Category: Writing Craft

The art, science, and business of writing.

Mood and Atmosphere

Mood and Atmosphere

Stories without mood and atmosphere have an incomplete feeling. They need substance and fleshing out. The dialogue has nothing physical to play against. The characters have no arena in which to move about, and little stage business to enhance the

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Six Tips for Creative Fiction Collaboration

King Eowain and the Boar: A Stand-Alone Tale in the Matter of Manred, by Jean Lee and Michael E. Dellert

If you’ve been following my newsletter (and if you aren’t, sign up today!), you’ll know that I’ve been working on a creative fiction collaboration with a fellow fantasy author, Jean Lee, to create a work called King Eowain and the Boar,

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Bad Beginnings

The beginning. It’s a rough spot for many first drafts. As writers, we routinely place a disproportionate amount of attention on our introductory paragraphs. For good reason. Sometimes we just don’t know where a story is supposed to start. And

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People-Watching: It’s Not Just For Peeping Toms Anymore

The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like. Imagine All the

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Name That… Character!

Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names? And what about your characters? Ask ten different authors about how they choose names for

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13 Week Rewrite: The Round-Up

You’re done with your rewrite! Now what? Congratulations!! You’ve completed the rewrite of your book! That’s no small feat and you should be proud of yourself. Take a moment and celebrate! Ok good. Now, time to get back to work.

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13 Week Rewrite: Week Thirteen – The End

At last. The home stretch. This week, you’re rewriting the ending to your story. The story doesn’t conclude at the climactic battle-scene. It’s not over until your heroine returns home. This final section is sometimes called the falling action or

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From Rough Draft to Finished Manuscript: Guest Post by Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin, Author

Over the last thirteen weeks and more, I’ve shared with you my own process for rewriting the first draft of your novel manuscript. But is it my way or the highway? Hardly. And thankfully, I’ve got Andy Peloquin back with

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13 Week Rewrite: Week Twelve – Battle Scene

This week, you’re rewriting up to the point where your hero makes a new choice. This is the climactic battle scene. Although it’s an internal battle for the hero, it may also present itself externally. It’s where your hero makes

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13 Week Rewrite: Week Eleven – Reality

This week, you’re rewriting through approximately one-third of your Third Act. Many things are happening to your heroine at once by this point in the story. As a result of her surrender, she’s re-framed her relationship to the meaning she

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