Author Archives: knlistman

Playing the writing game

The debate continues between those who have a flash of inspiration that propels them to write and keep writing and those who think about their ideas and outline before they start. For those who prefer the less planned routine, the … Continue reading

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Idea generator

Honestly, if the vast majority of authors were confined to writing only about the kind of person that they are and only their experiences, most books would be a bit boring. Writers do not live the exciting lives that they … Continue reading

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Vanilla, Chocolate, or Bananas Foster

Deciding which flavor of ice cream to order from the twenty types behind the protective glass is a matter of taste. But if you are trying to create a new flavor, it’s best to have others sample it before you … Continue reading

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In praise of the passive hero

Don’t create a main character who just is passive, watching the other characters without taking charge or getting things done. Also, don’t read books by two of the most famous American authors Herman Melville and F. Scott Fitzgerald because they … Continue reading

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Not exactly human

While embarking on a new type of writing, creating alternate world fantasy, I rebelled against copying what I already knew. Instead I insisted on creating my own species and giving them my own names. However creative I attempted to be, … Continue reading

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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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