Writing great dialog–Part 2

From Rick: In this part, I’m going discuss defining character with dialog. Many new authors don’t grasp this starting out, and they end up having all their characters talk alike. We’ve all read novels where it was difficult to keep

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Writing great dialog–Part 1

From Rick: As I mentioned in last week’s brief post, Scott and I lately have been quite busy. So, for a while, we’re going to reduce the length of our blog posts, dividing them into multiple posts when necessary, to

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Miscellaneous tips and topics

From Rick: For this week’s post we have something a bit different. Lately I’ve run across a bunch of useful tidbits that I wanted to pass along because each is too short to warrant a separate blog. (1) THREE ARTICLES

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Bad writing habits–examples

From Rick and Scott: Last week Scott talked about four bad habits of writers. The first was the use of habit words and phrases. Nearly every author is guilty of falling into the use of certain repetitive writing habits. The

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Hard habits to break–What not to learn from the pros

From Scott: Last time, I discussed some good habits I have learned from reading the works of other authors. Great writers like Vince Flynn, Terry Brooks, and James Patterson have used many successful tools and techniques, and if you study

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Flashbacks–Think twice before you dwell on the past

From Rick: Among the several sins that many new writers commit, premature flashbacks is often one of them. Two other big sins are launching into backstory too soon after the opening (or in the opening), and the use of a

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Formatting guidelines–PART 3 (Miscellaneous topics)

From Rick: This post will finish the topic of formatting (for now) and attempt to cover those varied points not previously discussed. (1) Smart quote redux This past week I discovered a problem with smart quotes. Remember that I said

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Is your story the right size?

From Rick: This may sound like a strange topic, but it reflects a problem I’ve seen on several occasions. It means: does your story CONCEPT match the length allocated to it? The length problem spans all types of stories from

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