Monthly Archives: February 2011

Using Random Tools Like StumbleUpon for Rewriting

The Internet may be a sometimes maddening easy way to lose track of time, but it’s also the source of a lot of useful tools for rewriting, making it possible to justify a little time spent poking at it. I love tools for finding random things that I can inject into my writing. A favorite tool for rewriting using random input from the Internet is Stumbleupon. Continue reading

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Coming in March!

Next week, I’ll talk about using random Internet tools for rewriting your fiction, YouTube blogging and some reasons writers might want to investigate its possibilities, provide another story prompt like last week’s, reprint an article about MUD management that originally appeared in Imaginary Realities, revisiting that list of Hugo winners to talk about titles again, and providing a wrap-up of recent online writing. Continue reading

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Grandmother’s Road Trip

This story, which I’ve offered up as free online fiction, owes much of its inspiration to my actual grandmother and is faintly, ever so faintly, autobiographical. It tells the story of a cross-country trip pursued by an ominous toy. Continue reading

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It’s snowy out, the sort of snow I grew up with in Northern Indiana. A clumpy snow, a little wet, so it clings to branches in inch thick lines, making some more snow than branch. Last night I watched it drifting past the light in the parking lot, which illuminated a sphere of falling snow, like an open-air snow globe, the good kind without sparkles or glitter, just evocative white bits that make us think of quiet nights, growing quieter as the snow muffles sound. Continue reading

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Story Prompt #1

Here’s your challenge – write either a beginning or ending inspired by this image that invokes at least three senses – and doesn’t take place in a museum. Feel free to share in the comments! Continue reading

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10 Free Science Fiction Classics

A major joy of my new Kindle is finding free books. I figured other people might appreciate some of my finds. So here’s ten science fiction classic novels, available free online as ebooks. Continue reading

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3 Things That End A Story Well

1. Circularity is a big help. It provides a sense that the reader has returned to the beginning, but now everything is changed. Here’s a cheat – take something that appears in your first three paragraphs and invoke it in your last three as well. It can be changed – the rose that initially trembled, dew-covered, as our heroine picked it is now lying withered and flat in the road. Or it is a new rose, being picked by another woman who is the replacement for the first? Continue reading

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Ever since my husband installed a Vocobox â„¢ in our cat in a failed experiment, he (the cat, not my husband) stands outside the closed bedroom door in the mornings, calling. The intelligence update was partially successful, but the only word the cat has learned is its own name, Raven, which he uses to convey everything. I hear him when I wake up, the sound muted by the wooden door between us.
“Raven. Raven. Raven.” Continue reading

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Recent Writing Post Roundup

Here’s the list of recent posts on writing, for people who would like to exhaust every link. May you bookmark freely, my friends, and do so on StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, and so forth! Hopefully these tips are of use to novel and short story writers. Continue reading

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Revising Through A Single Lens

I’ve been reading Donald Maass’s excellent, excellent book Writing the Breakout Novel (which is, unfortunately, not available on the Kindle so I actually had to do the archaic order and wait for a hardcopy thing) and it’s at a perfect time for me since I’m beginning the second pass at the current project. As I’ve read, I’ve collected ideas to apply to rewrite. I’m making the heroine’s past considerably more complex, shoving the hero a bit more ruthlessly out of his depth, making some bad guys more ambiguous morally, killing my very favorite character, letting a villainess be much, much bitchier (and funnier), and raising the stakes repeatedly. Continue reading

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