Six impossible things

Posts Tagged intermediate writing

Building a world

Worldbuilding in some sense is a requirement for all writers. The people and places in fiction may have analogs in real life, but a writer in the U.S. cannot depend on every reader (or even most readers) being familiar with the Lincoln Park area of Chicago or the […]

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First person, part the second

Another thing that it is really important to pay attention to in first-person writing is what that character knows. Not what he/she knows about the plot; that should be obvious. About everything else. When your first-person narrator looks at the street outside his house, does he see Fords and […]

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First person, part the first

As I’ve said before, the term “viewpoint” gets used to mean both the person who is seeing the action (viewpoint character) and the way in which everything is written (viewpoint type). This is going to be about the latter sort of viewpoint. Specifically, it’s about first-person. First-person […]

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Who says?

When a writer sets out to tell a story, she has a lot of choices to make, and every time she makes one, it influences what options are still available for the other choices. In some cases, one decision can completely eliminate all other options. Take the […]

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Looking Backward II, or Some Tenses and How to Use Them

The second most common way of leading into and out of a flashback sequence is by shifting tenses. Most novels are told in what’s called the “historic present,” meaning that the “now” of the story is told in simple past tense (He slept in the library all afternoon rather than […]

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Looking backward I

There are two important things to know about flashbacks: how to do them, and when to do them. Both things can be trickier to figure out than they look. First, a definition: as far as I’m concerned, flashbacks are a way of conveying some background/backstory information as if it […]

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Fantasy vs. Reality

Every so often, I get asked what the difference is between writing fantasy and writing realistic fiction. It’s a pretty good question, though since I’ve never written anything that wasn’t science fiction or fantasy, I’m not sure why anyone expects me to know. (Of course, I have […]

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Who’s THAT?

So you have a bunch of characters, and you want your readers to get to know them. How do you do that? Well, how do you get to know people in real life? You find out about them based on what other people say about them (“”He’s […]

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The Devil’s in the Details

In the comments on our last exciting episode, accio_aqualung asked: So pretend you’ve spent so much time on something that you’ve got gobs and gobs of backstory and little trivial details, like the MC is  terminally left handed or her brother has to organize his pens in […]

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