Category > Writing

Periodization for Writers

Periodization is a principle used in may sports and I’ve discovered it also applies to writing. In the sports world, it involves planning your workout year into smaller segments to avoid overtraining while consistently making improvements. The goal is to use the principle of periodization in order to make continuous forward improvement while avoiding burn […]

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Character Generators

While listening to a Writing Excuses episode called Engaging Characters, their guest Nancy Fulda, mentioned character generators. (Season 9 Episode 10 http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/03/09/writing-excuses-9-10-engaging-characters/ ) I’d never heard of such a thing! Since I’m working on a new novel outline, I was curious enough to check it out. I do already use a name generator to help […]

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Be Your Own Sous Chef (or: Screw You, Burnout)

Ever have that experience where you just finished a project and you sit down to start another piece and … there’s nothing in there? There are no characters playing around in the back of your mind. No images floating around in your heart. No worlds waiting for you play in. Or maybe there is some small thing, […]

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Enhance Your Writing Performance Now!

Sex and writing. I know, these two topics are always on our minds, right? And I’m amazed at the parallels you can find between the two. For example, suffering from writer’s block is not unlike being afflicted with sexual dysfunction. Maybe you try again and again but just can’t reach a fulfilling conclusion. Or you can’t even […]

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Lessons from Camp Revision: Split Screen

Late last year, I finished the first draft of my first novel. I celebrated. I printed it out. I re-read it and scribbled across its pages in glorious red ink. And then I ignored it for a couple months. I sat down to start revising, earlier this year, and I felt my soul wrench. I […]

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You’re a Beautiful Grain of Sand, by J. C. Hutchins

Oh, you silly, naive little thing. You want to be a writer. Didn’t you get the memo? The pay is lousy. If you’re with the Big Six-Now-Five, your publisher will barely promote your stuff (and you’ll never earn out your advance). If you self-publish, your wordbaby will be lost in a sea of other self-pubbed […]

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Four Tips on the Ancient and Venerable Art of Infodumping — guest post, Jonathan Wood

Let me introduce our guest writer to you.   Jonathan Wood is as tremendously entertaining as only an Englishman living in New York could be. His first novel, No Hero, which chronicles one Oxford cop’s confrontation with cosmic horror, was so funny and rad that is being re-released in just a few short weeks. (I have […]

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(Not) Writing My Way Through Stressful Times

The last two months have not been easy. Long hours at the day job, unexpected travel, a major death in the family, stressful Christmas, several close friends in distress, and almost six full weeks of both of us being sick on top of that. But I’m not here to whine, not really. Everyone has days/weeks/months/years […]

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Stick Your Landings

Endings. Every story has one, but not every story has a good one. What makes some of them work and the rest of them fail? Well, let’s take a look at them. If you do a quick Google search for “kinds of endings,” you find a lot of different ways to categorize the varieties of endings […]

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Quick-and-Dirty Tips for Polishing Your Prose

So, you’ve brainstormed, written, and rewritten. The plot is sufficiently exciting, the theme powerful, the dialogue realistic, the characters complex and believable, the ending unpredictable yet perfectly fitting. Point-of-view and tense issues have been addressed, grammatical errors corrected, clichés banished. But yet…after reading your piece one last time, a lingering dissatisfaction remains. It doesn’t seem […]

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