Six impossible things

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Strengths and weaknesses

One of the questions I get a lot, especially when a class of students has been asked to come up with three questions each, is “Which one of your books is the best?” It’s not quite up there with “Where do you get your ideas?” but it’s […]

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Plotting in bits and pieces

There are a myriad of books out there on how to construct a plot. Most of them, so far as I can tell, seem to take one of two approaches: either they focus on the main character as the driver of the plot, or they focus on […]

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The Fun Part

Writing isn’t any fun. At least, that is the impression I often get from listening to earnest young would-be and beginning writers discussing their work. There are all these decisions you have to make and things to pay attention to, from word choice to plot twists. It […]

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Walk first

A while back, I was talking with a would-be writer who started off with all sorts of sensible questions about writing characters and plotting and so on. Then I looked at some samples of her writing, and realized that the particular writer was trying to get ahead […]

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If you do want to plan

So if you are going to do some pre-planning before you start writing your book, where do you begin and how do you do it? As usual, it depends on the writer and the story, but here are a few things to consider: First, why are you […]

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Advance planning

There are a lot of bits of advice floating around for would-be, wannabe, and newbie fiction writers who are having problems getting started. There are currently a plethora of how-to-write books advocating serious advance planning, ranging from detailed outlining systems, to starting with different sets of character […]

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Introductory Information

First off, an announcement: we are going to take another run at the New Improved Updated Blog and Website Format, starting tomorrow. I think we have the majority of bugs worked out this time, but if anybody spots anything, please email me. One of the other big […]

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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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Series Considerations

So I’m sitting here trying to think of a blog post for today, and I get an email from a woman who is preparing to sit down and write her first novel, but she has questions. I read a little farther, and it turns out that she’s […]

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Jigsaw puzzles and Tinker Toys

Sometimes it seems that there are a zillion different metaphors for how writers construct a plot. There’s the sculpture metaphor (carve away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant). There’s the pottery-making metaphor (add a lump of clay, work it until you have the center, then shape […]

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