I had a reader contact me today with a question I’ve been asked a few times now, why Adam doesn’t just “fix” his addiction or have it “fixed” by the Guild Structure people. This is a good question! And I love that my readers are thinking deeply about the world and the rules of the […]
What is suspense? Suspense is dramatic tension, the anticipation of things to come and questions to be answered. If you do it well, your reader will eagerly stay up well past his bedtime to read one more chapter. If you lose it, the reader will close the book and may never come back. You don’t […]
This week, I follow up to last week’s advice to new writers. Whether you’ve been writing two decades or two seconds, it’s critical to keep working to get better. Here’s a few pointers I’ve learned along the way. Length. A story should be as long as it needs to be to tell the whole story – […]
Lately I’ve been talking a lot to new writers. People who are ready to follow their dreams, to really sit down and do the work, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. The good news and the bad news is, all it takes is desire, persistence, and willingness to learn. Continuously. Writing is a […]
HEINLEIN’S RULES FOR WRITING 1. You must write. 2. You must finish what you write. 3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. 4. You must put the work on the market. 5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. [Robert A. Heinlein] This week – and this […]
Last week I wrote a post on voice and “tics,” the unconscious lazy word habits we all get into as writers. This week I found a lovely article by science fiction writer C.J. Cherryth on Writerisms that goes into more detail on what to avoid. I have an issue with a few of the rules […]
I had to un-learn a lot from college – in real life, you don’t get extra points for using big words when small ones will do. You can’t skip class and still make A’s (I know, I know). And the last thing in the universe you want is to sound like everybody else. Today’s post […]
I was thinking about backstory this morning, and playing around with a metaphor in my head about holding your cards close to your chest. The cool metaphor, of course, is to compare fiction writing to poker, but I don’t actually know much about it. On the other hand, I was holding bridge cards from the time I was eight.