Close

information dump

Pitch Prep: What Makes a Great First Page?

Series of outdoor entrances, pulling the eye deeper into a garden

It was a dark and stormy blog post.  *snicker* We’re continuing to prepare for the January 10-16th Pitch Your Shorts pitch session by tackling the issue of story openings.  (Check out Tuesday’s post for everything there is to know about pitching.) While the purpose of a pitch is to get a request, […]

Pin It

January 5, 2012

Read More

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.) […]

Pin It

December 6, 2011

Read More

Religion in Novels: Terrific or Taboo? — Guest: Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund picture

I’m excited to share today’s guest post with you because in addition to being a lovely person, Jody Hedlund runs a fantastic blog for writers.  As if that wasn’t enough, she’s also graciously arranged for a book giveaway of her latest release, The Doctor’s Lady (see bottom of post for details). Jody writes historical […]

September 22, 2011

Read More

The Green Lantern Movie: How *Not* to Plot a Story

Green Lantern Movie image

I recently saw the Green Lantern movie.  I know, I know.  The reviews were terrible, but I often enjoy turn-brain-off movies.  This fun-but-dumb superhero action flick definitely fit the bill. But the real entertainment came after the movie, as my family and I analyzed why this superhero movie failed compared to other […]

Pin It

July 5, 2011

Read More

What Disneyland Can Teach Us about World-building

Puzzle of globe

First, I want to thank J.A. Paul and Rachel Firasek for their guest posts.  I had fun with their interviews and I hope you all did too. Yes, I’m back from a fun, exhausting trip to Disneyland.  And yes, my vacation inspired a blog post.  You’re not surprised, are you? […]

May 17, 2011

Read More

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. […]

Pin It

March 3, 2011

Read More

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 […]

Pin It

September 7, 2010

Read More

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?  […]

Pin It

September 1, 2010

Read More