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Blog posts : "Craft"

All About Conflict, Part 1

Without conflict, you have no story. Sound like a simple concept, right? But what exactly is conflict and where do you find it? Understanding that you need conflict is a far cry from figuring out how to create the conflict and sustain it across three-hundred-plus pages. 

Part of the problem …

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Have we lost the romance?

Today's author/reader question: How do you feel about characters that meet on page 1 and have sex by page 5?

 

I didn't pull this question out of the blue. I've been reading copious amounts of urban paranormal fantasies since this is what I like to write. Some are adventures with a touch of r…

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Write what you know? I don't think so.

Let’s call her Kate (secretly, my favorite name in high school). She’s fourteen years old, completely unaware of life barreling down on her. An idea pops her head. Where does it come from and why? Thankfully, she’s too green to question it.  She decides to write a story about fox hunting. 

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Insidious "the" and 23 other words to cut from your writing

When I was fourteen, my descriptive paragraph of a drowning man won me a place at the school district’s yearly creative writing workshop. This workshop turned out to be a big deal for me, and not just because I got out of classes for a week, though that was a terrific bonus for a tenth-grader. This …

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Favorite Research Tools for Writers

Today, I took a trip from Londonium to Constantinopolis. I travelled by road, river and sea. It took me 50 days and cost 1505 denarii. And I did it all without leaving my desk thanks to ORBIS, The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World.

Yes, I fell down a rabbit hole while doing res…

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Outlining a Novel is a Personal Experience. What's Yours?

One of the main reasons I go to writing conventions is to talk to other writers about how they outline. I ask every presenter during panel discussions and bring up the subject of outlining during lunch and cocktails. Maybe I'm a bit obsessed. But I find the wildly different answers from writers both…

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Take an Idea, Leave an Idea

When I first decided to take writing from a hobby to a career, I quickly realized that the days of writing for my muse were gone. I no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to hit. I had to write NOW! I had to write today, tomorrow and the next day. That was the only way to build my craft…

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