Reading for Writers 101: Resolving a Disconnect Between Show & Tell

Sometimes when I’m reading a book, a scene takes me right out of the story because I don’t “buy” it. It’s not that what is taking place is completely implausible, it’s that the writer has not convinced me of its truth. I have faith that a skilled writer can make a reader believe anything. The …
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Reading for Writers 101 Roundup

A work crisis, a funeral and a deadline have made this week rather chaotic for me, so it is time for a roundup post! I created the Reading for Writers 101 series because I believe reading critically is an essential component of learning writing craft. Plus the series gives me an outlet to not only …
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Reading for Writers 101: Character Motivation

I read a lot. And since I’m a writer, reading isn’t just entertainment, it’s instructional. I learn from every book, whether good, bad or middling. That’s what inspired “Reading For Writers 101.” Today’s lesson: Character Motivation. Have you ever read a book where the hero does something that seems forced, out-of-character or unbelievable? I have. …
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Reading for Writers 101: Narrators

I should start calling this the “Spoilers” series, because if you haven’t read CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein or DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abby MacDonald, stop reading this post right now. Heck, I’m not even going to tell you the real topic of discussion until you read those books. Go! Did you read them? Okay, …
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Reading for Writers 101: Is Your Story Ending ‘Right’?

I read the first book of The Hunger Games series when it came out six years ago. Then I read the next one when it was released. Before the third and final book of the series arrived, I pre-ordered the box set. And put it on my shelf. For years. It’s not that I didn’t …
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Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, part 2

Last week’s lesson was about how Character Change makes a story more satisfying, and I evoked the good name of James Bond to make my point. Audiences and readers, now more than ever, want characters who grow and evolve. But figuring out your character’s change is just one step; you also need to develop how …
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Reading For Writers 101: Character Change, part 1

I read a lot. And since I’m a writer, reading isn’t just entertainment, it’s instructional. I learn from every book, whether good, bad or middling. That’s what inspired “Reading For Writers 101.” Today’s lesson: Why character change makes a story worth reading. Months ago I read a book where, frankly, the main character was a …
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