Six impossible things

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Writing software 2016

This is the last post on software stuff, I promise. I’d planned to start by saying that all anyone really needs is a basic text editor, but then I ran across Writemonkey. It is the most basic text editor I’ve seen since 1982 – the only thing […]

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Writing software: Things to consider, Part 2

Continuing on: 3) Organizing notes and research This category overlaps a bit with both the analysis and development categories, because a lot of the notes you want to organize are things that could/should come up during the development stage, and a lot of the aspects you might […]

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Writing Software: Things to consider, part 1

After a bunch of writing and due consideration, I changed my mind about what I’m doing in this  post. I’m going to start with two posts on the basic features you see in writing software, and then look at a couple of specific programs. Because I was […]

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Writing Tools, 2016

Every so often, I go on a binge of trying out new and different writing tools (usually when I am feeling stuck, out of a totally unreasonable conviction that somewhere out there is a gadget or a program that will make some aspect of writing easier, more […]

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Analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis stems from the same fear that’s at the root of choice paralysis: the fear that the writer will make a “wrong” choice and the work will be less – less good, less deserving, less saleable, less whatever – than it could/should be. And it’s based […]

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Future Logic

Possibly the most common complaint writers have – and I mean any writers, personal, amateur, professional, bestselling, famous, obscure – is that they don’t have enough time to write. At a presentation a few years back, that was the first thing someone asked: “How do you make […]

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The Villain Continuum

Every person in the world has their own perspective, and most of them are different from yours. It follows that if you want to do realistic characters, many (if not most) of them will have perspectives that differ from yours. Which means that in order to make […]

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Heroes and Villains

One of the bits of writing wisdom that crops up quite often is that writers find villains more fun to write than heroes. The usual reason given for this is that villains have flaws and are therefore more complex and interesting characters than your typical hero. This […]

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Writing basics: Dialog

Dialog is a balance of opposing forces. On the one hand, it’s supposed to be two or more people talking to each other, so it can be considerably less formal than most narrative; on the other hand, it’s not a transcription or recreation of an actual conversation, […]

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Writing basics: Show and tell

“Show, don’t tell” has been basic fiction writing advice since Homer. It could be rendered less colloquially as “Dramatize, don’t summarize,” but either way, it doesn’t say “Show everything, tell nothing.” This leaves many beginning authors with two unanswered questions: 1) How, exactly, is showing/dramatizing different from […]

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