craft

Everything I know about writing a series

Posted on Nov 3, 2013 in craft, News & Appearances | 0 comments

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My favorite time of year

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

My favorite time of year

Ah, it’s the end of summer. The favorite time of year for any writer, due to four little words… Sale on office supplies! (I know, you thought I was going to say “kids back in school.”) And for some, that is indeed a blessing, but for those of us without rugrats, now is the time to pick up pocket folders, notebooks and all those other necessities of the writing life. Indeed, I’d been distressed when I ran out of pocket folders earlier in the month, but now I have a fresh new supply which instantly makes me feel more organized and efficient, even if all I’ve...

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How much is that plot arc in the window? The one with the wagglely tale?

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

How much is that plot arc in the window? The one with the wagglely tale?

Yesterday, in the span of a half-hour, I came up with not one but two new story ideas. Different genres, different tones, even different POVs, the only thing they have in common is me. I drove to the Cybercafe, whipped out a notepad (silly me, I’d left the laptop at home since I was supposed to be running errands) and wrote them up. This is the part of being a writer that most folks don’t understand, as they sidle up next to me at parties and offer to let me have the privilege of writing up their great idea. Having ideas is never the problem, the hard part is picking just one to...

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Everything you always wanted to know about sidekicks, Part 2

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 in craft | 1 comment

Everything you always wanted to know about sidekicks, Part 2

This summer I was a guest instructor at Odyssey (odysseyworkshop), where I focused on the role of sidekicks as part of an overall discussion of characterization. The first half of the lecture was posted as a podcast last month, and they’ve just made the second half available on their website here. Podcast #32: In this podcast, the second of two parts, Patricia Bray explains how the sidekick’s characteristics can balance those of the protagonist, or contrast with those of the protagonist. She discusses the requirements for a good sidekick, and describes how the sidekick’s...

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Secret fact about fantasy writers

Posted on Oct 13, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Secret fact about fantasy writers

The reason why we write sequels is the sheer number of things that have to be named when you’re starting a story set in a new world. Character names are bad enough, but everything has to be named–countries, cities, rivers, mountains, seas, monetary systems, religions, governing organizations and political factions, the lists are endless. Mystery writers have it easy. šŸ˜€

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Writing in dog years

Posted on Oct 13, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Writing in dog years

I’ve spent the past week working on a synopsis, which has been behaving in the way they typically do. Over this morning’s coffee, I found myself considering why it was that writing a six page synopsis is so much harder than writing an entire chapter of a novel. And then it hit me. A synopsis is to a novel as dog years are to human years. Each page of a synopsis carries the weight of fifty or more pages of story. A superdense form of prose, each paragraph of a synopsis must do the work of at least a scene, if not an entire chapter. It’s as if I went to do my normal workout...

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