How to Sneak In Any Amount of Information & Maintain the Fictive Dream

I tried getting his 44 question ebook for a while now. I keep checking my spam folder and other places in my gmail but no dice. Anyways, very good info here. Thanks and keep them coming.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Mike Licht Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Mike Licht

As an editor I have some pretty standard red flags I look for, but a REALLY common blunder is the dreaded information dump. Some genres are more prone to this than others. Science fiction and fantasy can be particularly vulnerable. How DO you keep the pace of the story and still relay about the prophecy, the starship, the dragons and the dragons prophesied to have starships?

It’s tough.

Once again we have Alex Limberg guest posting with us. And if you’re already tired of him? Suck it up, Buttercup, because I LIKE HIM. He’s helping me through the holiday season so I can dig out of the pile of work that buried me when I got the flu.

So Alex is here to share ways to help fold in information so that you (the author) don’t inadvertently shatter the fictive dream…

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The Ink Blotter, A Dirty Little Secret

I have been using Noodler’s Bulletproof Black in my Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen and getting smearing in the Moleskine notebook. I guess I better get myself a ink blotter. Thanks for the tips.

An Inkophile's Blog

If the ink blotter seems like an old fashioned idea, think again. It is the easiest solution to slow drying, too much wetness, “where did that blob come from” problems that you ever met. Really.

Blotting Paper with Pelikan M215 and Apica Journal

My 6″ x 3″ blotting paper has been in use for at least four years. It is very heavy paper and resides in my daily journal between the most recent passage and the facing page. It serves as a bookmark plus I never have to wait for ink to dry, handy when you think about what gets written in a journal. Should someone walk up behind me, I can slam the book shut instantly without fearing a mess when I return. Two disasters averted!

Before my work space became inundated with bottles of ink and stacks of paper, a small but very cute rocking horse resided on my desk. These days I would never find…

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Stopping Points

Good stuff to know. Thanks.

madgeniusclub

So, because I’m broke and also in the middle of a book (which means I’m not looking for one-of-a-kind, unforgettable books, but for popcorn mysteries I can put down and work again), I’ve been reading a lot of books borrowed from Amazon’s program.

I’m finding about 50% books that are so good I have to “kill” them by reading the end, so I can work, and I still read the books, anyway.   just not as urgently.  Which is good, because then work happens.

But what about the other 50% (BTW I want to point out that a) I always bought popcorn books for when otherwise really busy.  I don’t do anything else for fun.  I just read.  I’m BORING.  The reason I’m looking for them in KULL is that it’s cheap and convenient.  I used to find just as many from trad publishing, usually used.  b) I actually am finding…

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Writing When You Feel Overwhelmed: Hope for the Struggling Writer

M. B. Weston's Official Website

How many of you have felt totally overwhelmed when you realized the amount of work it would actually take to complete your story?

I’m sitting here at Starbucks. I’m supposed to be writing the rough draft to Book 3 of The Elysian Chronicles, but I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m trying to get my arms around the scope of this story, and I’ve discovered it’s much more complex than I originally planned. (Aren’t all novels, though?)

Here are a few things I’m struggling with:

  • I’m actually working with two plots that have to flow simultaneously. Two plots. One story. This means two story arcs. Each arc has to hit the plot points at the same time. Sounds easy to do, but I have to admit that working out the plots of Out of the Shadows (book 2) almost killed me. And then these two…

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The Dehumanizing Nature of Labels

More Enigma Than Dogma

shamedListening and reading Jon Ronson talk about shaming and modern dehumanization has resonated with my concern over our massive identity crisis.

It is as if Ronson has woken up in the middle of a tempest to take some responsibility for his own “butterfly effect” contributions to pushing the storm. It is, as he puts it himself, “like being in a car with failed brakes hurdling toward the cliff” where “we are often defined by our worst mistakes.”

There was a time when he saw “public ridicule as ‘the democratization of justice’ — but after writing his book on the topic, he’s changed his tune. He has taken a closer look at people who have had their reputations destroyed on social media, and how difficult it can be for them to recover… shaming has become ubiquitous and too often disproportionate, and that fear of being attacked has made…

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A System for Writing a Novel

The Incompetent Writer

Scene and structure
There is no magical trick for writing a good story, no perfect shortcut.

However, Jack Bickham’s craft textbook Scene and Structure attempts, to a greater extent than most technical manuals, to give aspiring novelists a comprehensive method. He presents a simple and easily understood system for designing and trouble-shooting novels. It’s well worth reading.

There are lots of books out there promising to tell you how to write better plots. In one sense, Scene and Structure is just another one of these books, much like McKee’s Story or Synder’s Save the Cat! However, as I’ve described in previous posts, Bickham’s method is unusual because it begins at the sentence level. Bickham grounds his account of how stories and novels are supposed to work, at their largest, macro scale, on how he believes sentences are supposed to work — he derives his storytelling method from his view of how individual…

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7 Steps to Improving Your Prose

This Craft Called Writing

If you want a ‘how to’ book on writing a compelling story, there are plenty out there. They talk about character development, scene structure, creating believable settings. It’s a harder job to find a simple guide to improving your prose.

One book which fits the bill is The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.

It was recommended to me a few years ago by Nik Perring, and I love it because it showed me I could ‘learn’ to write good prose. It doesn’t have to be all inspiration from the muse. There are techniques. Knowing that made me keen to discover more.

So I’ve dug out a first draft of my novel, Fury, to find examples of seven useful things I’ve learned:-

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