Analyzing your story, Part-4: Keeping your story moving

From Rick: So far in this series, I’ve dealt with three aspects: (1) your story’s purpose in terms of what you want to convey to your reader (2) keeping the reader with you in terms of understanding the characters’ motives

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Story flaws: Finding and fixing them—PART 2

From Rick: In PART-1, I talked about three major flaws a story can have: (1) The story fails to engage the reader (2) The characters fail to engage the reader (3) The story takes too long to become interesting (or

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Story flaws: Finding and fixing them—PART 1

From Rick: What’s wrong with your story? Why are magazine editors rejecting your short stories? Are your novels getting mixed reviews (or no reviews)? In a series of two posts I’m going to offer some suggestions for things you can

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Overwritten manuscripts: how to fix—PART 3

From Rick: In Part 2, I talked about two ways in which writers may overwrite: —unnecessary use of characters’ names —repeated words and phrases In this last part I’ll finish up this series by talking about three other ways writers

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Overwritten manuscripts: how to fix—PART 2

From Rick: Last time, I pointed out several ways in which writers overwrite their stories and novels: —unnecessary dialogue tags —wordiness in general —unnecessary repetition of information To that list I want to add: —unnecessary use of characters’ names —repeated

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The rules of good writing from Mark Twain

From Rick: None have said it better than Mark Twain in his famous essay FENIMORE COOPER’S LITERARY OFFENSES . I’ve added my thoughts and comments. “There are nineteen rules governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction—some say twenty-two. In

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Naming strategies—people, places, and things

From Scott: Naming your characters (and the places and things) in your story can be more challenging than it appears at first glance. After all, they’re your characters, so you can name them whatever you want, right? True, but to

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