Six impossible things

Posts Tagged how-to

Murphy is a writer’s best friend

Lately, I’ve been getting anxious queries from a lot of close friends, who know a) exactly when my book deadline is, b) just how many other desperately important things I have going on to distract me from writing, and c) how many plot threads I still have […]

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Chapter’s End

Having just talked a bit about beginnings, I’m now going to talk about endings…sort of. Specifically, I’m going to talk about chapter endings, because when you’re writing a novel, you end up having to do quite a lot of those. A good chapter ending, from the point […]

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Third person: an overview

As I’ve said before, the terms “viewpoint” and “point of view” can mean two different things: either the viewpoint character or the type of viewpoint (first, second, or third-person). I’m using it in the second sense today. Third person viewpoint, taken as a whole, is probably the […]

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Funny Once, Funny Twice, Funny Forever

Humor has a reputation as one of the hardest and most under-appreciated types of writing there is. It’s a well-deserved reputation. Everyone over the age of five has at least watched someone else’s funny story fall flat, if not had it happen to themselves. And while you […]

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Complicated Webs

Big, fat, complex, multiple-viewpoint novels have been popular for quite a while, and they have a whole set of problems all their own. Once of those problems is pacing. The temptation is always to take advantage of a slow moment in the main plot to advance a […]

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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…

Early on in nearly every story, the writer comes across the necessity of doing a physical description of their characters, and their main viewpoint character in particular. There are two basic schools of thought on this. The first is to keep details to a bare minimum – […]

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Working out what comes next

I’m currently just getting started on the third, as-yet-untitled book of the Frontier Magic trilogy, and the first step of that is working out the plot in more detail than “they explore the Far West to find out what happened to Lewis and Clark and what’s up […]

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Dialog is the primary way most of us communicate with each other, so it’s also the main way our characters communicate with each other. It’s really hard to write a satisfactory short story that has no dialogue at all, and the longer this story, the harder it is […]

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Lights, camera…part IV

So after rambling on for three posts, I’m finally getting down to the nuts and bolts of writing action scenes.  One of the first pieces of action-writing advice you find is usually “Use short sentences and sentence fragments,” because they pick up the pace, and an action scene […]

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Lights, camera…Part III

I thought I was going to get to the nitty-gritty of technique today, but it seems I have a bit more to say about the nitty-gritty of planning. What you need to know up front (unless you are a total “surprise me” writer, who can’t know anything […]

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