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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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.

Can I write a love story if I’ve never been in love?

Of course you can. If science fiction writers can write about worlds and times that don’t exist, then you can write about love. All it takes is a well-honed —- and well-trained —- imagination. Because describing something you don’t personally know without thinking through how you want to do it, is an exercise in futility …

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What are female character cliches to avoid?

There are no cliches to avoid, male or female. None. Cliches exist because they clue the reader into the character being described quickly and easily. That can be a good thing because it saves time and effort that can be put to better use telling the story. The thing is, do a good job of …

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Why is there a need of inserting sensory details in a creative literary work? How does it affect the interest or readers in a piece of work?

 Because it personalizes the story. Because most readers have had similar experiences and the evocation of the senses brings back those experiences and makes the story more real, sharper, and more personal. And that’s the goal of every writer. To bring the reader into the story.

As someone born in 1996 how do I write a story set in the late 1970s?

You do a lot of research and then you use your imagination. The 1970s is a recent enough period that many people from that time are still around and in sound mental health. And most of them would love to sit around and talk your ear off about their lives. Which is wonderful because you’ll …

Continue reading As someone born in 1996 how do I write a story set in the late 1970s?

What is the worst fiction writing advice you’ve heard?

The worst fiction writing advice I’ve ever heard —- and the best fiction writing advice I’ve ever heard — is to write about what you love. It’s very easy to get so caught up in the enjoyment of writing about something you love that you can go on forever and bore your reader to death. …

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Is it possible to write a novel or short story that doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes?

 It’s not a matter of stereotypes. It’s a matter of whether the characters are described well or not so well. Good writing will turn them into archetypes and become the best and most representative of the group they belong to, whatever that group may be. Poor writing will make them stereotypes worthy of laughter and …

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What’s the importance of making story writing a hobby?

My answer is a bit round-about, but stick with me, there's a point at the end. When I first started writing as a career, I found that I ‘wrote out’ a lot of things from my past. Okay, I’ve had an easy, comfortable life but, like with everyone, there were a few things that were …

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Why don’t we write “I am going” instead of “I go?”

Most writers do write ‘I am going’ and for a very good reason.   Workshops always tell writers and would-be writers to use the active voice and that means writing ‘I go.’ But they also tell writers and would-be writers to write the way people actually speak and since most people say, ‘I am going’ …

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