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Category: Craft

Writing a Novella

Writing a Novella

Not every idea germinating in a writer’s mind is a novel. Some are short stories. One that gets trapped between those two is a novella. Novellas don’t get a lot of love. Everyone wants to write novels. Readers want to read novels. Some writers will put out a collection of short stories (which I’ve done). Not many will write novellas. I think there’s some unexplored space here. I think part of the reason we don’t get a lot of novellas…

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Working with an Editor

Working with an Editor

I’ve written a couple reviews recently, and I’ll have more coming in the near-ish future. What I haven’t done recently is write about writing. Today, I want to share some experiences I’ve had working with an editor. This will be an irregular ongoing series, one I’ll add to when I have new or interesting experiences to share. First, I think every independent author should hire a professional editor. No, they don’t work for free, but we also shouldn’t expect them…

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How Important is Setting?

How Important is Setting?

Today, my wife and I took our daughter to seeĀ Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood. “Wait,” you may be thinking. “Since when is Hollywood the setting forĀ Peter and the Wolf?” That’s the point. It’s usually not. But for this performance, it was, and it worked. There were a few changes, but anyone familiar with the story would still recognize it, and the narration and music accompaniment were very good. That got me thinking about setting. For some books, it’s vital….

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The Fumblerules of Grammar

The Fumblerules of Grammar

Years ago, the late New York Times columnist William Safire compiled “The Fumblerules of Grammar.” I got reminded of one of them today. If you’ve never seen them, they are hilarious and tremendous. If you’ve seen them before, enjoy another chuckle. 1. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. 2. Don’t use no double negatives. 3. Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t. 4. Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper…

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Spring Cleaning Your Stories

Spring Cleaning Your Stories

I took a couple days off to enjoy spring break with my family (my wife is a teacher and our daughter is off for the week). Like a lot of people, we used some of the time to do some spring cleaning–or, in our case, some spring clearing-out. We have too much stuff and some of it has just got to go. Early spring is a time many people use to get rid of old or unused things. What do…

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