The writing world is changing quickly, and that means some things that used to be taboo are now all right.
A plot doesn’t have to be brilliant for a story to work. It just needs to have some basic components
Certain works of fiction are designed to appeal to readers with strong belief systems. For example, most large religions have enough followers so that a few storytellers can become popular enough to make a living writing to people of that denomination.
I’ve begun talking with an attorney. We’re looking at creating a non-profit organization that would simply “insure” authors against plagiarism.
Many new writers don’t know when to stop polishing a manuscript and move on to the next.
The truth is, most art isn’t very good. Theodore Sturgeon once pointed out that “90% of everything is crap.”
The adage “Show, don’t tell” is used to beg for more information. Yet I’ve always felt that that advice is . . . imprecise.
When I'm looking at a story, one of the simple things I look at is setting. There are so many aspects to setting, so let’s just look at a few.
The first thing that I seek in a great story is originality. You may not realize it, but the most common problem with stories is that they’re tepid.
One of the most common problems I see with new writers is a “mistake in tone.” You know what I mean if you’ve ever played in a band. A new kid comes in, you’re trying to play a song, and he blats out a sour note on a trumpet. The same thing happens in writing.
Writing clear dialog isn’t hard to do, but many new writers—and some old ones—make some pretty simple mistakes. Here are a few things to be wary of and that you should know.
I’ve often said that there are ten thousand right ways to write a story. Unfortunately, there are a million wrong ways to do so. That’s why I’ve found when editing stories for anthologies or judging contests, about 90% of them don’t make the first cut. Here are some easy ways to avoid getting rejected.
One problem that often occurs is that if you write about multiple protagonists: you’ll find that some of them can “get lost” in the novel.
In your rewrites, take the opportunity to add as many virtues to your work as possible.
Here are some ideas to help you increase your ability to write and to brainstorm.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how authors can get into a relaxed creative mood that lets them write more, faster, and better.
Last week I got a note from a student who just had a novel accepted by a major publisher. He seemed a little surprised at how easily it had happened, as if he’d happened to enter a horse race and had just taken first place by accident.
But it’s no accident.
Every new writer, and quite a few old ones, is familiar with that sinking feeling that happens when you start a new tale and wonder, “Where do I begin?”
I hate the word “resolute.” Whenever I think of it, I think of soldiers circa 1800, marching resolutely into battle, knowing that they’re going to die. Yet every year I make resolutions anyway.