How should we critique someone’s writing? Frequently authors ask if I have a form that I use to help me critique a story. Given the large number of things that I look at in a story, any form that I might use would simply be too long to be workable. Yet it makes sense to […]
When describing anything—a setting, a character, or even a conflict—consider ways that you might bring that thing to life by describing both its past and its future.
When I used to write for competitions, I would make lists of ways that judges might look at my work in order to grade it. For example, some judges might look for an ending that brought them to tears, while another might be more interested in an intellectual feast. A couple of you asked what […]
Have you ever read a story that starts with a character sitting in a still forest, just thinking? They’re almost always dull. I’ve read, and rejected, thousands of them for publication. Why? Because the whole darned story is just sitting there, doing nothing, too. So we’re trained as writers to avoid such scenes, to start […]