Monthly Archives: January 2009

Who Critiques Your Stuff?

Critiquer 1: “I love it! Delightful characters, beautifully developed scenes, lovely story arc, I cried at the end!” Critiquer 2: “You’ve got a good idea, but frankly Sam falls flat. Can a man really just think of only one thing … Continue reading

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Foreshadowing

It’s true that fiction has to make sense, whereas real life doesn’t. You’re asking your reader to willingly suspend disbelief and take your story at face value. Sure, they’ll let you colonize Mars. Or they’ll buy a new breed of … Continue reading

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Conflict is Essential

Don and Sally met, fell in love at first sight, married, and lived happily ever after. Their children were tall, smart, bronzed, and talented. They all married happily. And their children…. How boring. So what? It’s human nature that we … Continue reading

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Your Odds of Finding a Publisher

You may be expecting to read the standard advice: don’t give up! Keep at it! You’ll get published someday! Bunk. Don’t quit your day job. Look at this realistically: for every book published through one of the major publishing houses, … Continue reading

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Use All Five Senses

How do you like this: Hank walked into the living room where Mary was serving breakfast. He spoke to Mary as he wolfed down his eggs. Compared to this: Mary heard Hank’s familiar footsteps as he entered the brightly lit … Continue reading

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Treat Your Reader as an Equal

To whom are you writing? To kids? Retirees? Ham radio operators? There’s one thing they all have in common. No one likes being talked down to. Treat your audience as an equal. That means assume they are smart people and … Continue reading

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Real People Do Not Speak in Complete Sentences

Dialog is a tricky thing. I hold to the idea that every bit of dialog must push the story along in some way. It can be used to round out a character, or perhaps reveal some information the hero doesn’t … Continue reading

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Not a PayPal Member? No Problem!

Mt. Sneffels Press uses PayPal for payment and order information. When you click on any of our “Buy Now” buttons, you’re taken to a PayPal screen that has the Mt. Sneffels Press logo at the top. You enter your credit … Continue reading

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Price Change for Broom 1

I’m changing the price of Broom 1 from $17.76 to $9.95. Why? Because I’ve decided to let Amazon sell the copies they have and then drop it. Amazon takes 55% (!) which forces the book price out of reach. So, … Continue reading

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Sentence Length

One piece of advice you’ll get from everyone concerns sentence length. A long sentence is long, therefore it must meander, therefore you aren’t really sure what you want to say. Short sentences are short. Really short. Short! (And therefore non-fattening … Continue reading

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