Tag Archives: Fantasy

AUTHORS ON EDITORS

It would not be entirely correct to say that, for some decades now, my “day job” has been as an editor. To say “day job” means that it’s significantly less important than my chosen vocation, writer, and is only there … Continue reading

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WHAT DO OUR READERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT US?

When I first started writing—seriously writing—and started getting published, the internet was still a mostly hidden thing used by scientists and a few first adopter types. There wasn’t yet anything like what we now know as “social media.” In those … Continue reading

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PLEASE STOP SHITTING ON GENRE FICTION

Imagine my surprise when I read “Beyond the Plot: Craft Tricks of Great Commercial Thrillers” by Cassidy Lucas at, of all places, Crime Reads. Short reviews of a few “acceptable” genre novels follow this nonsense: Deconstructing the craft of literary … Continue reading

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PIXAR’S 22 RULES OF STORYTELLING

I bet you’ve seen these before—at least a few of them quoted here over the years. The list is all over the internet. I found it at iO9. But this week I’d like to share all twenty-two of what Pixar storyboard … Continue reading

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BACK, BACKWARD, AND BACKWARDS

These three words sometimes kinda mean the same things, and sometimes kinda mean different things, but as an editor, I see them used more or less interchangeably almost all of the time. That’s a lot of kindas and most of the timeses there, so … Continue reading

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GET, OR KEEP, A LIFE

We talk a lot, us writers, about productivity—how much writing we got done, how much writing we meant to get done, how much writing we should have gotten done, how much writing we wished we could have gotten done. We … Continue reading

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WHERE TO BEGIN?

I’ve written before on the subject of a story’s first line, or a novel’s first paragraph, and starting a story—pulp fiction style—with a “bang,” but there’s really no way to overstate both the importance of the first line or first paragraph … Continue reading

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CHARACTERS, CULTURES, AND GROUPS

I used to teach in-person then online courses, and one of the most popular was my worldbuilding course. Though it’s been a while since I’ve actually taught these courses, one of the exercises continues to stay lodged in my brain. … Continue reading

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THANK YOU, READERS

A few weeks ago I talked about how, once your novel is published, it “belongs to the ages,” and I’ve written before about my ambivalence toward critics and reviews, and the ways in which readers bring their own experiences and creativity into … Continue reading

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I WILL WRITE THAT NOVEL

I’ve written here before that we should remind ourselves that writing fiction—especially genre fiction—should be fun, that we should get in touch with a sense of play—and in recent weeks this has come back to me for a few different reasons. … Continue reading

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