Category Archives: Writing advice

Character accents: the deliberation

My first draft is complete. Plot’s in place, the right characters in the right spots, with the right objects. My visit to the story site provided lots of detail for the descriptive texture. I’m currently braiding contextual detail into the … Continue reading

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Imagination shakes hands with reality.

I’ve written a complete first draft of a story set in a small town. I used my imagination, and a healthy dose of Google map to figure out the logistics. And then I decided to visit. What a weird trip. … Continue reading

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Smell the story

I’ve been working pretty hard on my latest project. Since January, I’ve logged 79,000 words on my latest YA novel. My goal was to have a complete first draft, ugly as a fairytale stepmother, done. Mission accomplished. I’ve written and … Continue reading

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Editing, dummies for dummies

The editing process has several phases. Once the manuscript has been accepted, there’s a close read for plot and its problems. The details have to be right. Right? In our case, we’re working from a Word file and ping-ponging it … Continue reading

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Marketing a book: in with the old & in with the new

As you probably know, marketing of a book is a very big deal. In some ways, like the  music industry, the marketing can be a bigger deal than the work itself. It’s also the most difficult for most authors. I … Continue reading

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No writer is an island. Not even a writer on an island.

A few words on the importance of the editing process. OK. There was a time when I thought I was so right that editing would have been offensive. But I was a moron for thinking this way. Even the best … Continue reading

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Rejection slips, God’s rude angels (Floating the duck, part II)

(Photo borrowed from “Duck of the Day“) But by this time, I had met a novelist, and he offered to read the first 35 pages of my story for free. He also explained how important those first 35 pages were. … Continue reading

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Death of an agent (Floating the duck, part I)

(Photo borrowed from “Duck of the Day“) The submission process for Duck Boy began 16 years ago. I began to submit the story to publishers every spring. Spring seemed to be the season when some publishers take new material. I … Continue reading

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Sit on your eggs

Many people don’t believe their thoughts have any value. When these people have an inkling, an idea, or some other great mental event, they shrug it off and forget about it. Thoughts, for me, are like eggs. Many times, I … Continue reading

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Don’t be perfect: the janitor approach

Today’s note is about one of the big barriers that keeps people from writing: perfection. Many folks believe that writing has to be right when it gets typed in, or at least they act that way. I don’t know if … Continue reading

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