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Showing posts 1 to 10 labeled Process (18 total)

Besting Burnout (December 11, 2016)

If you do nothing but glue your behind to a chair and crank out words every day, you'll quickly run out of thoughts worth writing. And eventually, you're going to burn out. More »

Writing What You Think You're Writing (November 11, 2016)

Writers who rely on telling aren't writing what they think they're writing. More »

The Benefits of Outlining (February 20, 2016)

Writers have intense feelings about outlining. Some love it and actively advocate for it, while others despise it with a startling passion. To me, outlining is like exercising. I don't love or hate exercising; it's simply something I must do to stay healthy. I don't love or hate outlining, either; it's simply something I must do to write good stories. More »

The Hero's Journey (November 7, 2015)

If you're not familiar with The Hero's Journey, a.k.a. the Monomyth, it's a model of a common narrative arc found in myths and fairy tales across world cultures. More »

The Fear of Breaking Things (September 21, 2015)

If you're afraid of breaking things, it's impossible to become a good programmer. The same can be said of writers. More »

"Realistic" Characters: Individuals or Stereotypes? (June 23, 2014)

As novelists, we see our characters as individuals. We spend years (or at least months) with them, developing their histories and personalities. We give them unique worldviews, unique tastes and hobbies, unique voices. We treat them like real people with real minds. More »

Weak Endings: Why You Write Them, How to Avoid Them (June 13, 2014)

There are several reasons that weak endings are so common in literature, popular or otherwise. More »

Tips for Writing Descriptions (March 15, 2014)

Here are some tips for writing descriptions that I wish someone had given me before I wasted five manuscripts figuring them out. More »

Workspaces (November 18, 2012)

My semi-professional workplace is pretty awesome. I work in an old house in the low-traffic eye of campus that has been converted into a casual office building. The family room is the secretary's reception area, the living room has been reconfigured for seminars and conferences, the upstairs den makes a cozy computer lab, and the attic has a suite of tiny offices for graduate students. More »

Historical Novels and Contemporary Readers (July 3, 2012)

I haven't touched my manuscript for WIP-B in a few days. Instead, I've had my nose stuck in my used library copy of Daily Life in Victorian England, submerging myself in the details of the period and reevaluating my first draft for any historical inaccuracies. More »