On Writing

Character Sketch

Your job, as a writer, is to introduce your characters in a way that: is interesting brings them to life for the reader conjures up an image that is as close as possible to the way you see them in your mind gives the reader more information than just their physical appearance – i.e. also gives an insight into their personality and what drives them Your job is to let every sentence earn its keep…

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On Writing

The False Ending

I have mentioned that many stories fail to gain traction in the second act. This is where the viewpoint character forgets why they are in the story. Of course, it is the writer who has forgotten; either by writing by their pants or failing to plot in enough conflict to keep the story moving forward. Stories thrive on conflict and bad things must happen to the hero before it all ends up as good and…

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On Writing

Pantser Plotter

There are two camps of thought: the people who listen to the muse and write by the seat of their pants and the people who write an entire book-length outline prior to starting to write. I prefer to combine the two, without writing an entire book-length outline. Let me explain my thoughts on this debate. Pantsers argue they are free to listen to the story and the characters. It is a muse-centric approach, with the…

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On Writing

The Bedwell Curse

I am sure she really meant no harm when she said, “You will never be a writer.” The shock of the statement caused me to burn inside and I ached to prove her wrong. My sophomore English teacher failed to understand my punctuation and short sentences that often lacked complexity or my fascination with Tyburn poems. “Rat-a-tat-tat,” she would write on my papers. “Less poetry, more exposition,” she scrawled in big red letters. Sentences consisting…

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On Writing

The Thrill of Writing

I started Wordsmith Holler to experiment and put myself out there. I have no other reason. It seemed pointless to keep writing first drafts and store them in the cloud. Stored and forgotten. Go ahead and post them and let others decide their true worth. I also do not understand the current publishing business. Writers are discovered online on Twitter. Can 140-character riffs really indicate your ability to write? I suppose if you are writing…

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On Writing

Making Time

I dislike the gym. I do not have a gym membership and the thought of exercise sends me back to the couch. I like the couch. It is safer and never leads to a pulled back muscle. Of course, I could use some stretching of my back muscles. Writing – the actual practice of sitting down and writing – has never been a problem. I mean, the actual knocking out of words. The words flow…

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