The Christmas House

When I hear the word 'parchment' I think of those very official scrolls containing royal pronouncements. You know, the kind that start with “Hear ye, hear ye” followed by all kinds of important announcements like:  “The prince is throwing a ball!”  So this seems like the time to announce that soon my next book will be …

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In fiction, how do you fairly and without bias write a compelling character you deeply dislike?

It’s easier than you might think. You write fairly and without bias because you are so totally determined to not be unfair that in most cases you’ll go the other way and make that character better than he/she really is. And you make that character compelling because to you, he/she is already compelling, in your …

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Do you practice daily writing exercises to keep your writing flow active?

Personally, no I don’t. I never have, figuring that my time is valuable (to me, anyway) and that I’d rather spend it doing something than practicing doing something. So I write and that in itself is an exercise in how to write. Sometimes what I write is deleted and that’s okay because few things in …

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I think I’ve almost finished writing a good novel, but I’ve lost focus and interest in finishing it — how can I best regain it?

The answer to this particular question is easy. I suspect I’m not the only writer out there who has learned the answer through experience. The answer is: Forget about it. Put is aside. Find a nice shelf and put the manuscript on it and cover it with a pile of other, more interesting, things until …

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Do MFA programs make you a better writer?

Maybe. Maybe not. And before I go on, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have a love-hate relationship with advanced degrees. I've loved some of my advanced classes and hated others. And I remember one time when the instructor went around the first day of class asking us what we …

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Is it true that there’s little to no money in writing fiction?

Sadly, that’s true. I read somewhere that the average fiction author earns $5,000 a year from his/her writing. However, the e-market is changing everything, including the potential for making as much money as you are willing to work for. And I do mean work. Two kinds of work are involved and each is equally important …

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The first scene of my novel is a chase scene where two boys are being chased. But I haven’t revealed their names, so there’s a lot of “the first boy”, “the other boy”, “then the other boy” for 4 pages and it’s confusing . How can I fix this?

Reading this question, I had a couple thoughts. Questions. The answers to the questions indicate how to handle the scene. First, is it necessary to distinguish which boy is doing what? Does it matter or are you mainly trying to get across that two boys are being chased? If it doesn’t matter, then don’t worry …

Continue reading The first scene of my novel is a chase scene where two boys are being chased. But I haven’t revealed their names, so there’s a lot of “the first boy”, “the other boy”, “then the other boy” for 4 pages and it’s confusing . How can I fix this?

How does one express oneself in writing a science fiction novel with an original idea so that it can impact people and never leave their minds? Take the writing style of, The Martian, for example.

You write without considering that you’re writing for people to read what you write. That way you’re more concerned with what you write than you are with how you write and your writing will flow more naturally. You also write without considering that you’re really writing, not for your reader, but rather for the editor or publisher (bricks and mortar or …

Continue reading How does one express oneself in writing a science fiction novel with an original idea so that it can impact people and never leave their minds? Take the writing style of, The Martian, for example.