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Amber’s Blog

Writing Craft - Books!

Let’s talk books!  Specifically writing craft books.  As writers, wanting to improve our art is natural, and learning from the insights – and the mistakes – of others is one of the quickest ways to do that. It’s no surprise that my own writing manual is my favorite.  Obviously, it reflects the way my mind […]

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My Favorite Japanese Learning Resources

Of course, nothing is going to replace having real-life conversations, or an in-person class where the instructor can correct your pronunciation.  But starting with books and audio/video resources will definitely get you moving forward, and can serve to supplement what you have learned and offer opportunity to study and practice on your own. Try to […]

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Keeping Pace

In a way, pacing in a book is like interval training.  The reader would get worn out if the events were always at peak tension and breakneck speed.  But without any challenge to the characters and threat to their goals, the reader quickly becomes bored. As you write, be deliberate in the way each scene […]

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70% Dark Intentions - Book Launch Eve

Here it is, very late the night before 70% Dark Intentions comes out.  I’ve just finished editing some video for the launch party tomorrow, and I’m finally getting to my book-launch eve blog post. What did I learn this time around?  For one thing, how warm and supportive people can be, when you are approaching […]

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Making Us Care

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about book openings, specifically what you need to accomplish in the first ten pages of your manuscript.  To prologue or not to prologue?  Do you need to set up the scale of the world, or give details on the science?  Should you start with an action scene? These are […]

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Setting and History

A setting is the sum of its history.  Whether you’re writing contemporary fiction, or something set in an invented country, a place’s history provides both context for your story and opportunities to make your story specific. I played into that with the mystery I just released by setting it in Galveston, where I am familiar […]

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Giving Your Story Depth

When talking about story depth, predominantly, you’re talking about how the author has handled themes in a work.  I’ve had a number of writing students who embrace the ideas of planning out character and plot, but totally shy away from discussing theme.  The story events are what they are – entertaining, exciting, fun.  So why […]

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