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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How can I write the opening of my novel without it seeming cliche?

There are cliches and there are archetypes.   Cliches are bad. Archetypes are good. Both are the same thing. They are characters, subjects, places, or whatever you are writing about, that are familiar enough to your readers that they recognize them easily as people, things, places or whatever that they already know. The difference between …

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How do I get a first novel published?

This question opens up a can of worms! Writing is the easy part, getting published is waaaaay more difficult! But there are some steps to follow that will get you there. 1. But there are books and blogs and articles out there telling you what to do. I’m not sure how helpful they are but …

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About rain — rainbows — writing — stories of wonder.

It's raining today. Sort of raining, just enough to get everything wet and make me not want to go outside and stand in it because I'd get chilled and soaked, though the ground will still be thirsty when it ends because it's not coming down hard. Still, considering we've been in a 'red flag' event …

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How can I get readers to relate to a non-human character in a story?

 Easy. Give them human characteristics, which is what most, if not all, writers do when describing non-human characters.   I suspect it’s the ONLY way to describe a character because, as humans, we don’t know how to describe anything other than ourselves and, fortunately for writers, that includes a huge range of characters from the …

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Does writing exhaust or energize you? What are some common traps for aspiring writers?

Both because writing is both exhausting and energizing. It all depends on what step I’m at in the process whether I mentally and emotionally sag or whether I look at what I’ve done or am doing and realize that it’s pretty good.   Traps for new writers? They are all mental: Thinking you’re not good …

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What’s the best way to approach writing the second draft of your novel?

 This is kind of a hard one. Everyone knows how to write a first draft. Just write it. But most novels published by major New York publishers go through 10 rewrites. Tenrewrites! That’s a lot of drafts. But one way to get started on that dreaded second draft is to refer back to the outline, mental …

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