Tag Archives: writing exercises

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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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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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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NOTES ON CHARACTER-DRIVEN DIALOG

In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott tells us that, “One line of dialogue that rings true reveals character in a way that pages of description can’t.” Absolutely true. Each of your characters, like each of the people you know in the real … Continue reading

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A TENDENCY TO DO NOTHING OR TO REMAIN UNCHANGED

There have been maybe two or three times in the past thirteen years that I’ve had to sort of “punt” for a Tuesday FAH post, and here’s one! I took this week (partially) off to finally finish some much needed … Continue reading

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HOW TO START WRITING

Endings are hard, pacing is hard, believable characters are hard, dialog is hard… the whole damn thing is hard. Sometimes the hardest part (at least until you get to the next hardest part) is getting started in the first place. … Continue reading

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A WEIRD STORY MINI-FORMULA

In my look, last April, at the book Science Fiction Handbook, Revised, by L. Sprague de Camp & Catherine de Camp (Owlswick Press, 1975), I wrote: Speaking of the pulp tradition, the de Camps quote Jack Williamson and Edmund Hamilton’s “formula” for a science fiction story … 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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