Six impossible things

Posts Tagged how-to

Making stuff up: plot to characters

The plot-centered story is popularly assumed to be the territory of the action-adventure story. This is because action-adventure pretty much requires a strong plot. But we’re talking about process here, and the way writers make stuff up, and that means that the kind of story is irrelevant. […]

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More In the Middle

Back in July, I talked about Messing Around With Post-Its when I was three chapter into the novel, and came up with a plan for the next two or three chapters. This is an update on how that worked, and why. As a refresher, I had arranged […]

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What They (Don’t) Want

When I was in high school, one of the rituals that came along during senior year was called something like Career Inventory Day, when you spent the morning taking a battery of tests that was supposed to tell you what career you were most likely to be […]

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Where it happens

Setting is one of the things that seems to get short shrift in a lot of beginner stories/novels. Even writers who are devotees of the Tolkien School of Background and Appendices tend to focus on the history and politics part of worldbuilding, and occasionally on various aspects […]

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Grammar, Syntax, and other Actual Rules

Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax. For a lot of would-be writers, they seem to be love ‘em or leave ‘em – which is to say, many of the folks I talk to have either an absolute slavish devotion to formal grammar, punctuation, or else a firm conviction that […]

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Revenge, rehabilitation, and redemption

Some years back, I read a book on the history of the penal system – one of those random research things that pays off in unexpected ways. In this case, what struck me was the author’s summary of the history and theory behind law and punishment. A […]

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Hooks again

Ok, shameless promotional stuff first. The hardcopy paperback version of Wrede on Writing is now available, and as a promotion, the Goodreads site is doing a giveaway – five people, selected at random from those who register, will each get a free copy. For anyone interested the […]

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Some Useful Books

First, the exciting news (exciting for me, anyway): I have just signed the contract to do a collection of these blog posts (selected, edited, and occasionally augmented) on writing for Diversion Books. It should be coming out in December as an e-book with a hard-copy option (so […]

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Being mean

Lots of writers talk about being mean to their characters. Lots of critique groups tell writers to be meaner to their characters, to figure out what the worst possible thing is that can happen to that character, and then somehow make it happen. Of course, it has […]

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Crossovers

“Crossover” is one of those writing terms that has multiple meanings, depending on to whom you’re talking and what you’re talking about. In fanfiction, for instance, it refers to a story that includes characters from totally different series or settings – Superman shows up in “Romeo and […]

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  • Minicon 52
    Pat plans to attend Minicon 52, April 14 – 16, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN....