Tag Archives: writing advice

ON THE NATURE OF EVIL

This, from “A Witch Shall Be Born” by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, December 1934) is what evil looked like in the great old days of pulp sword and sorcery: — Taramis, queen of Khauran, awakened from a dream-haunted slumber … Continue reading

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GUARANTEED SUCCESS STRATEGY!

Want to write a massive, runaway international best seller? Want to turn a book you’ve already written into a massive, runaway international best seller? Want to publish one book, see it instantly become a massive, runaway international best seller then … Continue reading

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DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS, PART 2: WORLDBUILDING

Last week I made the case that telling us a character is “sad” (or angry or scared or happy, etc.) is less interesting to read than showing a character being sad (etc.), and how even then, because that description is coming from a single POV … Continue reading

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DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS, PART 1: CHARACTERS

Continuing on the general subject of point of view (POV) and “show, don’t tell,” let’s talk a bit about drawing conclusions. This, like lapses in POV, often shows up in dialog attribution, often in the form of the dreaded adverb: “My … Continue reading

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DIALOG AND POV

If you’ve been following Fantasy Authors Handbook for any length of time you’ll know I’m not big on rules for writing fiction. Fiction is an art form, and so has to be open to new ideas, new methods, new voices. That said, … Continue reading

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WORK IN PROGRESS OR WORKS IN PROGRESS?

If you follow me on GoodReads, or this blog for that matter, you know by now that I switch between four books at any given time. I switch off between one science fiction, fantasy, or horror novel; one “literary” work of … Continue reading

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WRITE SOMETHING OF VALUE TODAY

I am a to-do-lister. I live (more or less) by the to do list. Every day, on my calendar, which, thanks to the kind folks at Apple, syncs between my computer and phone, I have, usually at 9:00 am—but that’s … Continue reading

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STAY OUT OF YOUR STORY

I’ve said this before and will say it again here: the most important rule for contemporary authors of fiction is one scene, one POV (point of view). Beware the temptation of so-called “third person omniscient,” which is better described as “third person … Continue reading

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FOR INSTANCE, THIS STORY

A few weeks ago I challenged everybody to write short stories in order to gather up some rejections—and acceptances. This week I’d like to share one of my own short stories—and it’s very short, only 314 words. I wrote this pretty quickly, thought … Continue reading

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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT

…or it was a record-shattering heatwave, or it was a once-in-a-lifetime flood season, or it was a freak early-season blizzard, or… For the past three days, and with another hot day ahead, I’ve been suffering through a short-term weather crisis, … Continue reading

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