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Hey! Let’s All Celebrate The Madness

Photo Credit: Steve Corey: Celebrate Life:) I hear a lot of “what if” and “if only” and “If I could just” and “So and So has what I want!” I’m not immune to it, but I am growing ever more Aware of it. Circuitous thinking, round and round it goes, endless. We don’t …

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Compiling a DOCX in Scrivener 3

This is not my view. Beyond a basic orientation to the software, what’s the number one thing people want help with in Scrivener? Compile. No contest. In April, I introduced Scrivener 3’s new approach to compiling (exporting) with a post about section types. Section types are foundational to the new …

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When Perspective is the Story

photo adapted / Horia Varlan One of the first things an editor wants to know about your novel is how many points of view you’ll use. In the broadest strokes, who gets a point of view will determine the structure of your story; down to the smallest detail, it will …

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The Magic Formula: Setting Priorities

I have a confession to make. I’m writing this post the night before it’s due to go up. That’s not quite as bad as it sounds, bearing in mind the 12 hour time difference between Western Australia and New York, but it’s not good either. Ideally, I like to give …

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

The author before and after learning how to use a semicolon I get approached from time to time by aspiring new writers, asking for advice on how to get started. The longer I’ve been doing this, the harder it gets to answer them. At this point I’ve been in the …

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How To Write Bad Characters 

image by neskita_flickr How many ways are there for your characters to fall short of the compelling, three-dimensional ideal? A nearly infinite variety. Flat. Two-dimensional. Thin. Stereotype. Underdeveloped. Implausible. Placeholder. Caricature. Insufficiently complex. Not fully fledged. Mere outlines. Sketches. Functions, not people. Poorly thought out. For our purposes today, let’s …

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The Return of the Ripper

Longtime WU contributor Anna Elliott has written a new book —The Return of the Ripper: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery — with her father! How cool is that? Anna’s first series, the Twilight of Avalon trilogy, is a retelling of the Trystan & Isolde legend. She wrote The Pride & …

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Dialogue Separated by a Common Language

Picture by Flickr user Ron Mader George Bernard Shaw once wrote: England and America are two countries separated by the same language. But it’s not only England and America – there are numerous English-speaking countries separated by the same language. In fact, there are different parts of English-speaking countries likewise …

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On Writing a Novel that People Call Political

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash I’ve been getting some interesting questions while on book tour. 1 – Do you plan on all on your novels being so political? And 2 – How come your novel doesn’t get more political? The funny thing is, these questions actually don’t contradict one …

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Keeping Your Hustle Joyful

Adrian Anghel, Flickr Creative Commons I recently read a quote on writing I absolutely loved. It’s from Joe Beernink, who said, “Don’t write to become famous or to make a lot of money. Write because you love it. Write because not writing for more than a few days feels like …

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