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The “Matrix” Approach to Scene Setting – Part Two

Falling Matrix Code

In Part One, I proposed my Matrix theory for describing action and scenes in stories and talked about why it works.  In this post, I’ll explain how to successfully use the technique to add details, both with narrative and dialogue—and how not to use it. So as I mentioned last […]

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September 8, 2010

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The “Matrix” Approach to Scene Setting – Part One

Matrix Digital Tunnel

Last time, I explained how to avoid dumping information into stories and how dialogue is often used incorrectly to convey details to readers—the “As you know, Bob” technique.  It just so happened that my friend Simon C. Larter posted a related article with info dumps in dialogue that worked that […]

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September 7, 2010

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How to Fix the Infamous Info Dump

Spilling Water

Info dump?  Infamous?  You better believe it.  The most egregious offender even has a name: the “As you know, Bob.”  Imagine dialogue along the lines of, “As you know, Bob, Jane is our sister.” *cringe* Does anyone actually speak like that?  Would you ever tell someone something they already know?  […]

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September 1, 2010

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What to Look for in a Writing Contest

Blue Ribbon

This past weekend was “contest entering” weekend for me—and I’m not nervous at all. (It’s okay, you don’t have to believe me.) But after several years of writing, this decision to enter a contest was a new one for me. Which of course begs the question, why did I finally […]

August 30, 2010

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Banish the Boring Parts

Table Setting

Last time, I mentioned how stories—the good ones anyway—avoid the boring parts of the journey by jumping into the action.  Today’s post continues that “skip to the good parts” theme to talk about settings. Setting is the sense of time, place, and mood within a story.  Descriptions create a world […]

August 25, 2010

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Unlike Life, Stories Aren’t a Journey

Road to Mountains

We’ve all heard the saying: Life is a journey.  Often this thought will be accompanied by—enjoy the ride—or something along those lines.  And that’s great advice for life.  But what about for stories? At the RWA conference, I attended the Inside Scoop workshop with Robin Perini and Claire Cavanaugh.  During […]

August 23, 2010

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What Agents *Really* Want in a Query Letter

Question mark on book

First of all, if you weren’t at the RWA conference, check out my contest for a free book from the RWA registration bags. The deadline to enter is midnight, August 16th. So my new RWA-buddy, Roni Loren, posted a great article on her blog about the QueryFest workshop.  When I […]

August 11, 2010

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Are Writers Conferences Worth It?

Dollar Sign

I’ve now recovered enough from the RWA National Conference to talk about my experience.  *takes deep breath*  Er, or not… The word “overwhelming” was invented for experiences like this.  I can try to describe it, but I fear I’ll run out of words (a horrifying thought for a writer!).  It […]

August 4, 2010

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Multiple Personality Disorder? No, I’m a Writer.

Crazy Face

(No disrespect to anyone—crazy, insane, loony, committed, batty, bizarre, eccentric, daft, demented, deranged, or otherwise—is intended by this post.) When is a crazy person not a crazy person?  When they’re a writer. Writers can have hundreds of imaginary friends.  No, I’m not crazy, I’m just talking to my characters. Writers […]

July 20, 2010

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