Blog Archives

WriteTip: The Importance Of Writing Rules As Boundaries For Learning Craft

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Since December of 2010, I’ve been interviewing authors, editors and others almost weekly on craft every Wednesday for SFFWRTCHT, and one of our regular and favorite question is about Best and Worst Writing Advice. It’s always interesting the answers we

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WriteTip: On Writing What You Know As A Search For Truth

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  First things first, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts. Apologies to anyone who follows the blog. I honestly ran dry in my well, because I was working on so many creative projects from writing

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Write Tip: Using Nuances and Subtext to Bring Characters and World To Life

Okay, this week’s write tip is going to be a bit different. I want you to watch this video first before you read the rest of this post. And you need to watch the whole thing to really get what

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Write Tip: 8 Tips For How To Approach Editing Your Work

There’s nothing quite as enlightening for a writer as editing other’s works. I’ve learned a great deal about what to do and what not to do from my freelance editing which has helped me grow as a writer. So here

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Write Tip: Keeping Out The Intruder Words

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One of the things you learn on the writing journey is the importance of word choice. Certain types of words have certain types of impacts on your story, not just in evoking emotions or images, but in setting the tone,

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Write Tip: 6 Advantages Of Scrivener For Pantsers

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Okay, this post will make Patrick Hester very happy. Why? Patrick loves Scrivener. He might as well be a spokesperson, seriously! But for writers, this post should also make you happy, especially if you’re a pantser like me. In case

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Write Tip: Intimate POV and Show v. Tell

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I dislike the “show v. tell” term because it’s often bandied about with no further explanation. For the longest time, this flummoxed me. Where was I telling? How could I show? But as an editor, I’ve gotten a better understanding,

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Write Tips: Writing The Short Query Novel Pitch

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Query letters and synopses are the bane of so many authors’ existence, aren’t they? I dread them and find them quite frustrating. They never seem to elicit the kind of enthusiastic response equal to that I get from my writing

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Write Tip: 7 Things You Should Never Do After Getting Revision Notes From An Editor

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Getting a personal response on a story you’ve submitted from an editor is a big deal for most writers. At least those of us in the early years of our career. To have gotten a personal response at all puts

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Write Tip: Collective Nouns And Impracticality For Writers (aka Word Choice Matters)

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An “eloquence of lawyers?” Who comes up with these? Seriously. Have you ever run into collective nouns lists? Some of them are hard to believe. What were they thinking? “A parliament of owls.” “A covert of coots.” “A murder of

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Broadening The Toolbox Through Cross Cultural Encounters: On Resnick, Africa & Opportunity

BTS & Friend take 2

I’ve often called Mike Resnick a friend and mentor. And recently as he was honored at ChiCon as Guest Of Honor, I’ve gone back and revisited some of the works of his which have most inspired me. I was not

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Write Tip: Things Pros Wish New Authors Knew About Publishing And Don’t

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This started out to be a top 10 list. You know the saying: “Advice is like buttholes, everybody’s got one.” And when it comes to writing, advice is like sand on a beach: everywhere. But sifting the sand to separate

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The Exodus at Halfway (Progress Report)

Artist Mitch Bentley & I celebrate three Davi Rhii covers at ConQuest 43 in May

Almost halfway, as hard as that may be to believe for a novel I started July 3oth. So that’s my word count for 24 days. The best streak I’ve ever had since I started writing fiction, I believe. As I’ve

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Write Tip: 10 Tips For Getting Past Writer’s Block

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I did a Write Tip before on Fighting Off Writer’s Block in which a lot of published authors offered their advice. But the other day a friend told me she’s been stuck forever on her book, and I realized there

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Write Tip: Building A Larger World Using Bit Characters

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All too often in worldbuilding, it’s easy to believe that the bigger you get, the more realistic your world will be, but, at the same time, the bigger the world, the more complicated it becomes for the writer. So I

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#writetips: Public Vs. Private-Finding The Fine Line Dichotomy Of Your Passions

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Okay, dichotomy, a big word. Yeah, yeah, I’m a writer and every once in while I have to prove it. So there. But seriously, passion and artists go hand in hand. Creative people are driven people and our passions drive

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Writetips: 10 Most Creatively Inspiring Places In The World I’ve Visited So Far

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I love to travel and I love to learn. So, to me, one of the greatest things about trips is getting to discover  things:  new places, new languages, new cultures, new people, new points of view. It energizes me. That’s

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Write Tip: Resources & Thoughts On Character Naming

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Recently I’ve been copyediting The Very Best Book Of Baby Names by Barbara Kay Turner, and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about naming characters.  Character naming is an important consideration for many reasons. One, you want memorable names which

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Write Tips: Editorial Pet Peeves – All Of A Sudden/Suddenly

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Although I am an editor myself,  my publisher rightly and smartly assigns me editors for my books.  The Founding Fathers built checks and balances into our government for a reason and, for similar reasons, they are invaluable in the editorial

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Write Tip: Stepping Outside The Box –Thoughts on Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality In Worldbuilding

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We all live in a box. You may not be aware of yours, but you should trust me, when I tell you: it exists. It’s hard to see it when you’re inside of it, too. It’s only by stepping outside

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The Importance Of Reaching Beyond Female Stereotypes

My friend and fellow editor Kat Heckenbach asked an interesting question on Facebook today which really got me thinking about stereotypes: Are authors obligated to make characters fall into certain stereotypes because readers expect it? (For example, most people think of

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Write Tip: Outlining From A Finished Draft For Pantsers (How I Do It)

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Okay, if you’re a pantser like me, you may reach a point where you feel like you need to actually get a better handle on organizing your manuscript. You’ve finished a draft or two but there’s character arcs to refine,

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Write Tips: The Power Of Diligence

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In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Steve Martin talks about how important diligence has been to his success. And the website Study Hacks, which explores how some people succeed and others don’t explores his comments. I also recently read

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Write Tip: How Screenplay Structure Can Help Plotting & Pace In Your Novels

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I am a film school grad of California State University, Fullerton. I spent several years working in TV and film and had a script in development at Disney. It never got made. I never got rich and famous. But the

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Write Tip: 5 Tricks To Adapting A Well Known Story For Fiction

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It’s been done. All too many times, if you listen to some. The story is world famous, well known. Many know its details by heart. Yet it’s compelling and you have an idea you know is different—one no one’s done

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Write Tip: Be Professional

One of the highest compliments anyone has paid me is to tell me “You’re a professional.” I’ve actually heard this several times the past few months. My first reaction is: “I wish I was. I don’t make any money.” But

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Origins: February 13

This post is part of the Origins Challenge Blog Series. Almost 200 blogs participating. Click here for the list. So the challenge is to blog about how we got started writing. This is an ironic date because writing about the origins

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The Returning: How I Dealt With Middle Book Syndrome

Well, we’re four chapters from finalizing the editing of my novel, The Returning, sequel to my debut The Worker Prince. ARCS will go out next week, and then copyediting. As I look at this book, a book which I’m amazed

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Guest Post: Writer Confidence—Too Much or Too Little?

by Patty Jansen Let’s presume for a moment, that there is a writer called Leon. Leon doesn’t exist, of course, and I picked the name because I don’t actually know anyone by that name. Leon, however, embodies a number of

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Write Tip: Thoughts On Choosing Point Of View

There are many decisions one makes when writing fiction. One of the most important is the choice of POV character and whether it’s first person or third. Often, when dealing with multiple POV characters, the choice is based on who

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