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Craft

SHOWING RATHER THAN TELLING: A PRIMER

SHOWING RATHER THAN TELLING: A PRIMER

A Session with Lou Aronica By the time I started writing my first published novel, I’d already been working in the publishing industry for more than twenty years. The majority of that time had been spent working with writers on their manuscripts, and I had edited quite a few bestsellers and award winners. Of course […]

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The 4D Character

The 4D Character

A Session with Robert Herzog It isn’t always so obvious, but a week in June, 2016 powerfully conveys an awareness of living through moments that are indeed history, that will resonate downstream with real consequences, such as: Brexit and the unsettling of a major world order the Democratic Congressional sit-in over guns the continued sense […]

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The Being-for-Itself

The Being-for-Itself

A session with Leora Skolkin-Smith In 1969, Jane Alpert a good-looking upper-middle-class Jewish girl who was an honors student at Swarthmore College, conspired to bomb eight government and commercial office buildings in New York City. She was arrested when other participants in her group were caught planting dynamite in National Guard trucks. She pleaded guilty […]

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Scope

Scope

A Session with KM Cholewa What if you haven’t travelled the world or don’t have an interest in researching the kitchen implements or dress codes of another era?  What if your novel takes place over a single dinner party and there are no flashbacks in time and no flashbacks of travel over land and sea? Under […]

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Connecting Characters to Ideas

Connecting Characters to Ideas

A Session with Robert M. Herzog My novel, A World Between, began with musings about the nature of matter. That’s probably not the first thing you think about when creating compellingly readable fiction. Yet those ideas, a speculation on the duality of matter – its strange ability to appear as both particles and waves – […]

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Writing Dangerous Women

Writing Dangerous Women

A Session with Lynn Voedisch When I sent out my first independent marketing memo for my fantasy adventure, Dateline: Atlantis, I used the phrase “female Indiana Jones.” Interest came roaring back. A movie company that had done some impressive films even offered a reading of the entire manuscript. Nothing panned out, because even though the book […]

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Making Your Characters’ Problems Personal to the Reader

Making Your Characters’ Problems Personal to the Reader

A Session with Cara Sue Achterberg At their core, people are the same. I hear you now, saying, no, no, no, but, really, what do we all want? Love, security, happiness. Whittle down all the motives and desires in the world, and I believe they come down to those three. We want to love and be […]

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Creating Characters Who Are Both Strong and Vulnerable

Creating Characters Who Are Both Strong and Vulnerable

A Session with James LePore When I think of interesting characters, I think of chiaroscuro, the technique in painting, made famous by Caravaggio, of darkening the shadows and fixing the subject in a bright, almost otherworldly shaft of light. There is an acute, almost feral, reality, to Caravaggio’s work. You are mesmerized, and at the same […]

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Using Flashbacks

Using Flashbacks

A Session with Tanya Anne Crosby “Show, don’t tell!” Any writer whose been at the craft for any length of time has heard this edict time and again. It sounds easy enough; it’s harder than it seems. But I didn’t learn to recognize this literary sin until I abandoned fiction for a few years and […]

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Giving a Story Scale Even When the Focus is Narrow

Giving a Story Scale Even When the Focus is Narrow

A Session with Peter Murphy The unplanned trilogy To begin with, I should tell you that I never intended to write the story of Danny Boyle as a trilogy. Life & Times happened because I made three separate efforts to tell Danny’s story from different points in his life. Each grew to about one hundred […]

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