Writing Active Settings, Part 1 — Guest: Mary Buckham

Place setting on a table with text: Using Point of View to Bring Settings to Life

The trick to sharing setting information (which our readers do need) without dragging down the pace is to write active descriptions. Active descriptions let the reader imagine the setting in their mind, keep them anchored in the story, and slip in information so seamlessly that they never realize they’re reading descriptions.

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July 22, 2014

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Branding 101: Do You Have a Tagline?

Burlap canvas with an overlay of text, "imagination unlimited..."

Even though I’m not a big fan of Facebook, I’ve been spending more time there lately. A major reason for that is I’ve discovered some fantastically helpful FB groups. One of the best is Facebook the WANA Way, started by Facebook guru Lisa Hall-Wilson. Lisa’s been a guest here before, […]

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December 31, 2013

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Do You Enjoy Fantastical Stories?

Paranormal/moody image of a woman in front of a stone cross in moonlight

We’ve talked about the importance of keeping our stories believable, but the fantasy genre (and all its subgenres) require certain aspects to be unrealistic. Character types and plot points involving dragons, superheroes, vampires, etc. are all beyond the reality of our world.  What does that mean for the reader? A […]

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November 29, 2011

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What Does It Take to Sell Books?

Old-fashioned cash register

Subtitle: Über Blogging, True Fans, or ??? In case you haven’t heard, recent statements by agents have started a kerfuffle over whether blogging is a waste of time for most writers.  The first I heard of it was through agent Wendy Lawton’s post, What’s Not Working, where she says: “I wouldn’t recommend a […]

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October 13, 2011

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Learning and Blogging and Writing—Oh My!

Balancing rock piles

Fantasy: To become an author, we just need to have a great idea, write it down, and then agents, publishers, and readers will all magically appear. Reality: Nothing like that. Becoming an author isn’t simple.  Oh no.  We have what seems like a never-ending list of things to learn and […]

April 19, 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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