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Showing posts 1 to 10 labeled Style (16 total)

In Defense of Telling: Orienting Readers and Respecting Their Time (April 14, 2017)

I recovered from my crisis of confidence, but I still have yet to begin Rainie Day #2 because of matters of life and death. Literally. In the past month, I attended two conferences and a funeral. (Not quite as catchy as Four Weddings and a Funeral, but believe me, it's been just as manic and emotionally fraught around here as that movie. More »

What I Learned from Twilight: Writing with Sincerity (January 18, 2017)

A writer can come up with the tightest plot, the wittiest dialogue, and the keenest observations of the human condition, but if she doesn't write with sincerity, her readers won't connect with the story. More »

Tips for Writing Descriptions #2 (November 26, 2016)

From the works of other authors, I've gleaned some devious ways of describing settings without being boring. More »

Pros and Cons of a Strong Authorial Voice (September 18, 2016)

If done well and purposefully, a strong authorial voice can make a book. But if done badly or accidentally, it can ruin it. More »

Stage Directions, My Latest Pet Peeve (March 25, 2016)

Turning, moving, looking...these things work on the stage and in film, but not in books. In books, stage directions are boring and hard to follow, and they distract from more important information. More »

Show, but Sometimes Tell (March 20, 2016)

The advice to "show, don't tell" doesn't mean you should give visual descriptions of everything. Rather, it means you should provide solid evidence of characters' thoughts and feelings through their choices and experiences. More »

Writing That Sounds Like Writing (January 31, 2016)

Writing that sounds like writing uses a lot of flowery adjectives and adverbs, clever wordplay, and million-dollar words in long compound-complex sentences. It prioritizes poetry and wit over coherence. More »

Why Plot Isn't Everything (November 16, 2014)

Because readers care so much about plot, many writers fall into the trap of thinking it's the only narrative element that matters. More »

Balancing Humor and Pathos (November 8, 2014)

One of the reasons comedy is so difficult to write and sell is that most modern readers want to identify with the characters of novels. They don't like to watch and judge from the outside; they like to be in the protagonists' skin. They like heroes and heroines to feel the way they feel and think the way they think. More »

Beware the Biting of the Lips: Body Language Found in Fiction That You Don't See in Real Life (August 12, 2014)

A few days ago, after many moons of waiting, I finally received a book I'd reserved at the public library—a work of women's fiction that has topped bestseller lists and earned critical praise from several impressive-sounding newspapers and journals. I wasn't much interested by the premise, but I felt I should keep an open mind and see what the fuss was about. More »