Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel

Free Characters for Your Novel!

Is your plot dragging? Is your protagonist starting to annoy you with long, boring speeches that add nothing to the story? Are you contemplating plagiarism to fix the problem of a go-nowhere middle third of your novel? Well, put down that copy of The Pillars of the Earth (did you really think Follett wouldn’t notice you “borrowed” a few words?) and pay close attention to this post. I have the perfect solution for all your novel-writing problems: the introduction of a Brand New Character. That’s right, with addition of a BNC you can kick a dragging plot into overdrive or kick…

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Meaningless Drivel, Snark Alert, The Publishing Process

Revealing the Hidden Secrets to Publishing Success

Tired of having to jump through all those silly hoops agents and editors keep placing between you and your dream of becoming a published author? After literally minutes of research, I have uncovered 10 secrets that practically guarantee success. Sure, I could keep them to myself, but I’m feeling generous today so I thought I’d share them with you. Study these secrets. Use them wisely. Become hugely successful. Then buy multiple copies of my soon-to-be-released fiction bestseller, The Last Days of the Literary Agent*. It makes a great Festivus gift. Legally change your name to Stephen King. Then write under…

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About Me, Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Favorite Things, Other Writer's Words

7 Random Distractions to Keep You From Noticing There’s No Real Content In This Post

All indications are that it’s Friday. And apparently, it’s a holiday weekend, too, though I didn’t realize this until my fictional next door neighbor started setting off fireworks in his driveway. I think it’s some sort of holiday to celebrate man’s dominion over dogs. I didn’t verify this in the “current holiday we just made up” section at the Hallmark store, but previous experience and the ain’t-that-cute tweets of complete strangers on Twitter give me reason to believe July 4th is known as “Make Your Dog Cower Under Your Desk” Day. I could be wrong about that. I don’t have…

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Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Trends

Fiction Trends of the Future!

Yesterday I was in the future. Wait, I mean in the future, I zipped back to yesterday. Or was it tomorrow that I…never mind. It doesn’t matter. Bottom line is what’s important here and here’s the bottom line: I know what book trends are going to be hot in three years. Yes, you heard me. (Really? Did you just hear me right now? Like in an audible voice? Because that’s either the coolest thing ever or a sign that you should schedule an emergency appointment with your psychiatrist.) While I was in the future, I did a little historical research.…

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Contests, Meaningless Drivel

Pause, Consider, Caption

I’m swamped with work so I’m taking the day off from writing a post. Why don’t you use this time to work on your entry for the Help Keep Stephen Off Prozac Writing Contest Extravaganza? The competition is really heating up. I’m thinking of posting a few teaser excerpts on the blog tomorrow. The promised post on how to make your second novel better than your first will appear next week. But since you took the time to click and visit the blog today, I have to give you something, right? So here’s a photo I snapped last summer in Chicago at…

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Contests, Meaningless Drivel, My Favorite Things, My Thoughts

Titles, a Sentence and Contest Plans

Friday Item The First – Titles I like book titles. I make them up all the time. In fact, most of my short stories began as nothing more than a title. If you’ve memorized James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure, you know that on page 38 he lists “making up titles” as a great way to spark plot ideas. Well, continuing the spirit of generosity I began yesterday, I thought I’d just go ahead and give you five titles.* Now all you have to do is write a great novel around them. You can do that, right? Kick the Mountain The…

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Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel

Free Book Ideas For You

A few years back when I was working in a real office and enjoying the perks of the cubicle life, I had a particularly prolific creative season during which I came up with lots of ideas for books that I was going to write someday. (Note to former boss: All these ideas occurred during my lunch hour.) So I compiled a list. (Um, during my lunch hour, of course.) When the season of idea abbondanza was finally over, my list had grown to 150 titles. Yes, 150. Last night, after accidentally looking in the mirror and remembering how old I am…

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