Writer’s Block

Sep 27, 2012 by

The problem with trying to write about writer’s block is that to write about writer’s block you can’t have writer’s block and it’s very difficult to write about a block you are currently experiencing. Follow that? Then the rest of this will be very easy to understand. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be an author to experience writer’s block. Anyone who writes at all can be hit with it – from the pen-pal to the executive editor. It’s better described as “blank page syndrome”. You might, in fact, have a topic already in mind when you sit down to write, pen in hand (or fingers on keys) but nothing comes. You stare at the white space in front of you and fifteen minutes later wonder how it could be possibly...

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Writing To Write

Sep 25, 2012 by

No form of writing is pointless. Or, put less passively: writing is always worth it. I was recently asked if there was “even any point in continuing this mess” by a prospective client – she’d written something she had no desire to see published in print and really just wanted to share with the world online. She wanted to offer it up for free, but was willing to spend some money to help improve her skill. Yes, there is a point. Take fanfiction writers, as our first example. It may seem pointless, and some authors are deeply and darkly against their characters being used by anyone else, but in fact, there are quite a few reasons to write fanfiction–I’ll go into my personal artistic views of the medium at a later date. For now,...

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Period Spaces

Sep 18, 2012 by

Once, a long long time ago, in this here galaxy in which we live, you wrote on a typewriter, and the rule was two spaces after a period. And while even the nefarious Writer’s Digest acknowledges that no, we do not do this anymore, people insist on it, and give many a reason for it. When we used typewriters, readability insisted that two spaces come after every period. It gave the eye a rest, and the irregularities inherent in typewriter text made it necessary. We do not do this in today’s computer-driven world. I understand this is a hard habit to break – that’s what “Find/replace” is for. To remove all those double spaces from your finished manuscript before you send it in. Why, you ask? Publishers don’t want to see it. There are plenty of...

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Books VS Graphic Novels

Aug 31, 2012 by

Despite wide-spread thoughts, graphic novels are not the same thing as comics. Comics are shorter, tend to be printed as magazines are, and do not usually tell a complete story in each issue. A graphic novel is, in fact, a novel, told using a comic, or “artistic” format. Basically the difference between a Saturday morning cartoon and a feature motion picture. That said, they are not written the way traditional books are. And it is very difficult to apply the principles of either media/style to the other. A graphic novel has the obvious advantage of the artwork. The art can convey the emotion, show the foreshadowing, hint at the lust or betrayal, illustrate the catastrophe and explain to the reader exactly what it is the main character is holding. None of these tools are...

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She said “It’s ok.”...

Aug 27, 2012 by

I recently read a manuscript in which the author never once used the words “he said” or “she said.” She was very proud of this fact, and asked me if she’d done it right. Well, yes, she did. But it made for very difficult reading. Flat attributions are expected by the mind and the eye and while there are many ways to avoid saying that someone said something, it makes it very difficult in many situations. Also, verbose. His eyes focused on her. “I don’t understand.” She met his gaze with one of her own. “It’s very simple. Only a moron wouldn’t understand this. Are you a moron?!” A narrowed glare met her at the accusation. “When you get insulting, I start to wonder why I even speak to you.” Imagine an entire book...

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