Multiple First Person and the Evil You

Multiple First Person and the Evil You

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Multiple first person is one of the most difficult points of view you can use in a novel. You keep saying “I” and that makes you think of yourself as the same person while you write both first person stories. They can sound like the same person to your readers too. That’s not good. The first problem is that the first person narrator should not be you when you write fiction. After getting around that problem, you need a way to make sure that your two first person narrators are different variations of not you.

Let’s start with a bit about who the first person narrator really is.


Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stephen King and The Art of the Mini Story

Stephen King and The Art of the Mini Story

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When you first introduce a new character into one of your novels, do you just introduce them as Joe Blau the lumber truck driver and leave it up to your readers to figure him out as the story moves along? That’s how you make characters one dimensional. It’s not recommended. Your readers have nothing much to help them remember the character.


Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Novel Report 6 – The Second Draft of Book 5 is Complete

Novel Report 6 – The Second Draft of Book 5 is Complete

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After several interruptions from life, job changes, moving, good times, bad times, the second draft of my current novel is complete.

The outline took 10 months, the first draft 8 months, and the second draft 5 months. I’m speeding up.

My research on writing for blog articles has taught me what is needed for an interesting novel. Boring chapters must go. I have boring chapters to be removed. The tension must keep rising as the book progresses. My current draft has lots of rising tension. The central question of a novel needs to stand out. The central question of my novel doesn’t stand out to my satisfaction.

I must improve my novel before I can publish. I don’t want to put out a novel that isn’t a great read. I must make any changes I know will make it better.


Published in: on April 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On the Importance of Setting in Fiction

On the Importance of Setting in Fiction

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Setting in fiction is a combination of time and place. Setting shows the context of your story. A murder mystery, for example, will be very different between present day New York and 1855 Edo.

How much setting plays a part in your story is up to you. You can keep it light, mention the place and time, and let your readers fill in the details. Or you can rely heavily on setting, fill in all the details, and force your readers to see exactly what you see. The more your setting is away from the everyday, the more description you will need. For example, if it’s in 1855 Edo, you will need loads of detail.


Published in: on April 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Plot-holes on the Writing Highway

Plot-holes on the Writing Highway

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Are you a seat-of-your-pants novelist? Have you found that your first draft is full of problems and plot-holes? You’ve discovered the reason why writing with a plan is so popular. Don’t give up. It’s not too late. You can make plans after writing the first draft and use them to fix your story. Good planning documents will make it easier to find your place and fix those problems even now.

Without summary documents, you would need to search your entire manuscript every time you needed to make a change. That’s no fun. The two documents I describe below will take time to create but save time in the long run. Let’s do this step by step.


Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crime Writing in Canada – Legal Issues

Crime Writing in Canada – Legal Issues

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There are Canadian laws that make it tough to publish a crime novel in Canada. I’m not a lawyer, but any time I hear of a law that affects what I’m allowed to write or publish, I make a note of it. This is what I’ve learned so far.

Crime Comics

In Canada, it’s illegal to publish a “crime comic”, which is defined as any comic, book, film or other media that describes how to commit a crime. Many kinds of novels need at least one crime. The important thing is not to educate someone on how to become an effective killer, meth chemist, or any other kind of criminal. The criminals that get caught are the ones that make mistakes. That’s the kind of criminal that appear in novels.

It seems that the intent of the “crime comic” law is preventing the production and sale of material showing how to commit a crime. “How to set up a marijuana growing operation,” for example. Laws are always open to interpretation. Err on the side of caution and you’ll be okay. Make the criminals dumb. Don’t become an expert on crime. Become an expert on catching criminals. Or just don’t publish your crime novel in Canada.


Published in: on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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19 Ways to Kaizen Your Writing Efforts

19 Ways to Kaizen Your Writing Efforts

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Kaizen is a Japanese term that refers to increasing efficiency in every way possible. Even a step that saves only a few seconds an hour counts. You can kaizen your writing by carefully examining every step of your writing process. Here are some possibilities.

19 Ways To Kaizen Your Writing Efforts

1. Do you use the same template for several types of articles and edit the header when you create a new article? Consider unique templates for your most common article types.

2. Do you stop work on novels and books at the end of chapters? Continuing to write the start of the next chapter will have you already in progress when you return to it.

3. Do you write on paper or typewriter and transcribe it into your computer later? Find a way to get it in electronic format right from the start, even if it needs to be a text file or e-mail.

4. Do you start your day with a task other than writing? The early part of the day is when you’re most creative and productive. Write first. Do everything else later.


Published in: on March 31, 2014 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  

One Paragraph to Beat Writer’s Block

One Paragraph to Beat Writer's Block

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There is no “one paragraph” you can read to beat writer’s block, unless maybe it’s the one you’re reading now. The one paragraph that will wipe out writer’s block is one that you write.

In the place where your writing is blocked, write a paragraph. Forget about making it good. It can be terrible, uninformed, off topic, or even a rant about how you hate the topic or plot point. Just write something so that you’ve started writing.

Writing One Paragraph When Many Projects are Important

When you have more than one writing project, one paragraph is easier to achieve. The only catch is that you’ve got to have something to say on one of the projects. Which project do you want to work on most? Which project do you need to work on most?

If you have a project that pays, you can almost always move forward on that one. Money is a great motivator. Even if it’s not the one you’re stuck on, write a paragraph in the paying project first. Now you’ve done some writing. Go back to the one you really want to work on and get your fingers moving.

If you can’t produce a paragraph on any of your writing projects, see the next section on how to get moving on a single project that stalls.

Writing One Paragraph When You Have Only One Project

This is tougher. You may need to write total garbage to get started. Pointless, you say? But you’ll be writing something. That beats staring at the screen.

A good kind of garbage paragraph is a ramble about what you should be writing. If you can’t move in the direction you want, move in the wrong direction. Don’t be afraid to make a total mess. There’s always revision.

When One Paragraph Isn’t Working

Sometimes you won’t even be able to write one paragraph. You must kill inertia. Write one sentence. Still no progress? One word?

You can always follow the advice of Ryoki Inoue, perhaps the world’s most prolific writer. He says inertia must be killed at all costs, even if you have to type your own name over and over. He’s written over 1000 books, so we know his method works.

That’s a simple solution to writer’s block. Just write something.

Article by Ivan Izo.

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Published in: on March 27, 2014 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Find Your Voice to Make Your Writing Take Off

Find Your Voice to Make Your Writing Take Off

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Finding your voice requires doing lots of different kinds of writing. Some people write half a dozen novels before realizing that novels are not their way of expressing what they want to say. Others blog for years and then realize it’s not working. But, you have to do the writing before you can know if it’s the way to bring out your voice. Isn’t there a shortcut?


Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Refining Your Blog Submission Process

Refining Your Blog Submission Process

Every blogger has a posting plan. If you aren’t worried about every detail, the plan is in your head. If you’re a perfectionist, you have a written plan that covers everything.

You may not need a written plan. I’m going to take you through my plan and you can decide for yourself. You may learn something more you could do for your blog. Conversely, you may see that I’m missing something. Anyway, here it is.


Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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