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Blog Archives: September 2017

How to Punctuate Dialogue

September 23, 2017
The greatest technical issue I’ve come across recently on Critique Circle, is that many people do not know how to punctuate dialogue. It’s a new problem, and is widespread. If you want to be a writer, though, it’s basic to the craft, and there is no flexibility. And it’s quite simple. A section of dialogue consists of up to three elements. A gesture and/or expression; the quote; and a dialogue tag. Some may have all three, some may have only one. Let’s consider them each. Dialogue Tags in General A dialogue tag is the “he said,” or “she ...

On Writing Science Fiction: The Speed of Light

September 12, 2017
I like writing space opera. Space opera (for me) requires interstellar space travel. Any meaningful interstellar space travel requires that the characters be able to travel between points in the universe that are hundreds of millions or even billions of light years apart in the course of several hours. That means they must go faster than the speed of light. A lot faster. Hundreds of millions or even billions of times faster. But I read an article recently on NPR where it discussed being realistic in science fiction. That is, the ...

Announcing Abstract Art Adult Coloring Book

September 06, 2017
I'm happy to announce publication of my Abstract Art Adult Coloring Book. It's based on my paintings and is unique as to the nature of the images. Get it now on CreateSpace, and soon to be available on Amazon.

Not a Book Review: "Closing Time," by Joseph Heller

September 05, 2017
This is not a book review because I could not get through the book. It’s more of an analysis of what I did read of the book from the point of view of a writer. This book is the sequel to “Catch 22,” the iconic anti-war novel. “Closing Time” follows the same characters many years later. For example, Yossarian is 68 years old.   I like Heller’s writing in general, but I had a few issues with this book, and from these a few writing-related lessons can be learned. Old Men and no meaningful Women If the is book were written today, it ...

Story Structure in "Barfly"

September 05, 2017
I love to beat on story structure, partially because it fascinates me, and partially because I think it’s one of the most important things a writer must get right. Whether you plan your story in every detail or write by the seat of your pants, in the end, the story must have this structure. Movies are a great way to see it in action because they follow it religiously, and it’s quicker than a novel. It’s true that a novel does not have to follow the structure as precisely as a movie does, but the closer it is to it, the better.   The ...

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