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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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.

Does being social help with writing dialogue for your stories? If not, what do you think helps with writing good dialogue?

To be honest, your question stumped me for a moment. I doubt that being social helps because people in books don’t speak the same way that they do in real life. Not even close. Nor can you just pull sentences out of thin air. But I suspect that reading books that have the kind of …

Continue reading Does being social help with writing dialogue for your stories? If not, what do you think helps with writing good dialogue?

When starting a novel, is it good to create an outline of ideas or just to write the ideas into the story and hash it out later?

Either way works fine. It’s a personality thing. Are you the type who jumps into everything you do feet first? Or the type who researches everything before making a move? Which type you are tells you which way you should approach the craft of writing a story. Personally, I started out by jumping in feet …

Continue reading When starting a novel, is it good to create an outline of ideas or just to write the ideas into the story and hash it out later?

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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I’m writing a novel and I’m finding it hard to make my chapters long enough, I’m currently on a 2 page long fight scene to start my book and I want to to at least break 4 pages, any ideas?

Common problem. Trust me on that. Take a walk. Get away from your computer and stop staring at that dratted screen. While walking and enjoying the weather and the trees and the beautiful birds overhead, think about your story. Dig deeper. Get inside the head of each and every protagonist in that fight scene. What …

Continue reading I’m writing a novel and I’m finding it hard to make my chapters long enough, I’m currently on a 2 page long fight scene to start my book and I want to to at least break 4 pages, any ideas?

Is it better to get all of your ideas out and write a novel quickly, or to spend years in the process of curating the story and its elements?

Depends. Some writers work best slowly and carefully, deciding each and every element and making sure the whole things works together. Others work best just sitting down and letting it all come out in one huge, whoosh. It’s a personality thing, not a writer thing. So go with whatever works for you.

In writing fiction, are flashbacks a good or bad way of revealing a main character’s tragic past?

Flashbacks work and are often essential for the reader to understand what’s going on and the actions of the character in question. I learned what I consider to be a better way when writing short stories. Because short stories are short. Every word is important. Can’t waste words on long, involved flashbacks. But a writer …

Continue reading In writing fiction, are flashbacks a good or bad way of revealing a main character’s tragic past?

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 …

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