Category Archives: The Craft of Writing and Editing

Writing About Time

In fiction, both written and on-screen, there are certain “uninvented inventions” whose properties transcend any one story. We know how these things work, how they operate, and when they appear in a new story we understand their import just as … Continue reading

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Lost Stories, Part IV

I am, little by little, telling the stories of the various novel ideas I’ve had along the way but did not pursue. Could I go back and finish them? Maybe, in at least some cases, but the issue is I … Continue reading

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Killing Your Darlings

Among writers, the phrase “kill your darlings,” refers to editing away those parts of a document that don’t really belong, but to which you are attached. For example, those 22 pages of backstory that don’t really add anything to the … Continue reading

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Lost Stories, Part II

I’m doing a series on stories I started but never finished. In most cases there are good reasons why I didn’t finish them, but these lost stories also hide some gems of potential, some things I’d like to share–and it’s … Continue reading

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Lost Stories, Part 1

I’ve had a lot of ideas for stories over the years, going back to my childhood when I first started thinking about becoming a writer. Most of those ideas never progressed to a completed story, and usually there was a … Continue reading

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Printing the Unprintable. Or Not.

“Go to the unprintable,” Agustin said. “And unprint thyself.” This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway. The line exemplifies not one but two of the remarkable … Continue reading

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Let’s Write About Sex. Or Not

Last time I talked about Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel, a book whose dedication to scientifically accurate detail was very much an inspiration for my writing. But the elephant (or, if you prefer, the panicked pachyderm) … Continue reading

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