Category Archives: Writing trends

What were you thinking?

The precise rules for dealing with thoughts are not recorded in standard grammar and usage books. There are opinions on how to do this based on current trends, which may become dated in a few years. One of these is … Continue reading

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How well do you know your characters?

Why is it difficult to write complex and interesting characters? Because I must resist the temptation to simply tell about them. I cannot get upset by readers who expect to jump into immediate action and learn all about the character … Continue reading

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Plotting against yourself

The plot may not be the most important part of the story. A plot cannot exist without characters. There are novels that meander so that the reader has a hard time unearthing the conflict. But, if this novel has interesting … Continue reading

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Mixing past and present can get tense

Authors sometimes play with the parts of a novel, like wooden blocks that can be rearranged. What will happen if the middle of the story is inserted at the beginning, or time moves forward and then backwards? What if exterior … 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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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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Writing rules to break

First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. The best writers often had to transitioned from one culture to another. The discovery that their own world was not the only one provided them with a more unique voice. … Continue reading

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The three little worlds

The places of the imagination must have some semblance to earth, or we are confused by the nonsense as we try to take in an alternate world. Usually there is one difference—one factor that is altered to set the ball … Continue reading

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What is the opposite of steam punk?

World building can be a challenge. Advice from someone well-versed in geology, history, or sociology will help when designing world differing from the one we inhabit. My desire was to create an alternate world in which civilization was advanced as … Continue reading

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Charming characters can’t be trusted

The character with charm, with the twinkle in the eye, who speaks noble words with the perfect voice, who makes the impassioned plea to turn the crowd around– the character with all the traits of charisma that we desire—that character … Continue reading

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