Author Archives: knlistman

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 I have favorite books with unappealing covers, done in an out-of-date style, or an old illustration slapped on the front.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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The dance of suspense

Suspenseful writing is a dance between plausibility (what makes sense to readers), and the unexpected. Not just any unexpected events, such as inheriting a million dollars, but ominous ones, such as discovering that the previous person who inherited that same … Continue reading

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Searching for the perfect quest

A friend of mine who had a desk cluttered with Star Wars memorabilia, raved about each movie. Yet, she admitted sheepishly that she never finished Lord of the Rings because she just couldn’t get into it. When I read the … Continue reading

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The human factor in science fiction

Hardcore science fictions readers may mourn the loss of science fiction writers whose keen insights led them to glimpses of the future. Jules Verne created novels in which characters sailed under oceans throughout the world and traveled to the moon. … Continue reading

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Don’t let your main character get away

One item that agents and editors expect—or demand—is that the author provides enough about the main character to draw in the reader from the very beginning. They don’t want a detailed description of appearance, education or employment. However, the text … Continue reading

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The illusive pervasive theme

A website for identifying my writing doppelganger named Cory Doctorow when I used a sample from a short story and Kurt Vonnegut when I used one of my articles. As I tested different parts of a novel, the analysis said … Continue reading

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If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for a memoir

If you wish to write what you know, or the story of part of your life, you must come to grips with the fact that your life is not a page turner. What is well written memoir for you, may … Continue reading

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Should I write what I know?

According to commonly given advice, the popularity of a memoir rests on the fame of a person writing it. However, the argument against “writing what you know” is often refuted by an excellent rebuttal in the form of a well … Continue reading

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Making criticism constructive

Using bad writing advice as gatekeeping to keep some people outside of writing circles seemed like a strange accusation to me. It was not something that I considered before, but as I continued to read the article, I recognized behavior … Continue reading

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