Tag Archives: character

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

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Taken By Surprise

I’m writing this the day after my brother died. I tell myself I’m doing it because I need to meet a deadline. I tell myself I need to do it because something positive surely will come of his passing. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, novel writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Where Newbies Go Wrong

Here’s the thing: anyone can write a book. The only limitation I can think of is a complete inability to communicate. Stephen Hawking, by the way, produced at least a half-dozen books after losing the ability to speak due to … Continue reading

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Plot vs. Character?

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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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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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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Characters with… character. Part 3 of 3

We’re moving into the final lap of this character creation exercise. In case you missed the first two parts you can find them here and here. If you’ve been scribbling stuff down about your character, then this process will have … Continue reading

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