Tag Archives: amateurism

On Becoming a Professional Amateur # 11: Bad Attitude

Sample scenario: Toyoshi’s voice came raggedly over the phone. “Riyoko is in trouble. She’s been casting spells at midnight to call forth a Wretched Demon and I’m pretty sure it’s working. One more spell and her soul will be completely … Continue reading

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On Becoming a Professional Amateur # 10: The Great Info-Dump in the Sky

“Pleased to meet you,” the bartender said, shaking Jon’s hand. “You must be Jon Chandler. I think you ought to know that Colonel Mustard hired a man to sabotage your friend’s brakes. He’s a bad one, that Colonel.” The writer of … Continue reading

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On Becoming a Professional Amateur # 9: Serendipity (or Writing by the Seat of Your Pants)
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Baldric concocted a cunning plan to scare the killer lawn gnome into staying away from the cave entrance so he could sneak in. He then grabbed the magical hedge trimmers and scarpered off into the forest. Writers sometimes use expositional sentences like … Continue reading

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On Becoming a Professional Amateur, #3: Mixed Metaphors

For the aspiring writers among us, I offer this third blog in a workshop series on the craft of writing. Obviously you don’t have to do the exercises, ’cause nobody’s watching, but you might have fun with them. Sample sentence: … Continue reading

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A Duel of Words: Dialogue and Action, Part 1
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My annual stint in an online writers’ conference (the Catholic Writer’s Conference, of which I’ve been a non-Catholoic guest for the past several years) has me doing a chat workshop on writing dialogue and action. And, as often happens, this … Continue reading

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The “Rules” of Writing
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(This article is a “reprint” from our first year of operating Book View Cafe—2008) Robert Heinlein posited that there were two rules of writing: 1.  You must write. 2.  You must finish what you write. That’s easy enough to say, … Continue reading

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On Becoming a Professional Amateur, #4: Character Acrobatics
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I’m replaying one of my favorite posts on writing. Why? Well, in part because I’m juggling too many cats and in part because I’ve just had the issue come up in a book I’m reading. This is not an amateur’s … Continue reading

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When Writers Can’t Write
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“Once upon a time, alas by now a long time ago, when Indians or to be correct the aboriginal people of America where still allowed to follow the nomadic lives of their choice, there were those afraid of and maligning, … Continue reading

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On Being a Professional Amateur #1

To be an amateur in the original sense of the word simply means to do something for love, though our culture has added the rider, “not for pay.” An amateur writer, then, is generally taken to mean one who’s not … Continue reading

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Forging Stories 3: Passive Aggressive Behavior

Perhaps the first thing we’re taught as fiction writers is that passive voice is the literary equivalent of a clogged artery.  “Use active voice,” we’re told. What exactly does that mean? Here’s an example: “Chelsea dove for cover. The sound … Continue reading

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