Author Archives: knlistman

Simmering the main character

Character development is probably the only way to make a protagonist that is someone else than a flat or stock character. However, this takes time and results in a slower pace of writing, like a stew that must simmer for … Continue reading

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Nonlinear, when does it work?

At one point when watching a Benedict Cumberbatch movie, my friend commented that this actor must have the requirement that all of his movies or series be nonlinear. At one moment Cumberbatch would be studiously studying a problem in the … Continue reading

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“Crazy” characters

If you want to write fiction involving mentally ill characters in a realistic way, to show how and why they no longer think clearly, you must get to know real people with real psychiatric disorders. There are many places that … Continue reading

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Reduction of language

Sometimes, I am fearful for the future of writing. We are not exactly converting to “newspeak,” But, there’s a trend of eliminating some words or even parts of speech from usage. I’ve read questions on a writing forum in which … Continue reading

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The nature of an epic

Before “epic” became a name used by companies to suggest their fame, it was a type of  poem. A long one describing the exploits of heroes and often involving the rise of a nation. The poetic meter made memorization of … Continue reading

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Traveling towards the novel

Story tellers usually start small. I did this with little sketches referred to as flash fictions, often under 500 words. I won money in contests and published some of these. I began receiving the response, ‘this intrigues me but I … Continue reading

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The secret to naming characters

Writers seek every secret advantage that they can to make characters appealing. Choosing a good name for the character is supposed to confer one of those advantages. The only rules I see for naming a fictional person is to make … Continue reading

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Real characters

The difference between being believable and being realistic may not be that different between works of fantasy and novels about “real life.” Books about life as we know it are often not realistic but contain an adrenaline-charged or romanticized version … Continue reading

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How I Judge Books

People are supposed to judge books by the cover, by the blurbs and by who the author is. I have favorite books with unappealing covers, done in an out-of-date style, or an old illustration slapped on the front. I tend … Continue reading

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Play the words well

Mastering literary devices is like playing an instrument – you must practice improving your performance by working on only a few songs at a time. So how do you practice?  First, start with your own writing. Check to see which … Continue reading

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