risk

The Value of Failure

July 29, 2014 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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My regular readers know I’m a perfectionist, but I try not to let it hold me back. However, facing various choices and issues in my writing career have forced me to recognize that sometimes I do suffer from a related fear. And that fear does hold me back.

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The Silver Lining of Bad Reviews

July 3, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Whether we pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing, rejection is a given for writers. Our choice simply comes down to how we’ll handle it. Will we let rejection hold us back, or can we see it as a sign that we’re doing something right?

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The Danger of Political Correctness for Diverse Books

June 3, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Diverse books are important—not simply for the sake of diversity—but so that by sheer number of representations, any one type of character isn’t limited to a stereotype. The truth is that we are all diverse. No one stereotypical character will ever represent us, no matter our color, nationality, or background.

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Is “Do What You Love” Good Advice?

May 27, 2014 Random Musings
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Life is filled with work that needs to be done whether someone loves to do it or not. I’ll be the first to admit that I write because I love it. But the problem with thinking that we should do what we love and love what we do—as a career—is many layered.

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How Can We Show a Character’s Internal Journey?

May 15, 2014 Writing Stuff
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I’m a big fan of Michael Hauge’s approach to characters. His insights helped me figure out how to match a character’s internal journey to the external plot. This is often tricky, though, so let’s go deeper into how characters change.

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What’s Your Fatal Flaw?

May 13, 2014 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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When we write, we try to give our characters both strengths and flaws. Giving our characters a mixture makes them seem more real, more three-dimensional. Of course, the fact that characters seem more real when they have both strengths and flaws reflects that we are also a mixture of strengths and flaws, and sometimes our flaws hold us back.

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How to Raise the Stakes in Our Story

May 6, 2014 Writing Stuff
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“Raise the stakes throughout your story.” Advice like this is often given as though we all know what the phrase means. And on some level, we do know what it means: make the situation “worse.” But there are many ways to make a situation worse. As Serena Yung asked in a comment: “Would you define a […]

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Should We Learn to Write Series?

April 22, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many books recently on the bestseller lists have been part of series. From the Divergent series to the new cliffhanger and serial books, series are a popular trend. But what if we don’t naturally write series? Will we be left behind? The “lessons learned” section in my post about Beverly Kendall’s self-publishing report reiterated the […]

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Finding Balance: Play Hooky

March 13, 2014 Random Musings
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When we were school-age, many of us recognized the need to blow off classes and responsibilities once in a while to play hooky. The exhilaration of “getting away with something” can recharge our burned-out batteries just as much as the trip to the shopping mall or whatever we did with our goof-off time. But as […]

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Taking Risks: You Have to Play the Game to Win

February 13, 2014 Random Musings
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Last night, WANA International‘s online writing conference hosted Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for a free workshop offered as part of the run up to next weekend’s WANACon (February 21 and 22, 2014). Gabriela presented at last fall’s WANACon, and her popular sessions earned her a return invitation with two new workshops at WANACon 3.0 […]

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