Let’s Talk About the Reader

Photo Source:     Every writer is a reader and every reader is a writer. Really. Not every writer writes stories or poems or magazine articles. Some write technical papers, reviews, emails, grocery lists, Facebook entries. Any kind of writing makes you a writer. A reader, though, is special.   A reader is the only […]

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Killing Characters

I remember the first time I killed a character. I cried for a day and then resurrected him. I’ve since gotten better at killing them. One of my writer friends once said “I kill people for a living”. I don’t know if she was quoting someone else, but her words stuck with me. She meant […]

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Revision: logic and imagination

Both logic and imagination are necessary in revision. Revision is not some dry process. It is fluid, floating between solid logic and airy imagination. The writer dips her toes in each world. Logic gives you the ABCs – structure, guidelines, rules. Imagination gives you the words. The chapter I spent three days revising needs to […]

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The Glory of Young Characters

I’ve noticed that main characters, even in adult fiction, tend to be young. Even when they are not young, they are often prone to teen/ young adult traits that foster conflict. Traits like impulsiveness, lack of censorship in dialogue, rebellion, and identity crises. All of these are universal traits that people experience to greater or […]

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Benefits of a Writer’s Support Network

Writing can be a lonely profession. But a writer does not need to be completely alone in his or her efforts. By building connections with people, writers find affirmation, encouragement, challenge, accountability, and grounding. Although a writer can write alone, I believe that a support system greatly increases a writer’s staying power – the ability […]

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The Tao of Writing

According to legends, Laozi leaves China on his water buffalo. Renard, (2002), p. 16 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A personal confession. I love the Tao te Ching, by Lao Tzu. It isn’t just about the abstract ‘life’, it is about life. As in learning, walking, martial arts, music, and writing. Yes, writing. Here are four examples […]

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Writing Modes: the Story-Teller and the Writer

There are two main modes of story-telling: the story-teller and the writer. The story-teller mode mimics oral tradition and predates the writer mode. There is much to be learned from each of these writing modes regardless of the type of writing you do. There are several story-teller modes (Navajo oral tradition is quite different from, […]

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Flash Fiction: Ending

Writing flash fiction can help you identify your audience. Because they are quick to write, you can easily test different types of endings and see which type of endings your target audience best responds to. Or work in reverse and write the endings you like in order to narrow down the identity of your target […]

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Flash Fiction: Middle

  A possible benefit of flash fiction is that the middle is so short. Many people struggle with middles although for me the most difficult part is cutting my middles down to size. Flash fiction emphasizes techniques that can help me do this. But if you are the type who writes your middles too short, […]

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