non-fiction

Writing Active Settings, Part 2 — Guest: Mary Buckham

July 24, 2014 Writing Stuff
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USA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham is back with Part Two of her guest post on writing active settings that keep our story flowing and connect readers to our characters. Today, she’s sharing the second biggest hurdle to writing great descriptions.

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Writing Active Settings, Part 1 — Guest: Mary Buckham

July 22, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The trick to sharing setting information (which our readers do need) without dragging down the pace is to write active descriptions. Active descriptions let the reader imagine the setting in their mind, keep them anchored in the story, and slip in information so seamlessly that they never realize they’re reading descriptions.

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Branding 101: Do You Have a Tagline?

December 31, 2013 Writing Stuff
Burlap canvas with an overlay of text,

Even though I’m not a big fan of Facebook, I’ve been spending more time there lately. A major reason for that is I’ve discovered some fantastically helpful FB groups. One of the best is Facebook the WANA Way, started by Facebook guru Lisa Hall-Wilson. Lisa’s been a guest here before, comparing Facebook’s Profiles and Pages, […]

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Do You Enjoy Fantastical Stories?

November 29, 2011 Random Musings
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We’ve talked about the importance of keeping our stories believable, but the fantasy genre (and all its subgenres) require certain aspects to be unrealistic. Character types and plot points involving dragons, superheroes, vampires, etc. are all beyond the reality of our world.  What does that mean for the reader? A few weeks ago, my friend […]

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What Does It Take to Sell Books?

October 13, 2011 Writing Stuff
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Subtitle: Über Blogging, True Fans, or ??? In case you haven’t heard, recent statements by agents have started a kerfuffle over whether blogging is a waste of time for most writers.  The first I heard of it was through agent Wendy Lawton’s post, What’s Not Working, where she says: “I wouldn’t recommend a writer start blogging in order […]

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Learning and Blogging and Writing—Oh My!

April 19, 2011 Writing Stuff
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Fantasy: To become an author, we just need to have a great idea, write it down, and then agents, publishers, and readers will all magically appear. Reality: Nothing like that. Becoming an author isn’t simple.  Oh no.  We have what seems like a never-ending list of things to learn and do if we want to […]

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Two

January 20, 2011 Writing Stuff
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Writers are often overwhelmed with story ideas.  When I’m in the middle of difficult revisions, it’s normal for me to think of several other shiny ideas that I would much rather work on instead of doing yet another round of edits.  But not every idea is worthy of a story, so how do we decide […]

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