Category Archives: writing advice

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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Blah, blah, blah: Exposition and You

As authors we want readers to understand our books.  That seems like a given in genre fiction, anyway.  We may want to be distant, obscure, or sneaky, but ultimately, we’d like people to get it. In writing mimetic fiction (that … Continue reading

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Talking with Nancy Fulda, winner of the Jim Baen Memorial Award

Nancy Fulda is an up-and-coming author with some great short fiction out there, and a novel in progress–often based on some very interesting science ideas. 1.  What was the inception of the project you’re most excited about?  What were your … Continue reading

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Outline

I have not always been an outliner. Like many, I had a superstitious fear of revealing the endings of stories, even to myself, for fear that it would suck the joy out of writing them.  Rather I was, as the … Continue reading

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The Immersion Method for Fantasy

When it came time to work on the series again, after a lapse of a couple of years from the original drafts, I was a bit concerned about how I would get involved and return to the mindset of the … Continue reading

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