Category: Writing Tips

Blog posts about writing and how to have more fun doing it faster. (If you like my way of thinking, try Storyteller Tools: Outline from vision to finished novel without losing the magic.)

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How to Fix Your Novel (If It’s Too Short, Slow-Paced, or Tells Not Shows)

So you’ve completed your novel. It’s a story with a beginning, middle and satisfying end. You’ve polished the prose until it shines. However, it’s too short, or too slow-paced, or it tells rather than shows. Argh. Actually, don’t worry. This is

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Posted in Blog Post, Writing Fiction Faster, Writing Tips Tagged with: , ,

4 ways to write if you can’t sit still (e.g. due anxiety)

This came up recently on Reddit; due mostly to anxiety, a poster could not write without constant pacing. (PSA: Constant pacing is pretty much incompatible with typing a story!) I don’t get anxiety but I am a professional author, so

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Posted in Writing Tips

How do I manage my writing time?

Writers must multi-task. Professionally, it’s a must — we’re editing one manuscript while drafting another, all the while keeping up with blogging and admin. Artistically, it’s also a must. Too long just editing and we grow stale and twitchy. Too long

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Posted in Blog Post, Business of Writing, Writing Life, Writing Tips

Aliens and Snipers in the Belfry

(This is me thinking aloud, rather than offering cast-iron literary theory) I am a proponent of the Snipers in the Belfries Rule; if you want readers to notice your belfries, put snipers in them because nothing is real to the

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Posted in Space Opera, Writing Tips Tagged with: ,

How to simplify a conflict diagram to make it more powerful

The thing about Conflict Diagrams is that you can do them in more than one way. Here’s a first stab at an “odd couple” romance: Lots of Bones of Contention — the jagged boxes. However, it’s hard to see the potential

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Posted in Outlining, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Writing, illness and outlining

“It creeps up on you,” says my writer friend. “Yes!” I swig from my third coffee. It’s the only way I can stay alert. “Like a live lobster being cooked… gosh can I smell seafood?” We’re talking about the experience

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Posted in Outlining, Writing Life, Writing Tips

The Strife Ray

(An old LJ post recycled for a friend.) Fantasy as a genre seems to exist to transfer the Fantasy Vision from the head of the author into those of their readers. Look! Look! Here’s my Gate of the Death. Cool

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Posted in Writing Tips

Using Scapple to plan a dungeon (or a mystery)

I’m experimenting with ways to use diagrams as a creativity tool when planning a Mystery. My tool of choice is Scapple (from the same people who brought us Scrivener). This is really simple but intuitively usable diagramming software. It’s very much a creativity

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Posted in Outlining, Writing Tips

FAQ: How I do Conflict Diagrams for Impending Doom stories?

I had a nice email from reader HM (who gave me permission to use this here): I’ve read Storyteller’s Tools a couple of times now and have had several epiphanies about how stories work and are constructed. Thanks for those!

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Posted in FAQ, Outlining, Storyteller Tools, Writing Fiction Faster, Writing Tips

10-year-old-gamer uses my Conflict Diagrams

DeeM is using our kitchen table to prep an adventure while Kurtzhau finishes off some homework. (He started GMing Maelstrom Doomsday after his excellent experience at Conpulsion, but has being the running red box D&D for nearly a year now.) As I

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Posted in Geek Parenting, Outlining, Roleplaying, Storyteller Tools, Writing Tips