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Category Archives: Writing and Editing
Realism is critical for good fiction writing, but speculative fiction demands some nonrealism, too. How do you find the right balance of realistic and nonrealistic features, and how do you make them work together harmoniously? Continue reading
There’s a lot of publishing advice that can help aspiring authors decide whether or not to self-publish or how to find the right agent or publisher, which is great news for aspiring authors. However, sorting through all that information can … Continue reading
So you’ve written a book (awesome!) and you’ve given it at least one critical read to catch plot holes, poor characterization, unclear writing, and so on (fantastic!). You’re reasonably confident that your writing is publishable, but you’re not sure what … Continue reading
People like to talk about rules. Rules are supposed to make things clear and easy, and knowing the rules makes you look smart. But are there really rules of writing? Continue reading
In many disciplines, if you follow a specific set of instructions, then you should get the intended outcome, whatever that may be. But following rules does not significantly improve art, except incidentally. Art is not art merely because it has technical merit. In fact, some of the best art busts all the rules and gets away with it. If Tom Thompson or Vincent van Gogh had decided to do what a good painter is “supposed” to do, we might never have known their names. Continue reading
A few years ago, I discovered an interesting segue in an article by philosopher George N. Schlesinger. While relating moral integrity to the selection of articles for academic journals, he recites journal editor J. Scott Armstrong’s “author’s formula” for publishing … Continue reading
We all want to believe that our written work is flawless, but being a good writer doesn’t mean producing perfect first drafts — it means carefully revising your work, sometimes sweating and grunting through multiple drafts until your writing is clear, descriptive, logically organized, and has the appropriate tone for your audience. Continue reading