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What If Our Story Idea Has Already Been Done?

Computer screen duplicating image into infinity

In my last post about Google search terms, I mentioned that we sometimes have lots of content around a search’s keywords and yet have never answered the question directly.  In that case, Google just gave us an idea for a blog post.  *smile* One search term that led people to my blog this […]

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March 22, 2012

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How to Squeeze the Most out of Scenes

Cartoon graphic of woman's brain being squeezed in a vise grip

Whether we’re a plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between, we all eventually have to take the time and make our scenes the best they can be.  This week I have a guest post at the Girls With Pens blog on how to do that. (Edited to redirect link, as GWP has shut down.) […]

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December 6, 2011

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Story Climax: The Whole Point — Guest: Victoria Mixon

Picture of Victoria Mixon

I’m excited to share today’s guest post by editor A. Victoria Mixon with everyone.  Her new book The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner’s Manual recently came out and is a great addition to our writing craft library. In fact, her blog tour posts have been excerpts from this […]

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November 15, 2011

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What Wrong Turns Have You Made?

Danger, wrong way, turn back warning sign

Kristen Lamb asked an interesting question on her blog last week, Are We Born to Create?  Her posts often make me think and inspire my own posts here.  (Her unofficial muse skill is one of the reasons I’ve dubbed her “awesome-dipped-in-glitter” (TM).  *smile*) More specifically, she wondered if creative people […]

August 9, 2011

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The Green Lantern Movie: How *Not* to Write Characters

Hal Jordan with Green Lantern ring

Last time, I used the Green Lantern movie to illustrate how not to plot a story.  This time, we’re going to look at the Green Lantern characters. As noted before, Green Lantern felt superficial and formulaic.  Sure, it’d be easy to say that it was a comic book movie and therefore […]

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July 7, 2011

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Do Stories Need a Theme?

Disney's California Adventure theme park

Earlier this week, Julie Musil had a great post about how to create story endings that resonate.  I almost wrote an epic comment to her post, but decided to save my wordiness for here.  And I get to use one of my vacation pictures—Disney’s California Adventure theme park, get it? […]

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May 26, 2011

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Would You Ever Turn Down a Contract?

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The comments for my last post were fantastic—thank you!  The range of opinions really got me to think deeper about the traditional vs. self publishing issue. Many people wrote in with circumstances for when self publishing works (and possibly works “better”).  Others noted situations where traditional publishing is the only […]

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March 31, 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 […]

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February 15, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Three

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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 […]

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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, […]

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January 20, 2011

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