Category Archives: Short Fiction

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Crutch Words — Finding Them and Limiting Them

Last week, John Hartness, my good friend and the owner and editor at Falstaff Books, posted on Facebook about something he was seeing while editing manuscripts. Many of his writers were starting too many lines of dialogue with, “So…” As … Continue reading

Posted in Novels, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Short Fiction Anthologies — When Does an Idea Become a Story?

What is the difference between an idea and a story? It sounds like a basic question, but we have just begun the Zombies Need Brains Kickstarter for the coming year’s anthologies, and once again I am hoping to co-edit one … Continue reading

Posted in Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Short Fiction Anthologies — When Does an Idea Become a Story?

Writing-Tip Wednesday: The ABCs of Character

Last week, I wrote about befriending our characters, as a way of using empathy to improve our character development. This week I would like to continue the discussion of character work by taking a slightly different approach to creating and … Continue reading

Posted in Character, Novels, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: The ABCs of Character

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Taking Stock Halfway Through 2020

As of today, July 1, we are halfway done with 2020. Yeah, I know. It seems like this year has lasted a decade. And it seems like this year has flown. Time is unnervingly elastic right now, at least from … Continue reading

Posted in Islevale Cycle, Novels, Short Fiction, Thieftaker, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Taking Stock Halfway Through 2020

Writing Tip-Wednesday: Reevaluating Goals in the Time of Covid-19

Each of us responds in his or her own way to stress and uncertainty and fear – and there is plenty of all three to go around right now. I have one friend who has been unbelievably productive during the … Continue reading

Posted in Business of publishing, Novels, Publishing, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing Tip-Wednesday: Reevaluating Goals in the Time of Covid-19

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Handling a Plot-Hole Crisis

So I did what all good writers do. I panicked, flew into histrionics, convinced myself that the sky was falling and all my work had been for nothing. That was fun and productive… We writers all know the feeling: We’re … Continue reading

Posted in Novels, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Handling a Plot-Hole Crisis

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Creating Magic Systems

I do everything in my power to keep magic from taking over my story, because ultimately, even in the most imaginative fantasy worlds, magic should remain secondary to character and plot. For today’s Writing Tip, I would like to offer … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy, Islevale Cycle, Novels, Short Fiction, Thieftaker, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Creating Magic Systems

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Writers Read

I’m tempted to leave the post at that and go open a beer. Writers have to be readers. Period. Full stop. But it’s morning, and I really shouldn’t be drinking beer this early, so allow me to elaborate… In last … Continue reading

Posted in Business of publishing, Fantasy, Novels, Publishing, Reading, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Writers Read

Writing-Tip Wednesday: Self-Editing Techniques

We know the shapes of our narratives, and we also know our own voice and style. So our stories are likely to make sense to us, regardless of whether they make sense to others. On Monday, I wrote about my … Continue reading

Posted in Novels, Publishing, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writing-Tip Wednesday: Self-Editing Techniques

Monday Musings: Learning to be an Editor

I’m pretty good at diagnosing both narrative trouble spots and problematic wording. Over the years, I’ve had tons of practice, having found plenty of both in my own work. As I’ve mentioned here before, I am coediting an anthology, Galactic … Continue reading

Posted in Business of publishing, Publishing, Short Fiction, Writing, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monday Musings: Learning to be an Editor