Category Archives: writing tips

Writing Time, Part 84. Revising That Beloved Older Manuscript, Practical Tips, Part 1

If you’re revising an older novel in the midst of present-day writing projects, the process of chunking it down can be a lifeline to a busy writer. Here’s one way to begin it. Chunk 1. Mull it Over. This is … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 83. Time Management for Writers, a Fractal Approach

I like to think of outlining as fractal, like a rocky coastline. The jagged water’s edge looks similar—not identical, just very like—if seen from space, an airplane, a tower, a rooftop, or from a crouching position at the water’s edge. Story … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 81. In the Mood for Writing

Self-discipline rarely goes amiss, but what if a writer examines a great writing mood and figures out how to encourage it? For example, planning not just a time for writing but planning the mood for it as well. Everybody is different, … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 77. Creating Something New

One of the great things about being a writer, and living an author’s life, is that we can be confident that we’re making a difference in the world. Each turning point, thrill, laugh, satisfying ending we write, is an act of … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 75. Towards Confidence in Narrative Structure

On a panel at the Creative Ink Festival, three of us are talking about our planning processes. The first describes himself as a “pantser”. He writes what comes next, and doesn’t worry about outlines. He knows thinks hard about his story … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 74. Creating Suspense, 3 Ways

This is the third in a series of posts  on creating tension and one on sustaining suspense. I’m on panels talking about this at Creative Ink in Burnaby, BC, so it seems like a good moment to address ways to accomplish … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 73. 3 Tricks for Sustaining Tension

I’m moderating a panel on creating tension and one on sustaining uspense, so it seems like a good moment to address ways to accomplish this. If we can create suspense, and sustain tension as we plot and draft, then we … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 72. Creating Tension and Suspense, With Thanks to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I’m moderating a panel on creating tension and another on creating suspense, and it seems like a happy moment to address ways to accomplish this. As well, from the point of view of time management for writers, if we can … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 71. Four Fixes for Chapter Openings and Endings

All writing exercises are useful in some way or other, but some take us so swiftly and directly towards our goals, that they’re worth identifying and emphasizing. For example, taking a close look at the beginnings and endings of chapters. … Continue reading

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Writing Time, Part 70. Great Starts Via Tone and Setting

Establishing tone and setting right off is a good way to get point of view quickly and firmly established. It’s not the only way to begin—we certainly read successful starts composed of rants, reflections, and resonant difficulties . But, it might … Continue reading

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