Monthly Archives: November 2014

Learn to Write from the Best

The authors you admire can be your best teachers. Lucius used to stress this to his students. Like many writers, he would try copying from memory a passage he admired, over and over, until he got it right. More than … Continue reading

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Habitation Generation, for Stories and RPGs

I’m generally not very disciplined in creating living spaces for my characters, so I decided to make a checklist and protocol both to save time and to ensure I don’t miss critical details. The following is an example of a … Continue reading

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“Go Team Optative!”

It’s Thanksgiving, which here in the States means a lot of (American) football and “Go Team!” exhortations. Being an editor, I’ve accepted “Go Team!” as an opportunity to practice emotional equanimity. It’s bad punctuation, right? If you want your team … Continue reading

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Writing that Moves: Amontillado Wrap-up

In the last half of “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor leads Fortunato down through several more levels of catacombs, and the bones become more numerous and the air more stale, so that the torch glows rather than flames. Beforehand, though, … Continue reading

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Climate Change: Framing a Scientific Issue

This is not a political entry, but it is about politicization, to elaborate on my post about a liberal credo. I was debating climate change with someone today who, I thought, was not confronting the real questions and stubbornly making … Continue reading

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A Suggested Credo for Liberals

There’s really not much point being a liberal if you don’t acknowledge… that science trumps politics, that being an individual and striving to treat others as individuals trump group identity, that being a victim is a situation to get out … Continue reading

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Writing that Moves: Amontillado, Part 5

Note that we’ve only gone a few hundred words into the story, but I’ve written a few thousand looking at its technique. You may quibble here and there, but I hope I’ve impressed you with how much is going on … Continue reading

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Writing that Moves: #1 Reason Your Story Fails

Simple: you don’t really know your characters.

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Writing that Moves: Choosing Detail

Contrary to what you may have read, the author mentioned the curtains for a reason and made them blue for a reason! Either that, or he was a crappy writer. I’m interrupting my look at “The Cask of Amontillado” to … Continue reading

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Writing that Moves: Amontillado, Part 4

For those who are coming to this late, I’m critiquing Poe’s story on the level of craft, to demonstrate things to look for in writing when you are reading stories you’d like to emulate. There were no attendants at home; … Continue reading

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