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Fiction

Poetic Technique for Prose Writers

Blog Post – Poetic Technique for Prose Writers I love language.  The sound of words.  The way a pause can imply a character taking a breath.  The way a strong image can stay with you for days. The fact that I as a writer can tell you how my character feels inside, and if I […]

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The Freedom of the First Draft

I hope everyone survived NaNoWriMo.  How’d you do?  Even if you didn’t hit 50K, I hope you enjoyed the experience, especially if it was your first time.  And you now have more words than you started the month with. The thing I love about NaNo is the need to meet a deadline, which forces you […]

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Narrative as Interpreter in Fiction Writing

When we’re talking fiction writing, what really is narrative?  It’s everything that isn’t action and isn’t dialogue.  Which means it’s the glue that holds it all together. More directly, narrative is how we help the reader interpret the action and the dialogue.  We given them context on the history between two given characters – or […]

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Well, I wasn't expecting THAT!

This whole month, I want to talk about the relationship between writing and reading.  I’ve talked to so many writers who say they don’t read inside their own genre because they’re afraid of copying someone else’s idea.  (More on this later – I’m planning an entire post on genre as a conversation.)  Or they don’t […]

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Freytag's Pyramid

In 1863 Gustov Freytag, first known as a playwright and later a novelist, published Die Technik des Dramas.  (Released in English much later as Freytag’s Technique of the Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art.)  While his novels reflected some of the ugliness and turbulence of the time in which he was writing, the […]

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Well, Darlings, You're Weighing Us Down . . .

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King (not the first person to say it, but perhaps the most ominous) It’s a common piece of advice to give to beginning writers, and it’s been attributed to everyone from Faulkner to Wilde.  Slate.com […]

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Villain Under Construction: Villain Arcs

We’ve been talking character arcs at SNW, so I wanted to bring out once special kind of arc: the villain arc.  A good villain can really elevate your story, so take the time to fully develop all sides of your antagonist.  And then think about what makes him dynamic. The Backstory Arc Usually, the main […]

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