Six impossible things

Posts Tagged basic writing


The process of revising effectively tends to vary from writer to writer just as the first-draft writing process varies, and it’s not necessarily connected to the way one writes your first drafts. In fact, often (though not always) the revisions process seems to need to be the […]

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One of the things that makes writing difficult for a lot of folks is the notion that they have to do everything at once, on the first try. They’re sure their first draft has to look pretty much like an actual story – maybe it needs some […]

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Out of ideas?

So Minicon was last weekend, and in among seeing lots of friends (and managing to miss seeing far too many others) there was the usual crop of questions – what are you going to write next, where do you get your ideas, etc. Including one poor fellow […]

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The Problem with Prologues

Prologues are out of favor these days, one of the “forbidden” (by whom?) writing techniques, yet people keep asking about them because they know intuitively that the technique has enormous possibilities. Quite a few folks go ahead and use them anyway. Sometimes this works brilliantly; other times, […]

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Misunderstanding grammar

Once again, I have been driven to frothing at the mouth by a would-be writer-and-critiquer’s thick-headedness in regard to both the construction of the English language and the so-called rules he’s trying to apply, and you folks are going to have to put up with the resulting […]

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Decisions, decisions

A while back, I was talking with a young writer who was bogged down in mid-novel. The conversation went something like this (with names and plot points changed to protect the guilty): Writer: “I’m totally stuck. My characters are down in the ravine and I don’t know […]

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Obstacles in the Middle

Last post, Libby said: I’ve been having trouble with that point in a story from the lead-up to the climax to the aftermath… once I hit the part where all the stuff I’ve been alluding to has to APPEAR, things tend to go over too smoothly and […]

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…Or Not to Sell Out

There’s another side to the whole selling-out discussion that rarely gets looked at. And that’s the folks who think that if there is any resemblance whatsoever between what they want to write and any recent bestseller, they must be selling out. Or that everyone will think they are […]

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To Sell Out…

For the last several weeks, I’ve been running from one convention/appearance/trade show to another, and it seems that at every one of them I’ve run into at least one would-be writer who is worried about “selling out.” More accurately, they’ve been worried about having to sell out […]

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The Hat Lecture

Back in the day, on Usenet, I had a little lecture that I posted periodically, whenever too many folks seemed to be bemoaning the horribleness of the submission process so much that they were losing sight of the actual job of submitting. (Make no mistake; the submission […]

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