point of view

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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3 Tips for Skipping the Boring Parts

February 20, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I was going to rant about poor editing today, but I closed the wrong window in my computer and lost all 1000 words. *sigh* So I’ll try it again later when I’m not so sleep deprived from WANACon preparation. Instead, I’m revisiting a different topic today. We’ve heard the saying: Life is a journey. Often this […]

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Fix 4 Common Writing Problems with “The Emotion Thesaurus”

December 10, 2013 Writing Stuff
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A couple of weeks ago, Becca Puglisi, one of the co-authors of the fantastic Thesaurus books, shared her tips for using the new The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus books. Her advice can help us develop our characters at all stages of planning, drafting, and editing. But the comments of that post pointed […]

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How to Make Characters Vulnerable to Readers

November 7, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Most tips for creating sympathetic characters point out that our characters need flaws. And that’s very true. But it can be a real trick to show flaws for characters who bottle up their emotions in an attempt to hide their weaknesses. While very common, that defense mechanism can leave very little for us, as authors, […]

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Showing vs. Telling: When Is Telling Okay?

October 8, 2013 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all heard the advice to “show don’t tell” more times than we can count. Like most advice, it’s worded as an absolute, making it seem as though telling is never okay.

Once we’re experienced, we know that’s not true. Some telling is absolutely okay, and in certain cases, is preferable to showing.

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4 Tips to Solve 99% of Your Writing Problems — Guest: Janice Hardy

October 3, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I’ve gushed many times about the awesomeness of Janice Hardy’s blog—for good reason. Her writing tips are clear and insightful. She discusses topics more thoroughly than most. And it’s a rare thing when I can’t find an answer to a writing question there. She’s also a super-fantastic person (I’ve met her in real-life, so I […]

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7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

July 4, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Today’s a holiday in the U.S., so I’m dusting off and updating a post from the archives. While you’re here, don’t forget to comment on my Blogiversary post for a chance to win “me.” Want me to beta read for you or pick my brain about a writing or story problem? Now’s your chance! *grin* The […]

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Dread Writing Sexy Scenes? 5 Tips for Success

March 12, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Whatever genre we write, we often have to write scenes that make us uncomfortable. High on that discomfort scale for many authors are romantic scenes between characters. Whether we write romance or another genre with love interests, or whether the characters merely kiss or have sex with the door open to the reader, many of […]

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Will Omniscient POV Ever Be Popular Again?

January 22, 2013 Writing Stuff
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My recent post about avoiding “information dumps” prompted a conversation in the comments about omniscient point-of-view (POV) and its use of “telling” rather than “showing.” Serena Yung wanted to know why omniscient POV—and thus, telling rather than showing—are less common now than in the classics. She’s certainly right about omniscient being uncommon in books now. Omniscient […]

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Spotlight on Subtext: When Characters Are Liars — Guest: Angela Ackerman

August 28, 2012 Writing Stuff
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I’ve mentioned before that I love subtext. I’ve analyzed the Spiderman reboot for subtext. I’ve written about how to revise for subtext, how to use subtext in emotional scenes, and how character development happens in subtext. Yeah, I’m a tad obsessed with subtext. So when the fantastic Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse blog offered […]

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