Archive | Writers Toolbox

The Point When Everything Changes

Recently, I was obsessing over critically watching the fabulous TV show, Sherlock, and in the episode called “The Hounds of Baskerville”, Sherlock says this to his client: And what happened when you went back to Dewer’s Hollow last night, Henry? You went there on the advice of your therapist, and now you’re consulting a detective. What did you see that changed everything? And that simple exchange set me to thinking. In a novel, there is […]

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Exposition Blindness

Exposition is one those things in writing with which I have a love/hate relationship. Mostly because while I’m writing, I’m tricked into thinking it’s sheer brilliance. And because I know all about those picky critique partners that will insist that half of it is unnecessary, I make sure that every single thing that I mention in my exposition is a genius epiphany to the discerning reader. So I start off my new WIP with a […]

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Creating the Perfect Foil

“Whenever I marry,” she continued after a pause which none interrupted, “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me.” —Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Ask a friend to tell you about the last book she read that made a big impression on her, and chances are she will tell you about the characters. If I think about my own favorite books, the characters are what come to mind […]

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Getting a Scene from Brain to Paper

Different writers have difficulty with different parts of the writing process. Some hate fiddling with background information. Others despise revising. Others can’t stand outlining. Me? I have the most trouble with drafting. By “drafting,” what I mean is this whole “get the story down on paper” part of writing. It’s not that I have trouble coming up with new material (I can write little happy excerpts and scenes all day long), or that I don’t […]

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