Writers Tips


On Writing

  •  4/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
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1. Never sit down and start writing. Always have a complete plan for what you are going to write before you start. 2. Always know the ending of your story. If you know the ending, you can always figure out how to get there. 3. Never use WAS as a verb. Too boring. Never use PUT or GOT. Too ugly. 4. When you finish writing, go back and cross out all adverbs. 5. No hugging. No crying. Photo by Dan Nelken...
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Writing Tips

  •  4/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
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1) Relax!! -- breathing, meditation before starting. Don't take yourself too seriously.   2) Identify those passages that you are particularly fond of and  get rid of them. Those are the passages that call the readers'  attention to what a good writer you are. 3) Be fearless. Try things you know might not work. 4) Never forget that writing well and creatively is not easy. If it were, everyone would be a bestseller. 5) Don't get caught up in conveying how much you know on a given ...
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History, Mystery, and Joy

  •  4/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
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When planning a murder, the first thing you need is a time machine.   No DNA evidence to convict, if you go back three decades. No fingerprint evidence if you go back 150 years. Of course, no insanity plea either. No psychiatry, no killer profiling, no rehabilitation, and precious little mercy. All punishment was cruel, and none of it was unusual. If you use a gun you’d better hit the first shot, because it will take a minute or two to load, ram, prime, and fire again. So it was differe...
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Why the Short Story?

  •  4/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
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I’m currently working on my seventeenth (or is it eighteenth?) novel, and I’m struggling with plotting out a manuscript that will be at least three hundred pages, with a number of characters, plot twists, setbacks, and perhaps a flashback or two. Once the outline is done and I’m satisfied, then it’s time for the scariest part of writing a novel: setting up page one, chapter one, knowing you’re embarking on a journey that can last six months, a year, or even longer.   But along this long and cha...
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Travels In No-Man’s-Land

  •  4/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
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A year ago, in January, while taking a break from writing my new novel, The Carrion Birds, I stood on a dune in White Sands National Monument and watched a couple fighter planes dip down out of the sky. I’d taken a small detour from the marked path and walked for ten minutes to the north. I didn’t really have a plan, but I’d heard taking even the smallest side trip from the trail could end in disaster. Caught out there at night the temperatures in the New Mexico desert can drop into the single d...
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