Category Archives: writing advice

A Twelve-step Program–er–Process for Manuscript Revision Based on the Suggestions of Others

Step 1:  Stomp around the house, kick things (inanimate things only!)  scream that your commenter is insane or stupid or both.  Go for a beer.  Do NOT email your commenter at this time.  Especially if he or she is an editor who … Continue reading

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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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