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plotter vs. pantser

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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Re-Envisioning: How to Fix Big Problems with Small Changes

Stack of pipes reflecting light like a flower with text: Revisions: Find a Different Perspective

We’ve heard of rewriting, revising, and even re-imagining, but what does “re-envisioning” mean?  I recently came across the word in a great post by Juliette Wade about how to redo a scene without rewriting. When a scene isn’t working, it’s tempting to blame the scene and get rid of it. […]

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May 24, 2011

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Make Your Antagonist a Force for Good

Sinister man

Wait…what? Well, we want to make our antagonist good for our story anyway.  *smile* Kristen Lamb has been running a fantastic series on antagonists (Part One, Part Two, Villains, Balancing Evil, Inner and Outer Demons).  She shares more gems than I can capture here, so definitely check out her posts. For […]

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May 5, 2011

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What’s in a Name?

Shadowy figure in a hallway

When we first get an idea for a story, the characters who will populate that story often start out shadowy and vague.  Either before the writing process (if we’re plotters) or during the writing process (if we’re pantsers), we have to develop those characters into something solid and colorful.  We […]

May 3, 2011

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How Much More Do You Have to Learn?

Penrose never-ending stairs optical illusion from the movie Inception

In my last post, I lamented how it’s hard for us to see our learning curve and know how much more we have yet to understand.  I wanted to know how close I was to that elusive “destination” of knowing everything I need to know about writing. *pshaw*  Silly me for […]

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April 7, 2011

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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. […]

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March 3, 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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The Joy of…Drafting

Osprey's Flight

Most of my past year has been spent editing and revising, but for the past two days, I’ve been able to write fresh stuff for a shiny new project.  Oh, drafting, how I love thee. Really, is there anything more freeing than starting with a newborn idea and exploring?  Every […]

October 19, 2010

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When Is Faking It Okay?

Question Mark

After disclosing in my last post that my Muse is a perv, he’s been rather quiet.  So apparently he’s also shy.  Or the strong and silent type.  But that means I have no inspiration for today’s blog post.  That’s okay—I’ll fake it. Yes, yes, I know, I railed on faking […]

October 14, 2010

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