Category Archives: Writing trends

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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The First Steps of an Endless Journey

At times I become frustrated with aspiring young authors. They may ask questions such as ”I have this cool idea about a boy that can fly; how do I write the story?” Or they beg for even more help. “I … Continue reading

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How likeable does a character have to be?

We often hear it is absolutely necessary for your protagonist to be likable. I take this advice not just with a grain of salt but with a huge chunk of sodium chloride. One of my very dislikable characters (according to … Continue reading

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Serial Worries

When Orson Scott Card wrote Ender’s Game it was a novelette complete in itself. First, he expanded it into a novel, introducing new characters. Then, he started a series based on the characters in this science fiction Hugo Award winner. … Continue reading

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A new definition of literacy

A child of mine made a joking statement that if we wanted to raise the level of writing we needed to lower the number of people who are literate. The supposed logic behind this suspect claim is that the books … Continue reading

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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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