The Worst Mistake a Novelist Can Make

Broken shoes

I’ve read all kinds of books and blog posts that tell me how to be a better writer. Show, don’t tell. Cut out adverbs. Don’t give too much backstory. But give enough so the reader…

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Story Writing


  Writing a story isn’t as simple as it seems. I realized this when I tried to follow of the writing advice I’d been given. Write a short story, I was told. You’ll learn a…

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[VIDEO] How to Write an Award Winning Novel


We’d all love that, wouldn’t we? Writing an award-winning novel. And not just any award, but a prestigious one. Here’s a little video with a seven step guide. Some of these made a lot of…

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Planning a Novel: A New Use for Spreadsheets


Everyone’s got their own idea on how to write a novel. Some writers say they just let their muse take them down whatever path it desires. They let their imagination roam, creativity soar, and permit…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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World Building from the Inside Out


One of the people who has read an excerpt from my novel thought that I should spend a little more time world building. He suggested that I read some of the works of LE Modesit…

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