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Category Archives: Creative Writing

Why you need bad writing to get to good writing

I was cleaning out some old files when I came across drafts of screenplays I wrote in the 1990s. They were awful. Eye-achingly awful. So awful that I shredded them and put them in the recycling bin. But when I wrote those scripts, I thought they were so wonderful that I registered one of them …

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Slaying the dragon

Spoilers ahead. Fiction involves some sort of conflict. Usually, the source of the conflict is visible: another person, the environment, or some other physical threat. Even conflicts within ourselves are made visible through our actions. What if the source can’t be seen? What if it is something powerful and overwhelming, but abstract? What if the adversary is …

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My answers to questions agents ask writers

Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest posted a helpful column by Lisa Katzenberger listing four questions agents ask writers at pitch sessions. I’m working to get my new novels published, so here are my answers to those questions. If you’re a writer, my responses may help you formulate your own answers. If you’re an agent or publisher, please read …

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NaNoWriMo 2016: Writing while the world changes

I started writing Offline in the spring of 2001. In my initial draft, I set the story in mid-September 2001. When 9/11 hit, I had a lot to think about. Somewhere near the bottom of that list was Offline. Should I even finish it? Did the story still make sense in this new, uncertain world? I did finish and publish …

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NaNoWriMo 2016: Why Amiga?

During NaNoWriMo, I’ll write an occasional post about the experience of writing my new novel, Amiga. (These won’t be too frequent because I’ll be busy writing the actual novel.) Since I have a little time before the madness starts, I’d like to describe why I chose the Commodore Amiga as the centerpiece of my book.