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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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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

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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How to Create a Strong Character: Give Them Flaws

Cracked Statue

We’re almost through with the list of how to create strong characters.  So far, we’ve ensured they had goals and contrasted their self-image and persona.  Next up… Do They Have Flaws? To feel lifelike, our characters must have flaws like real people.  Without flaws, our characters risk making our whole […]

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November 4, 2010

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How to Create a Strong Character: Give Them Goals

Atlas Holding the Globe

Last time, we looked at a simple list for What Makes a Female Character Strong based on The Female Character Flowchart.  But if that list is so simple, why does it seem so difficult to create a strong character?  Why do so many fail and fall into stereotypes? Maybe because […]

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October 26, 2010

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Story Tension: Real vs. Fake

Worried Woman

In my last post, we had a lively discussion in the comments that prompted me to think about things authors do  to trick readers.  Some of these are good and some of them I call “cheap author tricks”.  What makes the difference?  Whether or not the trick is faked. We […]

October 7, 2010

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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?  […]

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September 1, 2010

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Banish the Boring Parts

Table Setting

Last time, I mentioned how stories—the good ones anyway—avoid the boring parts of the journey by jumping into the action.  Today’s post continues that “skip to the good parts” theme to talk about settings. Setting is the sense of time, place, and mood within a story.  Descriptions create a world […]

August 25, 2010

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