Category Archives: writing advice

Dear Writers, Welcome the New Year with Change

Hey, it’s 2014! I have a lot to look forward to, like a royalty statement that will definitively answer the question, “How’s Elisha Barber doing?” And the release of Elisha Magus in July, which I’ll be sure to talk lots … Continue reading

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Skinning your Own Apes: Researching from Primary Sources

An article in the Stanford magazine this month talks about a new method of teaching history to high schoolers using primary source material, having the teens read several documents about an incident and draw their own conclusions based on the … Continue reading

Posted in books, fiction, historical medicine, history, medieval, research, worldbuilding, writing advice | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .

Those of us in the Northeast are bracing right now for the “storm of the century” (yep, another one), and thinking about that old saw on New England Weather, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.  Me, … Continue reading

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. . . From a Certain Point of View

Hands up everyone who immediately recognized the source of my title quote?  Okay, that was an easy one. In a post a couple weeks ago, I referenced the special difficulty of writing a book in a single point of view … Continue reading

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Why Your Book Stalled at 100 pages

As I talk with other writers, (especially newbies) I often find they have a book (or several) stopped dead at about 100 pages or 25 to 30,000 words.  They have thrown up their hands in despair. This project which once … Continue reading

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Abort/Revise/Fail?

Yes, it’s me, still obsessing about revisions.  I got two books at once from the editors, which is kinda handy ’cause I can keep in the right frame of mind.  Except that I turned book 1 back over to them, … Continue reading

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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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