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 …

Continue reading 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?

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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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?

What is the best point of view to use when writing a multi-character novel?

There’s a process by which you figure that out. First, what’s the genre of the novel? Some novels are so often done in one view-point or another that stories written in any other viewpoint will be ignored. Not read. IF you have a choice because such novels can use any of a number of viewpoints, …

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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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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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