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1h
comment controversial rape subject in mainstream novel?
Why not write it and find out?
1d
comment How rough should a rough draft be
What happens (in the text or in your head) that makes you want to edit?
2d
comment My story passes in choppy blocks - how can I fix it?
It's just a rule of thumb ;-) If the character satisfies the scene goal, see if you can make things worse with respect to some larger goal. Maybe: Out of the frying pan into the fire. As when Indiana Jones's bag of sand trick "works," but triggers the boulder trap. Or: The way out requires sacrificing something crucial to the larger goal. Or: Getting out ticks away precious time. Or: Escaping makes the bad guy redouble his efforts.
2d
comment My story passes in choppy blocks - how can I fix it?
A useful rule of thumb for commercial fiction: The character must fail, and the failure must get worse. And if the character happens to succeed, or appears to succeed, we soon learn that "succeeding" actually made things worse. But it's just a rule of thumb, not a law. I hadn't thought about the possibility that a success might lead to a dilemma. Seems like a fruitful approach.
Jun
29
comment in years that vs. in years when
This feels like more of an English language question than a writing question. Perhaps someone who knows how to migrate it will do that. Myself, I would go with "years in which."
Jun
27
comment How to improve logic/reduce plot holes?
advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method
Jun
27
comment Manuscript format: Straight or curly quotation marks?
William Shunn replied, "My recommendation today would be to use smart quotes (curly quotes)." He intends to update his format guide "soon." He also says, "The fact is, anything you can do in your manuscript (which will almost certainly be delivered electronically) that makes life easier for the typesetter or book designer is probably going to be welcomed. So, if no one needs to go through your document and convert the straight quotes to curly quotes, that's going to be a good thing for all involved."
Jun
27
comment How to improve logic/reduce plot holes?
Isaac Asimov worked that way, though he omitted step 4. Robert Heinlein also omitted steps 2 and 3.
Jun
25
comment Manuscript format: Straight or curly quotation marks?
Vonda replied that she put her article into PDF "because the formatting is preserved in PDF." She also says: (1) the details that matter to the editor are "a good story, style, voice, and a grasp of the tools of your profession: grammar, punctuation, syntax," (2) "look at the market's website for their guidelines and follow them slavishly," and finally (3) "Auntie Vonda's unsolicited advice: Concentrate on the story."
Jun
25
comment Should I completely eliminate passive voice
Isn't the focus on the subject in both of your example sentences--John in the first, and Bob in the second?
Jun
25
comment Manuscript format: Straight or curly quotation marks?
@what I'm confident, given that those authors posted their guidelines on their own web sites, that they intended the typography to be exemplary. Confident, but not certain. So I'll ask them.
Jun
25
comment Manuscript format: Straight or curly quotation marks?
I think Lupton's typography statutes apply to published works, not to manuscripts.
Jun
24
comment The fine line between accurate science, and confusing my reader
True. Perhaps you could rephrase it in simpler terms. "There may be other factors involved ..." Or "There may be other explanations ..."
Jun
24
comment Where are some good places to publish free flash fiction?
True. You will have to market your work, just as if you had published it in some other way. The challenge is discoverability. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a whole series of blog posts about that. kriswrites.com/business-rusch-publishing-articles/…
Jun
22
comment Can Bridging Conflict Work When the Answer is Known?
Ah. I did not know that.
Jun
21
comment If I get a free ISBN through Amazon's CreateSpace now, will that impact any decisions about getting my own ISBN later?
Fortunately, many countries make ISBNs available at much more reasonable rates.
Jun
19
comment Published with no contract
Why would she take your name off the originals? And why would that matter?
Jun
19
comment Feedback: What to use and what to ignore?
@Phong, good points. Perhaps a more nuanced approach to whether to fix this story: Which is more likely to lead to a better story? Fixing this one, or writing a new one? Do that.
Jun
18
comment Is the following deus-ex-machina? If so, should I remove it?
Another possibility: Reverse the cause-and-effect. Li-Mei stumbles across the group, and that is what convinces her to postpone her suicide, setting the story in motion. This, of course, may or may not fit with the story you have in mind. But readers are often more willing to accept coincidences that trigger the story (or that make the problem worse) than coincidences that solve the problem.
Jun
18
comment Feedback: What to use and what to ignore?
Ah. Thanks. I misunderstood, even though (d'oh!) it's clearly stated right there in the bounty announcement. So my question is for Mnementh, then.