writing tools

What’s Your Point of View?

First? Second? Third? I’m talking about narrative points of view.  Which is best? I have touched upon this topic before as have many others.  There is no definitive answer, however the collective consensus is by all means stay away from second person point of view—a story told from the reader’s vantage point: “You reach for […]

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I Am I Said…

I read Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games over the summer and I knew with all certainty, before I finished the first sentence, that Katniss, the story’s protagonist, [spoiler alert!] would still be standing by the time I reached the last page. While I know it was a popular read, I was not a huge fan of […]

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Beta Readers: Getting a Second Opinion

We can easily spot talent in others, but accepting our own is a much steeper climb. Some have an overinflated self image, while others seem much too timid to accept that they have plenty to be proud of.  The act of writing is a largely solitary craft. A book can take a year or more […]

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Details, Details…

One of the most common pieces of advice to novice writers is to write what you know about. As cliched as that might be there is some truth to it, which is probably one reason why it is bandied about with such frequency. John Grisham writes legal thrillers and has a law degree to back […]

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Here’s the Wind-Up and the Pitch: Perfecting the Opening Paragraph

It was a dark and stormy night… Oh. I’m sorry. Have you heard that one before? The opening sentence and lead paragraph in a story or novel is, as they say, your only chance to make a first impression.  Like the cover of your book, that first paragraph might be the difference between a polite […]

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When Today Becomes Yesterday: Letting Contemporary Settings Show Their Age

I’m a little torn.  I write contemporary fiction with contemporary settings. I listen to the people around me and collect contemporary expressions, I make note of current culture, I am familiar with popular brands, stores and locations.  I like to use all of that to make my stories feel authentic and to firmly root them […]

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A Change of Scenery: Transitions in Writing

Life is one long uninterrupted scene that we star in, each second bumping up against the next, all of them trailing off behind us, forever unretrievable.  We move from place to place and interact with different people but the camera is always there, incessantly recording every movement, utterance, blink and heartbeat from first to last […]

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