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Tag Archives: writing advice
Today on Twitter, a question came up about outlining: “What’s your favorite and most effective way to outline your work before you start writing?“ Good question. As an author, I don’t typically outline, but my current work in progress (“WIP”) … Continue reading
All narrative fiction requires some amount of wold building, even if the world you’re building is a real-life setting; however, if you write speculative fiction, particularly science fiction or fantasy, world building is absolutely critical. Here are some general tips for creating an enthralling and believable world. Continue reading
To develop fully rounded and unique characters, take time early on to develop a profile of them. Continue reading
Point of view (POV) is one of the most basic underlying features of story construction, as it determines what you can show the reader and how the content will be framed. While you may be able to change POV characters … Continue reading
Doubt feels awful, even when it’s just a minor, nagging little thought in the back of your mind. After all, what if you really did leave the stove on and burn down the house while you were at work? Even small doubts can have dire consequences if they are justified. The problem is, many of them aren’t justified, but it’s not always easy to know when you should invite doubt in for tea and when to shut the door on it. However, if you’re going to be a writer, you need to make friends with your doubt. Continue reading
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
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
Details are wonderful. They enliven your story, create characters that seem uncannily real, and generally make your fictional world go ’round. You can never have too many details … right? Continue reading