The Perplexing Prologue

“There are three rules to writing fiction. Unfortunately, no one can agree on what they are.” 

– Somerset Maugham

We may never agree, but writers can and do argue endlessly about those rules. Prologues seem to be a frequent subject of discussion, and a major concern to beginning writers. What’s the big deal? Do prologues enrich good writing or are they useless appendages, to be cut off whenever they sprout? Continue reading

In 50 words or less

A few years ago, I won a contest for my advice to writers, in 50 words or less. I’m still proud of it!

Best advice I can offer other writers?

Make writing a whole body experience. Keep your chin up, your feet on the ground, your mind limber and open to new lessons and ideas, your heart set on the goal of becoming a published writer, and your butt in the chair.

Three Pass Self-Editing

Just as painting can take more than one coat, even using the best of materials, our writing generally needs going over a few times before it’s ready for viewing. In this article, I will review three necessary phases of editing our fiction. In the first pass, we check for the essential elements in each scene. The second pass is a good time to check grammar and tighten our words. Next comes the polishing phase.

What I’m talking about is editing your novel after the hard part (for many of us) is done; getting that first (as Anne Lamott says) shitty draft on paper. Continue reading

writer of humorous thrillers