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Don’t Over-comma: Basic Comma Rules

comma

Sometimes writers are told, “Put a comma in when you pause.” We do tend to pause at the end of an element like this, but some of us also pause in other places too! But remember Christopher Walken, who speaks… very… slowly.  He pauses so much if he put a…

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10 CHARACTER AND SETTING INTERACTIONS:

Paris clock lonely

CHARACTER AND SETTING INTERACTIONS: 10 QUESTIONS TO BUILD YOUR STORY PLACE Here is a quick exercise to help you explore your protagonist’s relationship with the setting. Just free-write on the questions. Look for conflict and character-building opportunities. Also look for possible events and places where events might take place. See…

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6 Steps to Quick Scene Structuring

Get out a scene you’re working on, and let’s see about drafting and then revising. A  lot of writers bore themselves by planning a scene too much in advance. This scene, how about just sketching the very basic events? Try choosing a big scene, like The Reversal, or The Point…

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When to show and when to tell?

Telling vs. Showing We’ve all heard the writing aphorism, “Show, don’t tell.” Yes, all the critics have the solution to vague, talky, directive stories and passages. Show, don’t tell!  Don’t tell me Sarah is angry– show her kicking the trashcan over! It’s great advice. Today’s readers want a more interactive…

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SETTING: 10 QUESTIONS

CHARACTER AND SETTING INTERACTIONS: 10 QUESTIONS TO BUILD YOUR STORY PLACE Here is a quick exercise to help you explore your protagonist’s relationship with the setting. Just free-write on the questions. Look for conflict and character-building opportunities. Also look for possible events and places where events might take place. See…

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4 Myths about Writing after 50

4 Myths about Writing after 50 1. Myth: It’s too late. No, it’s not. It might have been too late if you had to be starting at Level 0, but you’re not. You’re starting with distinct advantages. You have had a lifetime of experiencing story, from your childhood reading to your…

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Five Bad Habits of Good Writers

Five Bad Habits of Good Writers I thought I’d blog on the Five Bad Habits of Good Writers, and start with the person/writer and end up with the businessperson/writer. 1. Bad habit: Thinking that you have only one book in you. Many writers start out because they want to tell…

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13 Prime Principles of Plot

13 Prime Principles of Plot Plausible plotting starts with cause and effect. Make sure each step in your plot has a causative event, and one of more effects. Character actions should be caused by some motivation, and should have some effect on the plot. Your protagonist should save the day…

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