Category : Writing Craft

Written on Dec, 03, 2011 by in | Leave a comment

This is probably the 2nd most common question non-writers ask me, after “Where do you get your ideas from?” These want-to-be writers claim that their life is too busy. Most writers I know have the most challenging and hectic schedules known to man. Until we make it, we are all carrying a day job; most of us have families, houses, …

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Written on Nov, 23, 2011 by in | Leave a comment

Don’t make it hard on yourself. Without feedback, one of two things will likely happen: You’ll think your first draft is so wonderful and perfect that you’ll send it out, not realizing you have terrible grammar, spelling and/or serious plot and characterization flaws. You’ll think your writing is the worst piece of junk, second guess yourself, give credence to your …

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Written on Nov, 13, 2011 by in | Leave a comment

Do you have a huge list of novel ideas? My list totals about 100. I’m assuming that is a normal amount for most writers. I’ve spent my life accumulating ideas for books of all genres. I don’t mean a one-line snippet about a setting or character or a what-if; I mean semi-outlines of a book plot with key scenes, characters, …

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Written on Oct, 11, 2011 by in | Leave a comment

How long is a chapter, and should I give them names? I’ve had this question several times now, and I’m sure established authors have a million times, but I always enjoy answering questions from first time writers like myself. How long is a chapter? It’s so tempting to reply “how long is a piece of string”, but that doesn’t really …

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Written on Oct, 02, 2011 by in | Leave a comment

Does your protagonist drive your plot, or is he just along for the ride? It’s usually easy to spot: the plot or other characters advance the story and the protagonist simply reacts to events. This is ok in moderation. We can’t expect the hero to do everything. Often, he isn’t in control of events, certainly isn’t omniscient, and ends up …

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Written on Sep, 19, 2011 by in , | Leave a comment

OK, so this is a few years old, but a) I’m a huge fan of Anne and Todd McCaffrey, and b) I like to see kids talking about writing with authors. I support anything that inspires youngsters to write for themselves.  

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Written on Sep, 12, 2011 by in , | Leave a comment

One of the constant dilemmas during the writing of my current book has been: Is it Young Adult (YA) or Middle Grade (MG)? At first, I had intended it to be YA, pitching its readability and adventurous plot complexity along the lines of the SF & Fantasy that I had read as a kid. Not  a problem I thought. Then, …

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