Category Archives: Writing Advice

Learn the Rules Before You Break Them. Or Don’t.

I’m teaching my class on how to break the rules on Saturday, May 25th. Rules can put fiction in a box; let’s talk about ways to explode out of it. There’s an old adage: Learn the rules before you break … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Words Are Always There — Poetic Tools for Prose Writers

Poetry is focused on words. So is prose! But the way we talk about words in poetry is different from the way we talk about them in prose. Merging the perspectives of poetry and prose has benefitted me enormously as … Continue reading Continue reading

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Writing a Recalcitrant Character

(This essay was posted 7 days early on my Patreon. Thank you to all my patrons!) I wrote this on a writers forum, about my current progress in writing my Tor.com novella, “Woman in the Tower Window.” It’s an interesting … Continue reading Continue reading

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Why I Write in Cafes

I’ve been writing a lot in cafes recently. Well, mostly one cafe, but I’ve dallied with others. It’s a nice cafe. It’s located next to a bus stop that has a route to most of the places I want to … Continue reading Continue reading

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Why I Write in Cafes

I’ve been writing a lot in cafes recently. Well, mostly one cafe, but I’ve dallied with others. It’s a nice cafe. It’s located next to a bus stop that has a route to most of the places I want to … Continue reading Continue reading

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How do you handle writer’s block?

There are a few different kinds of writer’s block. One kind is medical. If one of my chronic illnesses is flaring up, I may not be able to write. It’s hard to write through a migraine, for instance. It’s also … Continue reading Continue reading

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In Defense of “Slice of Life” Stories

When I was in college, I insisted that any poem worth its words would have a strong idea behind it–something it wanted to communicate to the reader. I still think that, but I’ve broadened my definition of what an idea … Continue reading Continue reading

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Come break the rules with me! (in a class. on Sunday. with Cat Rambo.)

Consider this your invitation: start (or continue) to Break the Rules with me in less than three days! After Daylight Savings Time is over and the clock falls back, I hope you’ll spend some time with Cat Rambo, me and your writing this Sunday, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Old Stories Into New: Come Take My Class on Retellings!

Hey! Come take my class on retellings! October 7, 2017. (Secret: If you join my newsletter, or sign up for my Patreon at $1 or more a month, you’ll get discounts.) (It used to be called Retellings and Retaleings.) Authors … Continue reading Continue reading

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First Lines Part III: What Can They Do?

Part I: Half a Dozen of My Recent Stories Part II: from Some of My Favorite Stories After giving close reading to a dozen first sentences, half mine and half others, I’m ready to make a list of things that … Continue reading Continue reading

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