Author Archives: knlistman

Longing for someplace unfamiliar

In grade school I would skim the readers for something intriguing, passing over  everyday stories of American life that were supposed to draw in readers with their familiarity. I yearned for tales of distant lands, places with unique landscapes, animals … Continue reading

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Critiquing myself

I grew up as a bookworm, constantly reading. My parents sometimes claimed that I spent my entire childhood with my nose in a book. But I didn’t learn how to read until I was five, so books had to have … Continue reading

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Uncontrollable Characters

Some authors claim that characters live in the their head, sometimes ignore their directives and even argue with what the author has planned for them to do. The difficulty with capturing real characters is the finite number of words in … Continue reading

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Twisted Wit

During my lifetime I have noticed a shift in the focus of humor–laughs are no longer based on situations but humorous conversations. Wise-cracking retorts are funnier than amusing events. In fact, often the events would be minimal.  The sitcom Seinfeld … Continue reading

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A Classic Error

What do we have to lose when we consume only recent novels that bring wealth and prestige to the authors? As authors, we may think that is the one way to learn the path to success as a writer. The … Continue reading

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Breaking the speed limit

A thrilling fast-paced first chapter that pulls the reader into the story does not have the power to create tension for the entire story. A dramatic, edge-of-the-seat beginning might even decrease the tension. After the first thrill is over, the … Continue reading

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Writing Dislikeable Characters

Recently I was following a thread of writers discussing how to find names that make characters memorable. Honestly, I believe that writers should be looking at the reverse situation. It is the skillful creation of a character whose strengths and … Continue reading

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Writing Imagery

What is the difference between describing details and creating imagery? Perhaps I should ask what is the difference in describing details that are exquisite and those full of boring minutia. The concept is difficult to explain because it does depend … Continue reading

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Writing Sarcasm

The difference between satire and sarcasm makes the first one easier to express in writing. I can take a well-known trope and push it to an unreasonable extreme to create a satirical story. However, delivery of sarcastic lines often requires … Continue reading

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Nothing New under the Sun

There have been authors for many millennia and the tools that they use have changed—from painting on stones, to drawing on animal skin, to writing with ink on paper, to using block prints and printing presses and we have electronic … Continue reading

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