Category Archives: Writing

Benefits of Beta Readers

  Or, Fortune Favors the Bold Nearly two years ago, I was stuck. I knew I couldn’t go any further with my novel without some help. So I started looking for beta readers. It’s not easy finding someone to read … Continue reading

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How to Get Unstuck Part 2

Last week, we took a look at two ways to get unstuck. Today we’ll look at three more Third, aim high. I think about Olympic athletes. None of the ones I heard interviewed said his life goal was to become … Continue reading

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How To Get Unstuck Part I

Once upon a time there was an ambitious young executive—we’ll call him Lance. He was doing all he could to climb the corporate ladder: he’d work late and volunteer for special projects. The one thing he was missing was face … Continue reading

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The Story in the Picture

If one picture tells a thousand words, then what does my collection of photos tell? Thousands of stories, if I can only unleash them. What stories could this Indian tree tell? We were told that the Indians used these trees … Continue reading

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Making Characters Grow Emotionally

Last week I looked at a few novels to discover how the protagonists grew emotionally. Now I’m trying to think of the ways my main characters grow and change, and how the events of the novel change them emotionally. Iskra, … Continue reading

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Books You Can’t Forget

What makes a novel memorable? Is it the plot or the action? Or is it the characters? I think, even in fantasy and action genres, that the characters are the aspect that stick in our minds and make us want … Continue reading

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Raising the Stakes

As I slog through editing Raising Fear, I realize that there is a series of scenes where things happen, but not very much. There is tension, but it’s fairly level. A lot lurking under the surface, but it doesn’t rear … Continue reading

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Soft versus Hard Magic

  One thing that sets the fantasy genre apart from the others is its use of magic. Many reviewers say that the better thought out the system of magic in the story, the better the book. This holds true for … Continue reading

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Hates, Loves and Fears

Creating characters who seem to leap off the page and think for themselves is no easy task. It’s far too easy to allow characters, especially minor ones, remain one dimensional and flat. Thinking through the emotional make up of characters … Continue reading

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Imagining Tlefas

I’m all about setting and detail these days, trying to flesh out the land of Tlefas where all the action takes place. To help me along, I’ve been looking for some images that fit different scenes. This is the cliff … Continue reading

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