Appendix C—Rules for Writers and Writing

I’m not going to spew a bunch of extra stuff here. It should go without saying that I believe the “rules” in this appendix are good ones to follow. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have included them. One note—please don’t be so closed minded that you see (for example) Robert Heinlein’s name and automatically assume the rules that follow apply only to science fiction. They don’t. I’m not joking. Seriously, if that’s who you are, please … Read more

Chapter 7 — Writing the Ending

Many writers believe the ending of the story is the big, massive climax. The former Texas Ranger transports the body of his friend and colleague from Wyoming back to the southern tip of Texas because he gave his word, and his word actually means something. A magic ring is returned inadvertently to its rightful owner, who had agonized for years over its loss, as both he and the ring plunge into the fires of Mordor, effectively … Read more

Appendix B—The Two Most Important Writing Exercises You Will Ever Do

What follows are two of the more important writing exercises I have ever learned or taught. I hope you will take advantage of them. First, an exercise to get you started actually writing. 1. On a sheet of paper, write down three character names. They can be full names or first names or last names or nicknames. Whatever comes to mind is fine. But nothing else, just names. Do that now. Don’t think about it, just … Read more

Chapter 6—Writing Setting, and Notes on Writing the Scene: Part II

Just a quick announcement—I’m restarting my business as a copyeditor, ebook formatter and cover designer. I’ll take on only a few clients. If you’re interested in any of the above, even if not right at the moment, please let me know that via email. Details to come soon on my website under Writer Services. Now to continue with Chapter Six. If you missed the previous post or would like a refresher, you can find Chapter Six, … Read more

Chapter 6 — Writing Setting, and Notes on Writing the Scene: Part I

As I mentioned in the Introduction, the setting is the location in which the scene takes place. Simple, right? Not really. The inability to write the setting is where a lot of writers lose readers, and even the readers don’t know why. If nothing in the first few hundred words pulls them down into the story, they simply drift away. Readers must be grounded in the setting. The more firmly they are grounded in the setting, … Read more