• Drastic Revision in Search of Voice

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    When you revise your novel or story do you look at what you wrote before or start totally from scratch? Revise Previous Text Usually, I'll work with the text that I already have written. The idea here is that I'm close, but it isn't quite there yet. In this case, I'm refining the text and story as ...

  • Type

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    Do you ever type up someone else’s picture book or a chapter from someone else’s book? I do. I find that just reading a selection, even reading aloud, doesn’t (more…)

  • How to Fight Writer’s Depression

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    I am almost sad and depressed today. Why? Because I'm looking at the wrong things. Writers of picture books or novels must remember to pay attention to their work, not the audience's appraisal of their work. The Audience is Always Late The audience is always late to the party. When I sold The Journey of Oliver K. ...

  • Voice Trumps Everything

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    My WIP novel has hit a snag. I was just writing along, following the plot I outlined, concentrating on using strong scenes this time, when I came to a curious section. Choosing a Point of View Character Here the main character (MC) needs to be housebound because of a flu epidemic. But the plot requires several events ...

  • Story Tension

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    How do you create tension in a story? I've been talking with a friend and his gut instinct is to withhold certain information, for example, the exact location of the scene. Story Tension In How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, Orson Scott Card says that tension is created by withholding “what happens next.” You ...

  • Starting a Novel with Voice

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    I'm still looking for a way into a new novel. So, here's my plan for today: experiment with voice. Starting with Voice I'm reading Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall. While I don't like every exercise they suggest, there are some interesting ones. For my purposes today, ...