Six impossible things

Posts Tagged intermediate writing

The Lego Theory, Part 1

Fiction is like Legos. It’s built out of a series of different units, stuck together. Each new level of unit is built out of a clump of previous units. The more units you have, the more complex effects you can achieve by moving them around, putting them […]

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Back in the day, I spent a couple of years as gamesmaster for what would now be called an RPG that I basically made up myself, based around the background I was using in my Lyra series. Paper-and-pencil gaming was fairly popular then, at least in my […]

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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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Necessary and Sufficient

Back in high school, I had a marvelous history teacher who made a point of going into more than memorizing dates and names and places. One of the key things I took away from that class was the concept of necessary and sufficient causes, and the difference […]

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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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Whose Turn Is It? (Mailbag #4)

From the mailbag:: I know some people who feel quite strongly about keeping to the main character’s POV except when it’s absolutely necessary to go to someone else, but I’ve also seen that rule (like so many others!)broken successfully. It can be so useful to show someone […]

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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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Hup, Two, Three, Four

Pacing is movement, and movement has rhythm. Some rhythms are fast, staccato beats, rat-tat-tat-tat; some are slow, leisurely swells; and some are a steady heartbeat. One thing is true for all of them:  in order to have a beat, in order to have rhythm, there must be […]

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Walk, Run, or Jog?

Recently, I was reading an extremely long (quarter-of-a-million-words plus) book that shall remain nameless to avoid embarrassing the author. It held my interest enough to get me through to the end, but it left me curiously unsatisfied, with very little memory of the plot (which is quite […]

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Changing things

Several questions come up a lot about plotting – how can you be sure it makes sense, how can you be sure it’s not clichéd, how do you develop it, how do you get it to work out. Most of the answers have to do with looking […]

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