job, and you won’t finish … Continue reading

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Character Emotions — Part Nine (Encore)

While far from a complete discussion of emotions, we’ve touched on those I think are the most critical and/or difficult to convey in any kind of writing. But one emotion that’s gone undiscussed until now is also one fiction writers … Continue reading

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