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 …

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

What are tips you would share with someone wanting to write a fictional story?

There is a craft to writing short fiction: Learn how to put a story together. Take a class, read a book, do whatever it takes to learn the craft of telling a short story. Pretend that the story really happened. It should seem real to the reader, so it should also seem real as it …

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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.

How does one begin writing a fantasy novel?

 Fantasy requires building a world that doesn’t exist but must live full-blown and realistic in the mind of the reader. So the first thing a writer of fantasy must do — after creating the story and the characters, of course — is to create the world that the story and characters will live in and …

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How do I write realistic prehistoric dialogue?

 You don’t. Because you don’t know how prehistoric people spoke or how they sounded. Don’t know accents. Don’t know much of anything about their speech. So you make it up. Figure out how you think they spoke, what their accents were like, whether they talked like professors or peasants. Which is a way of saying …

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What are your techniques to improve writing?

 There are three things most writers would encourage you to do: Read, read, read. Because reading of any kind at all— anything at all — improves your world view and subconsciously teaches you how those writers did what they did. But reading in the genre you wish to write in gives you added insight into …

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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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