Category Archives: writing advice

The Writer’s First Job: Why Should I Care?

Again last night, I tossed aside a book after reading a couple of chapters and flipping idly through the ending to see if it turned out as I expected.  The book seemed pretty well written, the setting was clear, characters … Continue reading

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The Devil’s Details

You hear a lot in writing circles about “the Telling Detail”  that nifty little thing that clinches the scene or the character, making it all just right.  Choosing the right well-observed detail can fix the image in the reader’s mind–revealing … Continue reading

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Is your Manuscript a Zombie?

Finishing a book is always a bittersweet experience, both as an author and as a reader.  The reader completing an enjoyable read feels both fulfilled by the work, and sorry to see that it’s over.  If it’s a series novel, … Continue reading

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10 Ways to Screw up a Magical System

1.  Watch while I pull this rabbit out of my hat! Hey, my hero’s in a tough spot, I’ll think of a new spell for him to use!  Every time! 2.  Spell, what spell? . . .because I need him … Continue reading

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The Scooby-Doo Monster Effect, part 2: The Rubber Suit

In my last Scooby-inspired post, I noted that there were a couple of problems with the Scooby monsters and talked about the convenience factor in plotting.  I noted in passing that the other issue hinges on transportation.  Well, not just … Continue reading

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The Scooby-Doo Monster Effect

Okay, so maybe it’s been a while since you watched Scooby-doo.  (Maybe you watched it this morning–but I won’t tell anyone).  But you probably recall the basic structure of the program:  The Mystery Kids show up someplace.  They find a … Continue reading

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The Albino’s Wheelbarrow: Taking Inventory of your Fiction Assets

There’s a fun moment in “The Princess Bride” when Inigo is talking Wesley (who has been mostly dead all day) into assaulting the palace–armed only with Fezzik’s strength, Inigo’s steel, and Wesley’s brain.  Against 60 men.  Wesley is not impressed. … Continue reading

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