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Are There Literary Cults, and Are They Dangerous?

In his short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” Raymond Carver sets two couples to talking on the subject of love, They are drinking gin to help them discover what they mean, but by story’s end, there is no resolution. The four have talked their way …

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You Ought To Be in Pictures

Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory. Image – iStockphoto: Trek and Shoot Is Your Film Treatment Ready? In the run-up to Writer’s Digest’s Annual Conference at the Manhattan Hilton in New York (August 10-12), it’s been interesting to note the presence of some screenwriting sessions on the schedule. On the …

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How to Write While the World’s Burning Down

This was a difficult post for me to write. I stopped and started at least five times.  I was going to post about something much lighter. Why was this so hard for me to get out? Because I fear I don’t have a real answer. The news is full of …

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The Editor’s Clinic: Focus on what’s important.

This month we’re once again looking at an opening passage.  The situation certainly tense enough – a woman with two small children facing up to her need to escape from a physically abusive husband.  And the author makes skillful use of her techniques to create that tension – note how …

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Guide to Hacking the Optimal Writing Environment

A year and a half ago, in the grip of a writing deadline I feared I would miss, I discovered an environmental productivity hack I’ve used ever since. Its unearthing came about by experimentation. I’d been trying to write in various public locations, but if I found a fruitful environment …

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Barbara O’Neal and The Art of Inheriting Secrets

Barbara O’Neal is not only a beloved longtime contributor here at WU, she is an award-winning, internationally published author of eleven novels. Her latest is called THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS, and releases on July 17th! Said bestselling author Patricia Sands (The Love in Provence series) of the book: “O’Neal’s …

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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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