Writers' Blog Tour – Why do I Write What I do? Question #1

Have you heard of the Writers’ Blog Tour? (Goggle it, and you’ll see all the various writers on the Tour.) Each writer tagged to join the Tour posts answers to the same four questions on their blog. They might post answers all at once, or one at a time, whatever suits. They also provide links to Authors on the…

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Let's Talk About Writing Dialogue

…Or, Let’s Talk About Writing About Talking.  Snort.  You know what I mean. Writing good dialogue isn’t easy, and bad dialogue is one of the things that immediately reveals the author as an amateur, not to be trusted by the reader. One of the things that can help you write better dialogue is knowing when…

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Revision & Editing

I haven’t posted in a little while, partly because I’ve been knee-deep in edits for my new novel.  I also taught a Sharpening the Quill Writing Workshop on this very subject and thought I’d share a little of it here with you.  Editing makes all the difference in your life as a writer.  You have…

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Writer's Notebook: Creating Emotion in the Reader

It’s that time of the month — by which I mean it’s the time of the month I spend editing my students’ work.  I enjoy this.  They’re good writers and always striving to be better.  It’s wonderful to be part of that process. One thing I notice emerging writers struggling with is how to create…

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To begin at the begining of things

One of the challenges all writers have is how to grab reader interest from the get-go.  Most begin their stories or novels with one of two things:  either a large thud of expository writing, or a battle/car chase/explosion of some sort (either physical or emotional) in which bad things happen to characters no one yet…

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This Will Probably Get Me Into Hot Water

Jared Bland, the editor at the Globe & Mail, recently asked what I thought was the biggest danger to emerging writers.  Without hesitation I said, “Self-publishing.”  He threw back his head and laughed and said it was the best answer he’d heard to date. And, just as quickly, I thought — oh dear, here come…

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Proust Questionnaire for Open Book Toronto

The lovely people at Open Book Toronto asked me to answer their “Proust” questionnaire.  On their site they say: Lauren B. Davis is following strong on the heels of her hit book Our Daily Bread with The Empty Room (HarperCollins Canada) hitting the shelves just one year later. Though The Empty Room tackles a different…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About 'Voice'

If you’re a writer or someone who loves literature, you probably read the title to this blog and understood immediately that I’m referencing Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” How wonderful for a writer to be known simply by the syntax of a title, a single sentence, or…

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Narrative Braid — The Teller And The Tale

The other day in the Sharpening the Quill Writers’ Workshop I lead every month, I talked about what’s known as the Universal Story in narrative — the common structure beneath all kinds of narrative.  It has a triune form (as do most fairy tales and religious imagery, but that’s something for another day) and consists…

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