Category: Writing Problems

Edith Wharton on Writing a War Story…or a Love Story…or a Comedic Story…or a Story Story

In September 1919, Woman’s Home Companion published a lovely little nugget of story by Edith Wharton. “Writing a War Story” is the tale of Ivy Spang, a poetess-turned-short-story-writer. Working as a nurse in France during WWI, Miss Spang is commissioned by an editor at the magazine “The Man-at-Arms.” He tells her that he wishes her to…

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The Pen Name Game

Agatha Christie is a household name. It’s understood that she wrote ground-breaking mysteries. Mysteries are not the only stories she wrote. Under the nom de plume of Mary Westmacott, she also wrote romances. Six to be exact: Absent in the Spring, A Daughter’s Daughter, The Burden, Giant’s Bread, Unfinished Portraitn, and The Rose and the…

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Mentor of the Month: Justin Cronin: The Summer Guest and The Passage, a small critique on repetition

One of the things that writers are warned against is repetitiveness: Don’t repeat words too often if you’re not going for an effect. Don’t be repetitive in how you structure your sentences. Don’t start too many sentences or paragraphs with the same word. Don’t you see what I did there? (Hee hee. But it doesn’t…

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Progress

After the Great Writing Race of 2010, I felt rather disappointed in my performance. Yes, sometimes life gets in the way, and a great many of the obstacles that presented themselves during the contest (husband’s lack of job, my overworking my own job) have resolved themselves at last! Hip, Hip, Hooray! But still…one of the…

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Deb just posted about a problem that I think is common to a great deal of writers: knowing when to stop the revising/rewriting/reworking. I think Fleur’s comment on Deb’s post is very telling–when you’re putting stuff back in and you’re rearranging commas and only commas, then you’ve got the piece as good as you’re probably…

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