How to Revise for Structure, Part Two

Cover image of Larry Brooks's Story Engineering

Last time, we discussed Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat craft book and how we can use his writing tools to revise our work.  His beat sheet points out when story events (beats) should occur in a screenplay, and most of his advice applies to all forms of fiction writing. Whether we dig into […]

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February 14, 2012

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How to Use the “Save the Cat” Beat Sheet for Revisions

Cover image of Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat"

Before I start, thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, and emailed me with support after my last post about losing my cat.  You all have filled me with virtual hugs and put a smile on my face.  Thank you.  *hugs back* In fact, after writing that post and reading […]

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February 9, 2012

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Write Fiction? Why You Should Try a Short Story

Silhouette of person doing a bugle call

My regular readers know I typically write novel-length stories.  However, during one crazy four-day stretch, I wrote a long-ish short story/short-ish novella (novelette?).  For those of you following along at home, I’m referring to my story inspired by spam. I’ve blogged before about how the experience was a great way […]

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December 22, 2011

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What Is the Internet Missing?

Set of number blocks with number 3 missing

That seems like an odd question, doesn’t it?  After all, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Google knew what I had for lunch on Wednesday five weeks ago. In fact, computers and the internet have captured so much information that we sometimes don’t want to memorize facts, figuring we’ll Google […]

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December 13, 2011

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What Writing Skill Do You Suck At?

School paper with a failing grade of "F"

That’s right.  I’m asking you to expose your biggest weakness.  *locks the door so no one can escape*  *evil grin* We all have weaknesses.  I’m one of the biggest perfectionists around, but that doesn’t prevent me from having oodles of imperfections.  It’s only by knowing where we need more work […]

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December 1, 2011

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Cartoon snowman holding wrapped gift box

The end of this week marks the unofficial beginning to the holiday shopping season in the United States.  Thursday is our Thanksgiving holiday, and the day after is known as Black Friday, the day retailers finally sell enough to put their accounting books “in the black” for the year. I’m […]

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November 22, 2011

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Can You “Fast Draft”?

Draft stamp

Several writers I know have recently tried the “Fast Draft” method.  What is the Fast Draft method?  Fast drafting entails getting the framework of our stories down as fast as possible—without worrying what that draft looks like. Author Candace Havens says it’s possible to complete a first draft in two weeks. […]

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November 8, 2011

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What’s Your Writing Process?

Stick figure drawing a flow chart

Today I’m guest blogging at Melinda Collins’s blog.  I’m talking about the craft of writing, and how I love every bit of it.  Yes, even the hair-ripping-out parts.  *smile* That love of the craft means I don’t have a favorite part of the process, so I don’t strictly fall on […]

August 23, 2011

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How to Find Writer Resources – Guest: Elizabeth Spann Craig

Elizabeth S. Craig photo

If you’re a writer and on Twitter, you should know about the incomparable Elizabeth S. Craig.  She shares fantastic resources for writers that she finds all over the web, like a one-woman news source. More importantly, if you’re a writer—whether you’re on Twitter or not—you should know about her Writer’s […]

June 23, 2011

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What’s in a Name?

Shadowy figure in a hallway

When we first get an idea for a story, the characters who will populate that story often start out shadowy and vague.  Either before the writing process (if we’re plotters) or during the writing process (if we’re pantsers), we have to develop those characters into something solid and colorful.  We […]

May 3, 2011

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