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When Does Fan Fiction Cross an Ethical Line?

Swedish sports fan with painted face

Fan fiction, also known as fanfic, refers to stories written by fans about the characters, situations, or world of existing works created by others.  This definition sounds broad because the world of fanfic is broad. On some level, everything from Wicked, inspired by The Wizard of Oz, to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies […]

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March 6, 2012

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What Comes After a First Draft?

A baby's hand on an adult hand

Last week, we talked about how stories change from the initial story seed to the first draft.  Then it dawned on me that I’ve experienced that same evolution between a first draft and a finished draft, where so much changed that I hardly recognized the original story any more. For fun, […]

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September 20, 2011

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Dragon fruit

Artists of every type find inspiration all around them, and writers are no exception.  Ideas might come in the form of a dream, a “what if” question, an overheard conversation, etc. Those are all fairly normal sources of inspiration.  Personally, I’ve been inspired by dreams, “what if”s, an 80’s music […]

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September 15, 2011

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How Do You Stretch Yourself?

Woman doing yoga stretch

With any job or activity, if we want to get better, we have to stretch ourselves.  Athletes strive to move faster or stronger.  Musicians aim to complete a harder, more intricate piece of music.  And writers… How do writers stretch themselves? We can collect feedback on our writing from beta […]

September 13, 2011

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Interview with a…Muse – Guest: J.A. Paul

J. A. Paul picture

“Hey, Jami, now that you have a bazillion things to do and no time to get it all done, what are you going to do?” “I’m going to Disneyland!” That’s right.  I threw up my hands and decided everything could wait a week while I head to Disneyland with the […]

May 10, 2011

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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part Three

Thumbs up

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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When Is a Story Worth Writing? – Part One

Tree growing from book

Every story begins with an idea.  Sometimes this idea comes to authors out of the blue.  Sometimes a dream provides the spark.  Sometimes “people watching” or an overheard conversation will trigger the thought.  But no matter where it comes from, the idea kicks off everything else, like a seed from which […]

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January 18, 2011

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