Six impossible things

Posts Tagged novel

Guesstimating length

A lot of writers I follow blithely spout how this story is going to run 70 thousand words, or 100 or 120, as if they can somehow see the eventual number of pages laid out before them in a crystal ball or something. Me, I have no […]

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Recruiting Extras

I keep running into the problem of “the main characters seem to be the only people in the setting.” Might I beg a post on how to do crowd scenes (or scenes in general) where there are lots of people in the background? –Question from Deep Lurker […]

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Moving on

Having spent the weekend being very thoroughly distracted by my 40th college reunion (at which they gave me a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, much to my astonishment [and thank you to everyone who worked on that]), I didn’t have a lot prepared for today’s blog. So I […]

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Movies vs. Novels

Let me start by pointing out that I’ve never written a screenplay myself. I’ve read some, and I’ve worked with some doing novelizations, but that’s a bit different from writing them myself. I feel the need to point this out because I keep running into folks who […]

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Truth and Fiction

It is an odd and interesting thing that in a group of professional liars and their willing audiences, there are so many people who are so deeply concerned with telling the truth. Fiction is made-up – that’s part of the basic definition (though calling it a flat-out […]

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Revising long after part 4

 This is the last part of Chapter 1 of Shadow Magic, as revised ten years later for the omnibus Shadows Over Lyra. Strikethroughs are the deletions from the original; plain text is the original that was kept; bold are additions. Italics are my comments, which are few […]

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Revising long after part 3

This is the third part of Chapter 1 of Shadow Magic, as revised ten years later for Shadows Over Lyra, and the second of the posts that was supposed to come up while I was away, but didn’t because I am apparently incapable of properly using the scheduler. […]

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Revising long after, part 2

This is the next part of Chapter 1 of Shadow Magic, as revised ten years later for Shadows Over Lyra. Plain text is the original version; strikethrough is what I deleted; boldface is what I added. Italics are my comments on why I did what I did. […]

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Revising long after, part 1

Last week, I suggested that people find books that have been reedited by their authors for a years-later reprint, and compare before-and-after versions. To show you what I mean, I’m going to post the first chapter of my first novel, Shadow Magic, which came out in 1982 and which I […]

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Where do I begin…

How do you decide where a story starts? Stories, short or long, generally are not about characters who are happily living their normal lives. Something unusual is going on; something has upset the status quo (whether the status quo was a miserable life as a slave, or […]

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