Six impossible things



Even for the most analytic of us the creative process is intuitive to some extent. I’m way over on the analytic end of the spectrum, and I still surprise myself constantly when scenes don’t go the way I’d thought, or characters say or do things in the […]

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I love writing, most of the time. I like making things up, and then making them fit together. I love the feeling I get when I’ve come up with something I think is really clever and unexpected (whatever the judgment of the rest of the world may […]

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Mixing up viewpoints

First, an announcement of sorts: my webmaster has gotten the handout I use on viewpoint put up on my web page. It’s accessible through the “links” page, or directly from here. That handout covers some (not all) of the types of viewpoint – first person, epistolary, stream-of-consciousness, […]

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Killing them softly…

“He was already dead when I got there” is a common claim in mystery novels, but all too often it’s also the answer when fans ask writers “Why did you kill off my favorite character?” And as with mystery novels, the claim is frequently disbelieved, especially when […]

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Meeting the author

A while back, I had a frustrating conversation with a guy who claimed to want to write. I’d hoped for better, given his email (which was why I agreed to meet him in the first place), but…well. So here are some of the things he did right, and a […]

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Kittens and roofing and 4th street, oh my

As some of you already know, this is a rather busy weekend for me. I lost my elder cat, Nimue, to a combination of kidney failure, hyperthyroid, and general old age (she was 19) a couple of weeks back, and on Wednesday I acquired an 11 week […]

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The other day, my walking buddy and I were discussing the use and misuse of slang in SF and fantasy. She was particularly exercised over an author whose entire repertoire of “future speak” seemed to consist of awkward and obvious portmanteau words like “carrocoli” for a hybrid […]

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Five W’s and…

Back in high school, I took one semester of journalism. As is pretty typical for a beginning journalism class, it concentrated on drilling into us the importance of the classic “five W’s and one H” – the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How – that we were […]

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Crowd scenes

One of the first things I ever learned to hate about writing was writing council scenes. One character on stage had things to do; two characters on stage could talk to each other; three could talk and interrupt and disagree. But with every character after that who […]

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Being edited

“So how can you stand being edited?” is a question that’s been coming up at conventions lately. The subtext usually assumes that all editors are a) idiots and/or b) out to ruin everyone’s brilliant manuscripts, and that they must therefore be fought off with every bit of […]

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