Tag Archives: Writing

Show What, Exactly?

If there’s one piece of writing advice that predates all others, I’d guess it’s the “Show, don’t tell” mantra. And there’s plenty of proof that the tired, old adage is dead on the money. If anything, in today’s crash-bang-boom-sound-bite-MTV era, … 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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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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Characters with… character. part 2 of 3

Last time (click here if you missed it) we covered character loglines, the character’s problem, and his or her initial plan to solve it. But there’s much more to character building. Read on. Next up is Conflict–the great provider. All that wonderful, … Continue reading

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Characters with… character. part 1 of 3

For most readers, novels are judged by the degree to which readers care for the players in the story. Character-driven stories haven’t just evolved; they’re as old as storytelling itself. And yet, far too many novice novelists concentrate more on plots than … Continue reading

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Outlines for those who hate outlining

There’s one thing we always hear about outlines and writers, and we hear it over and over: writers are either “plotters” or “pantsers.” But there are some, me f’rinstance, who do both. Like many who write by the seat of their … Continue reading

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Writing a novel is like…

…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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