Tag Archives: writing

Let It Suck Series: To Write Better Dialogue, Listen to Craig Ferguson (revisited)

Pulling some of my previous blogs into the “let it suck” series. This one borrows simple advice from a great comedian to help you with character dialogue. Here we go: Every fiction author wants to write great dialogue. While there … Continue reading

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Let It Suck Series: What Would Your Character Do?

We’ve agreed to “let it suck” on first draft, yes? Just let it rip with the writing and get a draft completed. And we’ve been discussing ways to find and refine your work during rewrite.  Now let’s let the character … Continue reading

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Let It Suck Series: revisiting “Write Better With Character Profiles”

As part of the “Let It Suck” series of posts, I wanted to discuss how knowledge of your characters informs writing decisions, and this post seems crucial to include, so I am reprinting it as a companion to this week’s … Continue reading

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Let it suck series: Setting up setting

Elmore Leonard famously advised writers to “try to avoid the parts that readers skip”. This is a definite risk when it comes to describing where your characters are, so listen to the master when dealing with setting. I tend to … Continue reading

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Let It Suck Series: overwrite the scene, then pick up the scalpel

As we move beyond the blank screen and into our efforts as writers, we need to deal with scene work. The conventional wisdom is “enter the scene as late as possible and leave as soon as you can”, and I … Continue reading

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Let it suck revisited: the beginning of a series

Awhile back, I wrote the following blog, which basically advised people to push beyond fears about instant quality in writing and just “let it suck.“ I reprint it here as the beginning of a series of blog posts that focus on … Continue reading

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The Power of “What If”?

Writing is an optimistic enterprise. Even the most cynical writer, the one who believes everyone is corrupt and the world is doomed, if that person still writes, s/he proves hope is alive. If that person truly believes nothing matters, why … Continue reading

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10 Steps for Organically Inserting a Character

I am heavily into production mode these days, rewriting no less than four new projects – CITY OF PAIN, the apparently long-awaited sequel to CITY OF SIN and CITY OF WOE, two YA novels, GENIUS HIGH and PERFECT, and a … Continue reading

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The Walking Dead and the Sliding Scale of Responsibility

The Walking Dead is once again heading into dangerous, potentially controversial storytelling. And while this has been part of its appeal all along, the question looms as to whether the shows creators have learned from past mistakes.  Most recently, they … Continue reading

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Favorite Joke, ever

I participated in the last of the holiday get-togethers this evening. Talk about holding on. And I was reminded of a great moment in my life. The moment involved my all-time favorite joke. What’s the joke? Not yet. The reason … Continue reading

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