Recent Reads: “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C. Clarke

“Seriously?” I deadpanned, startling my Laddie from his bedtime Kindle doze. My own e-reader cast its moonbeam light on my pillow, emanating a serenity I didn’t share. “We finally get a female character and the first thing they talk about is her breasts?” This irritating discovery wasn’t completely unexpected. When I began a personal initiative … Continue reading Recent Reads: “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C. Clarke

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How to Write a Novel, Part 7: Revision and Editing

So you completed the first draft of your story. Congratulations—it’s a milestone in the novel-writing process. But your work is far from done. If you think revision means typing “The End” and running spellcheck, think again. Drafting just generates raw material. Through revision, we sculpt that narrative clay into a novel. That’s where creativity and … Continue reading How to Write a Novel, Part 7: Revision and Editing

How to Write a Novel, Part 5: Dynamic Dialogue

Admit it. You eavesdrop. It’s all right, everyone does. Some anthropologists even assert that humans evolved to gossip, because exchanging information about others informs our social bonds and behavior. In novel-writing, dialogue functions as a critical storytelling tool. But fictional conversations differ from those in real life. They must move the story forward through the … Continue reading How to Write a Novel, Part 5: Dynamic Dialogue

How to Write a Novel, Part 1: Turning an idea into a story

Last night I began teaching my first creative writing class at a local college. The course helps participants launch their first novel, from the germ idea through the first chapters. While I don’t claim to be an expert in the discipline—Ernest Hemingway famously said that writing is a craft where no one ever becomes a master—I … Continue reading How to Write a Novel, Part 1: Turning an idea into a story