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When Is Rejection a Good Thing?

Runner at starting block

I get a brief reprieve from the deadline cave this week while I wait for feedback from my awesome readers.  When I first sent my work out to them, I felt great.  This work was as good as I could make it. But going back to last week’s perfection posts (here and here), I’m now […]

March 8, 2011

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A Perfectionist’s Guide to Editing: 4 Stages

Red funnel

Yes, I’m still under deadline, but an interesting issue came up in the comments on my last post about perfectionism.  Perfectionists tend to be nitpicky, no surprise there.  But there’s a time when that trait is very helpful, and a time when we need to ignore the compulsion to tweak.  How do we tell the […]

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March 3, 2011

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When Should a Perfectionist Call Something Done?

Edited page

Yes, I’m still in the deadline cave this week, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yay!  While I’m hiding, I wanted to share this post I originally wrote last summer.  The lesson is even more relevant to me right now.  (That’s a look at one of my edited pages to […]

March 1, 2011

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What Creates Good Writing: Instinct vs. Skill

African Lion

I’m still in the deadline cave and self-banned from Twitter, but I wanted to post about something I’ve realized through this revision process. It’s probably safe to say we all want to get better at our jobs, whether that’s writing or something else.  But how much of what we do is instinct and how much […]

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February 24, 2011

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You Might Be Under Deadline If…

Man's face covered with post-it notes

I’m in a deadline cave this week, so I have just a short post inspired by my current crazy schedule.  I’m so grateful to my awesome critique partners and beta readers.  They’re trying to keep me sane.  Or at least, they’re trying to keep me from going completely insane.  But I’ll admit that at least […]

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February 22, 2011

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The Truth about Writing Contests

Chess Faceoff

Opinionated statement alert: Every writer should volunteer to judge a writing contest.   And not simply for altruistic reasons.  No, we should do it because we can learn from reading others’ work, as it’s much easier to see mistakes in prose other than our own. My friend Anassa Rhenisch had a great blog post about this […]

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February 17, 2011

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6 Techniques for Using Music to Help Our Muse

Girl with Headphones

Lately I’ve been struck by how similar music is to writing.  Both arts use a non-visual medium to create an emotion.  And often, just like writing, music is meant to create movies in our mind for a do-it-yourself music video. If you’ve ever watched a movie with the sound turned off, you know what a […]

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February 15, 2011

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Should You Tweet Cheat?

Card hand with 5 Aces

Update below. No, I’m not talking about using Twitter to cheat in a relationship.  (Answer: No, if for no other reason than nothing is ever as secure as you think it is.)  I’m talking about whether you should cheat Twitter’s 140 character limit and use extended tweets. Ever since Twitter started, the 140 character limit […]

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February 10, 2011

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Are Romance Heroes Good Role Models?

Couple holding hands

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, a recent USA Today article (5/14 ETA: article no longer in USA Today archives) gave the relationship advice that a man should: “look into her eyes, focus on what she says and really talk to her.”  Wow, earth-shattering ideas. Or not.  The suggestion to treat a woman like a person and not just […]

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February 8, 2011

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How to Avoid Head-Hopping

Relay race baton pass with text: Point of View: Handling Hand-Offs

We’ve learned that head-hopping should be avoided if we want to maintain a strong connection between the reader and the characters, and we’ve learned that just calling something omniscient doesn’t solve the head-hopping problem. This brings up the obvious question: How do we avoid head-hopping? The answer might be different for each story we write. […]

February 3, 2011

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