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Why No Advice Is Perfect: Character Emotions

September 30, 2014 Writing Stuff
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There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ guideline for any aspect of writing. Every story is different, so some advice doesn’t apply to us. What’s right for one genre might not be right for another genre. Ditto for the point of view of the story. Or the characters. Or the plot.

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Blogiversary Winners & a New Worksheet!

July 10, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I can’t make everyone a winner in my Blogiversary contest, but I can give everyone a gift by releasing a new worksheet. Yay! A couple of my readers asked me to take a look a John Truby’s work and see if I could come up with a worksheet based on his teachings.

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Writer’s Block? Use a Random Generator

June 10, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I’ll probably jinx myself by saying this, but I have more than enough story ideas to keep me busy writing for the rest of my natural life and I haven’t yet suffered from writer’s block. But I know others do struggle and come up blank. My “seat of my pants” writing style means that I rely on […]

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Literary vs. Genre Fiction: Which Do You Prefer?

April 15, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Reading is subjective. The stories some of us hate, others love. Personally, I have no interest in non-genre stories. This is not a sign of my inability to think deeply, but rather a personal preference. Mary Buckham’s ideas about the differences between literary and commercial fiction made me wonder about this preference.

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Stuck in Your Book? Try a Brainstorming Warm-up

June 25, 2013 Writing Stuff
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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve started drafting a new story. The first week, my word counts were rather lame, but this past week has been going much better. Each day finds me getting into my writing groove more easily. I joked to my family that I’d apparently needed to get my […]

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Three Tips for Better Storytelling

May 2, 2013 Writing Stuff
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Last time, we talked about how good storytelling can salvage even a poorly written book. As I mentioned in that post, storytelling skill is different from writing skill. Many people have a hard time defining what makes good storytelling—and that makes it difficult for us to improve. Yet I’d argue that storytelling ability isn’t as […]

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Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

April 30, 2013 Writing Stuff
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What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a deeply flawed story can still […]

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Introducing the Query/Blurb Exchange Club!

January 15, 2013 Writing Stuff
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The response to my request for help on my query in my last post was amazing. I really shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, we all know you are amazing, right? *smile* But the tremendous outpouring of offers to help also made me feel guilty. I’ve heard stories from others about how hard it can be […]

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Fan Fiction to Published Book: A Case Study

December 13, 2012 Writing Stuff
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Last time, we discussed the different options for publishing a story that had its genesis in fan fiction: name-change-only, reworking, and rewriting. Whether we believe there’s ever a “right” way to publish a story that began as fan fiction (fanfic), authors who completely rewrite their story should be recognized for at least making the attempt to avoid […]

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Can Writers Reuse Their Own Work?

December 11, 2012 Writing Stuff
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On the surface, this might seem like a clear-cut question. Unless we’ve turned the copyright over to another entity, it seems like we should be able to reuse our own work. However the issues surrounding what is sometimes termed “self-plagiarism” are more complicated than they might first appear. Many of us who blog will occasionally rerun […]

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