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On Writing

Fallacies, Fables, and Fiction:

A complete guide to writing your first book
Some writers edit as they write; but most write then edit and revise. Here are several strategies: Write the entire book—rough, down and dirty—then go back and edit and revise. Start each day’s writing by reading and editing what you wrote the day before. The hybrid: write with some editing as you go. It is easy to get sidetracked looking for the right word or name for something: have good reference books (including visual dictionaries); use the computer for searches; set a time limit (if after X minutes you cannot find the word leave an underlined space, or type in the closest word and highlight it. On a “rainy” day, you can go on a quest for that word or fact.

Just as easy as it is to get distracted looking for the right word, it is easy to get trapped doing research. Set limits.

Some writers plot their stories then write. Some have an idea, then have a run at it. There is no right way. For me, I get see a character who comes to me with a conflict. I know, also, if not the actual words of the last sentence, the sense of it, which acts like a beacon towards which I hope my characters will go.

What do you do if your hero doesn’t act heroically? Doesn’t do what you want? You have two choices. First, like the biographer, you must stick to the plot or facts. Second, if your character surprises you, accept the surprise and follow it. There are pros and cons: these are as varied as there are writers.

Sections included under writing: pacing, character, narritive, dialogue and description. This is an early draft, including typos. But consider the price!
Fallacies, Fables, and Fiction 8 1/2" x 11", 132 pages, 1.5MB PDF
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Copyright © 1982-2008 Walton Mendelson, except as noted. All rights reserved.
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