• Repeating Prose Elements: Did I Hear an Echo?

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    HELLO! (Echo: Hello!) As I child, I lived near the Continental Divide in New Mexico and we often played, "Echo!" Throwing words at a mountain is a great children's game, but echoes can ruin your story. Repeating prose elements There are a couple major offending prose elements to be on your guard against as you write. The subject verbed. ...

  • Reader Confusion: Your Story Needs Clarity

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    Reader confusion is a common problem with first drafts. Prose is ambiguous, and scene details leave conflicting ideas of the time line or the physical location of the characters. Reader Confusion: Clarify Your Prose The problem of ambiguous prose lies in the writing itself. Let's look at some common problems and how to solve them. Fuzzy thinking. OK, ...

  • GoodReads Giveaway: Liberty

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    A Rousing Tale of Danger on the High Seas Why Did You Write This Story? Soon after 9/11, I was sitting at the table with my son, his friend, and my daughter. We talked about the 9/11 tragedy and then hoped for better times. I asked, "What should I write about next?" My son said, "Pigs at sea." That ...

  • GoodReads Giveaways: Rowdy

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    ROWDY: The Pirate Who Could Not Sleep comes out on June 1. One week away! To celebrate, we've set up a Goodreads Giveaway that will end - appropriately - on Father's Day. The giveaway ends on Father's Day. Rowdy: Father-Daughter Bedtime Story A rowdy heart doesn't know what it wants or needs! When a rowdy pirate captain ...

  • Shrunken Manuscript: Watch this webinar

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    One of the hardest things to find is a great critique of the overall structure of a novel. You'll get great feedback on a scene or line edits of paragraphs. But the overall structure of a novel is hard. Enter, the Shrunken Manuscript. I've taught the Novel Revison Retreat since 1999 and a mainstay has been ...