Six impossible things

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Sounding a Little Different

Apparently there’s some interest in techniques for crowd control, so I’ll address that next post. In this one, I want to continue talking about characters’ voices, and ways of making them different. First, a couple of examples of what I mean by “characters who have radically different […]

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Sounding Very Different

Characters, like people, are different from each other. They are different ages and genders; they come from different countries and levels of society; sometimes they even speak different languages, at least as their native tongues. This being so, they should by rights sound different from one another. […]

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Before the Start

“I only need one gun, but it has to be the right gun.” – Lois Bujold Very few ideas are perfect on arrival. Few non-writers recognize this, and almost none of them realize that the process of correcting them often begins before a word of a story […]

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Second Opinion, anyone?

I have this new project, which I have been wrestling with for a couple of months now. Mostly pleasant wrestling, as there are a lot of elements that please me. The problem is, I couldn’t get the thing started. This is extremely unusual for me, but it […]

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Into the Unknown

There are a lot of jobs in the world, but for the majority of them, you know what you’re in for. You’re making something, or moving it around, or keeping track of it, or trading it. Even upper-level managers have a pretty fair idea what their job […]

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Technical difficulties

Things should be back to normal now, but the website had some difficulties in the past few days. Pat will be back tomorrow and your regularly scheduled blog posts will resume. Best regards, The Webmaster

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Cliches and tropes

One of the questions that came up in comments recently was “What’s the difference between a cliché and a trope?” The simple and obvious answer is “The way the words are currently used on the Internet, not much.” But there’s a bit more to it than that. […]

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Gaming and Writing

As some of you know, I did a lot of role-playing games in the late 70s and early 80s, some as a player character and some where I was the gamesmistress. Ever since, I’ve been running up against other writers with really strong feelings, pro and con, […]

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Too easy

At one of the recent conventions I attended, I ran into a writer who was having what she referred to as plot problems. Actually, they sounded more like ending problems; according to her, she did fine at creating all the setup, but then when she got to […]

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Expectations, Time, and What Really Happens

I was flipping channels yesterday and came across somebody – I think she was a life coach – giving advice to a thirty-something guy who said his dream was to become a writer. He had apparently given up (at least temporarily) when he didn’t make it into […]

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