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Topics List

Too Stupid To Live

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Readers of romance use the term "too stupid to live" (TSTL) to describe a character, usually the heroine, who does incredibly dumb things to further the plot.
Marilynn Byerly
1
post
Nov 13

Bad Blurbs in the Real World, Part 5

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A book description or back cover blurb is the third-best promotion you have. (The first is name recognition, the second the cover.) The first two may get a
Marilynn Byerly
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Nov 6

Talking to Myselves

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QUESTION: I am trying to write a dialogue scene in which a character is arguing with himself yet it seems that there are two distinct persons talking, almost
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Oct 30

The Selfish Goal

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A powerful novel needs a main character with an important goal he must achieve by the end of the novel. At all costs, the main character must achieve that goal
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Oct 23

What We Leave Behind

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The phone call woke me. “You probably don’t remember me, but I’m (name removed). I used to work for your parents.” “Of course I remember you.”
Marilynn Byerly
2
posts
Oct 16

Making Info Tidbits Palatable

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No matter what kind of novel you write, you’ll face the problem of how to share bits of information with your reader. These bits are minor plot or character
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Oct 9

Plagiarism

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QUESTION: What is plagiarism? If I borrow an author’s style, is that plagiarism? Plagiarism is a very complex issue. The most obvious example is a writer
Marilynn Byerly
2
posts
Oct 2

Writers and Taxes

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For American Writers Only NOTE: I found a new article on taxes and decided to update my old article to include it as well as checking for dead links. I
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Sep 25

Finding Your Voice

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I've read somewhere that an author doesn't have a voice or true style until they have written over a million words. This is true to a certain extent. By that
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Sep 18

Finishing a Novel

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QUESTION: I keep starting novels but can't seem to finish them because I can't figure out how. Help! Writing isn't just inspiration. A novel involves a great
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Sep 11

Finding Your Character's Weakness

(2)
According to Greek myth, Achilles' goddess mother dipped him into the River Styx to make him invulnerable to injury, but the heel she held him by wasn't
Marilynn Byerly
2
posts
Sep 4

"Ing" the Merciless

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QUESTION: A published author told me that "-ing" words are weak and should be avoided. Is this right? Pick up any book on writing style or editing, and you'll
Marilynn Byerly
2
posts
Aug 28

Proofreading Tips

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I read a blog recently where the established author had received her galleys--the final version of a soon-to-be published novel which the author must proofread
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Aug 21

The Writer and Criticism

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In the early days of writers' lives, our works are our babies, and no one wants to be told that the baby is ugly, or has bad manners, or isn't the brightest
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Aug 14

Bad Things and Good Charactes

(1)
Writers are told to make things hard for their characters. They must heap on the problems so that moving forward toward a goal becomes increasingly difficult
Marilynn Byerly
1
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Aug 7
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