When is a Cliché Forgivable?

Ten Commandments 100One of the ten commandments of creative writing must certainly be Thou Shalt Not Use clichés. The difference with writing commandments, of course, is that there’s always an “except…”

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Creating Effective Character Descriptions

Word Painting 120Effective character descriptions do more than provide a visual image of a character’s appearance. They can also take the reader into the mind of the person they have just met, provide the first hint of their destiny, or perhaps a dark shadow of their past. Continue reading

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An Interview with Ian Probert, Author of “Johnny Nothing”

Johnny Nothing 120It’s my pleasure this week to share an interview with career journalist, “hybrid” author, and most recently, illustrator Ian Probert. Ian’s latest genre (ad)venture is Johnny Nothing, a sly, riotously funny book written ostensibly for children that parents will want to read before sharing with their progeny. Continue reading

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Turn and Turn About: Senan Gil Senan (Author of Beyond the Pale) Interviews Me

High Res book CoverNot long ago, I conducted an interview with Senan Gil Senan, author of Beyond the Pale, focusing on how and why he wrote the book that he did. I found his book as well as his interview answers to be fascinating. Now we’ve switched places, offering me an opportunity to reflect on why, and how, I wrote the book that I did. So here we go: Continue reading

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A Defense of Curation

firehose140It is fashionable for content producers to rail against the concept of “curation” in the Age of the Internet. Why? Because the guidelines of those  terrible people, the “traditional publishers,” are supposedly keeping authors from the global audience that certainly must be their birthright. True, the balance can (and in the recent past certainly has) swung too far in the direction of permitting far too few good books to gain access to traditional distribution channels.

But it’s worth remembering that the situation can look very different to a content consumer than it does to a content producer.

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Author Tip: Making Hand-Editing Less Painful

Hand with pen 140If you’re like me, you need to use a variety of editing techniques to end up with a final draft you’re pleased with. That means spending a lot of time and effort, and I’m always looking for ways to make it faster and less painful. Here’s a trick you might find useful. Continue reading

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Something New from WordPress: 2014 in review

WP Report 150I don’t recall getting a report like this last year, but it’s a nice extra from the good folks at WordPress. It gives a summary of a variety of helpful metrics for your site for 2014 (most popular post, most comments, etc.) Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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