No More Sappy Sunsets


I’ve been accused (well, criticized) for plopping my characters down in empty white spaces. They could be anywhere. Do more with the setting, I’m told. Then another reader asked if I was being paid by…

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When the Critters Don’t Agree


Not too long ago I posted a short story on a critique website. I’ve done this before, and have been satisfied with the results. Usually I get some fairly consistent comments with some specific ways…

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The Case for Competent Antagonists


The other day I got a phone call from what must have been the most incompetent scammer ever. “Uh, hello? Ma’am?” “Hello.” I’m thinking this is a telemarketer. “How are you?” (Said very warmly.) You’ve…

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Developing Characters


Lately I’ve been thinking about changing genres to try writing a novel. One of the things that makes me nervous about such an undertaking is the whole idea of character development. Would I be able…

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Tips for Writing a Book: Part II


Yesterday’s tips for writing a book covered some general ways to improve writing. Here are some specific pointers: Show, don’t Tell Every writing student has heard this, but what does it mean? Consider this simple…

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Four Ways to Improve Writing


The Good Book that Could Have Been Great Not too long ago I read a good book that could have been a great one. The story was compelling; the plot mirrored some troubling current events,…

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