Tag Archives: character

You Think Halloween Is Scary? Ha! (Encore)

I’ll tell you what’s really scary. I’ll share a secret that’s seen little exposure over countless millennia, and for good reason: it’s frightening in the extreme. You probably think you know what I’m talking about, but you don’t. You can’t … Continue reading

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The Curse of Backstory (Encore)

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

Posted in editing, novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

You’re stuck? Too bad. Some remedies, Part 1 (Encore)

Where did it all go wrong? Your story was cooking along nicely right up until– Hm. Somehow, somewhere along the way, something happened–either to the plot or your enthusiasm. Maybe both. Or maybe it was something else, some wrong turn, loose end, or … Continue reading

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Plot vs. Character? (Encore)

For as long as I can remember, people in the writing community have debated the issue of plot versus character — which should drive a story? One side of the argument claims a complex plot will generate enough conflict to … Continue reading

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Writers can learn from comic books

Too many adult writers I know denigrate comic books when those very same publications were their favorites when they were younger. That’s a shame because many of those same writers ignore an important difference between illustrated work and their own … Continue reading

Posted in Historical writing, novel writing, short fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Do your characters act like people? (Encore)

Wait–You mean my human characters? It may seem like a stupid question, but it’s not. In the process of working our way out of caves and into cars, we have developed certain patterns of behavior which are common to all … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, novel writing, short fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Where Should A Story Start? (Encore)

A story starts at the beginning, right? <cue uproarious laughter> Well, yeah, it should. The problem is, most neophyte novelists think they have to supply a dump truck load of information about their character and his or her situation before … Continue reading

Posted in novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How I Write

[This is the fifth and, for now, final installment of words of wisdom gleaned by writers who have recently entered the wonderful world of publishing. This episode is by Doris Reidy, a dear friend and one helluva good writer. Please, … Continue reading

Posted in Guest posts, novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

You Think Halloween Is Scary? Ha!

I’ll tell you what’s really scary. I’ll share a secret that’s seen little exposure over countless millennia, and for good reason: it’s frightening in the extreme. You probably think you know what I’m talking about, but you don’t. You can’t … Continue reading

Posted in Historical writing, novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Is Your Sex Scene Worthwhile?

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, “You lucky dawg! You get to jump straight to the good stuff.” But, one would … Continue reading

Posted in Historical writing, Memoir, novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments