Monthly Archives: April 2010

Writing Emotion

This post is more questions than answers. I’ve been thinking about what makes some fiction so much more satisfying to read than other fiction, aside from factors such as story elements one loves, a well-constructed plot, and elegant prose style. … Continue reading

Posted in reading, writing craft | 11 Comments

Unrealistic Dialogue

It’s a pretty common observation that dialogue in a story is unrealistic. There are all sorts of linguistic studies that relate to “real life” dialogue. Here’s a pretty good introduction to sociolonguistics, for example. One of the things I learned … Continue reading

Posted in writing craft | 2 Comments

Geoffrey Faber, "Home Service"

Home Service “At least it wasn’t your fault” I hear them console When they come back, the few that will come back. I feel those handshakes now. “Well, on the whole You didn’t miss much. I wish I had your … Continue reading

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Wilfred Wilson Gibson, "Back"

Back They ask me where I’ve been,And what I’ve done and seen.But what can I replyWho know it wasn’t I,But someone just like me,Who went across the seaAnd with my head and handsKilled men in foreign lands…Though I must bear … Continue reading

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Slow Writers Anonymous

At the 2003 WisCon, there was a panel about “Slow Writers.” I’ve been thinking about it again, and thought it would be a good thing to post in my blog. This post is comprised of my distilled memories of the … Continue reading

Posted in conferences, writing, writing process | 15 Comments

The Long and the Short of It

How do we decide a length for our stories? I think a lot of it has to do with the stories themselves.A friend of mine used to say that novels didn’t adapt as well into feature films as short stories … Continue reading

Posted in short fiction, writing, writing craft | 5 Comments

Turn Your Writing Topsy-Turvy

In Jane Yolen’s Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft, she writes, “When we force ourselves to go topsy-turvy, we can see anew what is on the page,” (p. 49).She suggests taking a single chapter and re-reading the … Continue reading

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For Love or Money?

This post grew out of a discussion at one of my favorite blogs, Read React Review, specifically this post, “At What Point in the Writing Process Do Writers Think About What Will Sell?” Comments in italics are from Jessica, who … Continue reading

Posted in business of writing, writing process | 12 Comments

History as Fantasy

In many ways, writing historical fiction is like writing fantasy. And reading historical fiction is like reading fantasy. In one genre, you have to look up a lot of tiny details to make the reader accept that the world they’re … Continue reading

Posted in genre, historical fiction, reading, sf/f | 4 Comments

Edward Shillito, "Hardness of Heart"

Hardness of Heart In the first watch no death but made us mourn; Now tearless eyes run down the daily roll, Whose names are written in the book of death; For sealed are now the springs of tears, as when … Continue reading

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