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Critique Week: Secrets of a Critique Partnership

Fiction Groupie Blog Logo

Today marks a milestone for me.  My first ever appearance guest-posting on another blog.  Woohoo! I’m at Roni Loren’s blog today with a post on a critique partnership that works: mine.  With help from my critique partner, Margeanne Mitchell, I put together a humorous peek inside our relationship and tried to identify what makes it […]

September 16, 2010

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Critique Week: Making Criticism Work for You

Columned Hallway

Are you *gasp* less than perfect?  Hey, it happens.  I know I’m not the only one. No matter what aspect of our life we’re talking about, whether we’re in search of parenting advice, the secrets to magic tricks, or kicking our writing up a notch, we can read, experiment, and observe to learn new techniques […]

September 14, 2010

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The “Matrix” Approach to Scene Setting – Part Two

Falling Matrix Code

In Part One, I proposed my Matrix theory for describing action and scenes in stories and talked about why it works.  In this post, I’ll explain how to successfully use the technique to add details, both with narrative and dialogue—and how not to use it. So as I mentioned last time, readers’ minds are malleable.  […]

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September 8, 2010

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The “Matrix” Approach to Scene Setting – Part One

Matrix Digital Tunnel

Last time, I explained how to avoid dumping information into stories and how dialogue is often used incorrectly to convey details to readers—the “As you know, Bob” technique.  It just so happened that my friend Simon C. Larter posted a related article with info dumps in dialogue that worked that same day.  Great minds and […]

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September 7, 2010

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How to Fix the Infamous Info Dump

Spilling Water

Info dump?  Infamous?  You better believe it.  The most egregious offender even has a name: the “As you know, Bob.”  Imagine dialogue along the lines of, “As you know, Bob, Jane is our sister.” *cringe* Does anyone actually speak like that?  Would you ever tell someone something they already know?  Nope.  (Unless you’re reminding your […]

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September 1, 2010

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What to Look for in a Writing Contest

Blue Ribbon

This past weekend was “contest entering” weekend for me—and I’m not nervous at all. (It’s okay, you don’t have to believe me.) But after several years of writing, this decision to enter a contest was a new one for me. Which of course begs the question, why did I finally decide to do it? There […]

August 30, 2010

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Banish the Boring Parts

Table Setting

Last time, I mentioned how stories—the good ones anyway—avoid the boring parts of the journey by jumping into the action.  Today’s post continues that “skip to the good parts” theme to talk about settings. Setting is the sense of time, place, and mood within a story.  Descriptions create a world within the mind of a […]

August 25, 2010

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Unlike Life, Stories Aren’t a Journey

Road to Mountains

We’ve all heard the saying: Life is a journey.  Often this thought will be accompanied by—enjoy the ride—or something along those lines.  And that’s great advice for life.  But what about for stories? At the RWA conference, I attended the Inside Scoop workshop with Robin Perini and Claire Cavanaugh.  During the workshop, they critiqued opening […]

August 23, 2010

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Do You Know What Will Make You Happy?

Coin-op Binoculars

My blog-home-away-home, Edittorrent, had another thought-provoking post yesterday.  You really should go read it, but if you don’t have the time, their point boils down to this: Know what will make you feel like a success as a writer.  I think this same idea can apply to just about anyone—not just writers. Know what will […]

August 18, 2010

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Finding Life’s Balance

Juggling Balls

A quick note: Today’s the last day to leave a comment on my contest post to win a free book from the RWA registration bags. The deadline to enter is midnight, August 16th. Last week, a friend of mine, Simon C. Larter, interviewed Victoria Mixon, a freelance editor.  He asked several great questions (and a […]

August 16, 2010

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