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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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What Makes Omniscient POV Different from Head-Hopping?

God's Eye View

Last time, we talked about how head-hopping is something to avoid, and not just because there’s a rule against it.  Any change in point-of-view (POV), whether using an “allowed” technique or not, risks weakening the connection between the reader and the story. Head-hopping authors sometimes say they’re writing in omniscient POV to cover their tracks. […]

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February 1, 2011

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Why Is Head-Hopping Bad?

Mannequin heads

Depending on who you talk to, head-hopping is somewhere between a shoulder shrug and the-world-is-ending bad.  Note that neither of those extremes thinks that head-hopping is good.  I suppose it could be positive if used in some sci-fi story, along the lines of “body snatchers,” but we’re talking about it in the written point-of-view (POV) […]

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January 27, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Three

Thumbs up

If we don’t want to waste time writing a story that will never get anywhere, we have to make sure we’ll be able to complete it.  And guess what?  It’s not completed when we, as writers, think it is.  Going from seed idea to completion happens over two stages. So far, in Parts One and […]

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January 25, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Two

Green eggs and ham

Writers are often overwhelmed with story ideas.  When I’m in the middle of difficult revisions, it’s normal for me to think of several other shiny ideas that I would much rather work on instead of doing yet another round of edits.  But not every idea is worthy of a story, so how do we decide […]

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January 20, 2011

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