Archive | On Writing

05 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Canny Valley Comics Report Card

For those of you who don’t know, Canny Valley is my (Anthony) web comic project. Today marks the six month anniversary since launch and I thought I’d share some of my lessons learned. Not surprisingly, creating comics is much like any other creative endeavor. I’ll be posting an article soon detailing the basic work flow […]

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10 October 2011 ~ 2 Comments

The Importance of a Thick Skin

A thick skin doesn’t come naturally. You have to cultivate it. One of the biggest ways that I did this when I started writing fiction is critique forums. My particular favorite is Baen’s Bar. Post some stuff there in the Baen’s Bar Slush, get some feedback, post feedback on other people’s stories. Yeah, the negative comments can be hard to take at first, but you learn to extract the useful parts of them.

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28 February 2011 ~ 13 Comments

Title Crafting

One of the aspects of the craft writing that never seems to get much discussion is the choice of title. Now, certainly there are lots of other things you need to work on, endings, the beginning hook, characterization, so on. And those other things are more likely to affect your chances at making a sale. But titles do matter. At the very least they can be the icing on the cake. At the most they can make the story itself more memorable and thus easier to recommend and discuss (always an important thing). Their value is less obvious and harder to measure.

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05 October 2009 ~ 4 Comments

Through Another’s Eyes: The Narrative Lens

Emulating film in writing is an easy trap to fall into. Overly long descriptions of complex settings and impartial narration as though attempting to show what a camera would see. But to write fiction in this manner is to sell yourself short. No one can portray a story in a film-like manner as well as film itself can. I’m not saying you can’t tell about the same story, the same characters, the same events. But you need to tell it differently to reach its full potential.

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24 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Great writing websites…

As an aspiring writer I find the internet to be an extremely valuable tool as well as a colossal drain on my writing time. There are fantastic resources available to new writers that quite frankly I would not have survived without. On the other hand, even these great resources can be an excuse not to write. I’ve listed the links to each website or tool that I have used in my short journey as a writer. I hope you find them useful but I caution you to only use what you need at the moment.

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09 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Interesting advice…

When I first started this writing thing I often read that it was a lonely craft. So many people wrote about how they felt like no one really wanted them to succeed and that if they did succeed, no one would notice. I thought this was interesting but dispatched it as not my problem. Well it has become my problem. Maybe it’s just me but I feel that more and more, no one around me really cares about my writing. It is frustrating.

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07 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

“Beats” in dialog

To me, beats serve three main purposes:
1. attribution: lets you know who is saying what.
2. characterization: actions speak louder than words, this can betray a lie, show nervous habits, convey more subtle communication between characters, any number of other things.
3. pacing. A longer beat conveys a longer moment of time between speech.

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03 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Cinematic Descriptions

Trying to imitate cinema in prose rarely works very well, IMO. Prose can never imitate cinema well in this respect, and concentrating on this weakens the other aspects that prose can be better at. Cinema allows you to watch amazing events happen, but well-written prose allows you to experience it.

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29 April 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Article: Submitting to Literary Magazines 101: Professionalism

Interestingly, what Pat Bertram claims are the rules of the submitting to literary violate what is common knowledge for speculative fiction magazines. Listed below I listed the major differences I noticed. “Literary” refers to the comments entered by Vince Gotera (though he may not speak for the entire genre, he speaks as though he does).

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26 April 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Revision Methods

Give to First Readers. I give it to a few people whose critiquing opinions I trust. Exactly who I give it to depends on who I’ve been interacting more with lately, who I’ve read stories for (I prefer to trade rather than one-sided critiques) etc… I read the critiques as they roll in and mark comments into the draft document so they’re easy to look at later.

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