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Ask Writers Don’t Cry

WritersdontcryDo you have a question about your fantasy novel, short story, or spot of flash fiction that’s burning for an answer? Or, have you recently read a socks-off-knocking, page-a-rocking fantasy epic, with this thing that does this other thing that’s so awesome you’d just die to be able to do it yourself? If so, or even if you just have a question about writing or the column in general, please email in your questAmazonheadions to: me "at" susanjmorris "dot" com. Then, if I have a good enough answer (or can get ahold of some author who does!), I’ll feature it in this column.

And if you’re looking for information on a topic in general, and you can’t find it in the archives (below), please send it in, and I’ll try to address it in a future column.

Thanks for reading & happy writing!

 

Writers Don’t Cry Columns by Topic

Awards & Celebrations
11/19/2012: Writers Don’t Cry 2012 Picks: Five Books for Writers
8/6/2012: Celebrating a Year of Writers Don’t Cry

Audience & Engagement
8/30/2012: A Writer’s Audience: Important or Not?
4/30/2012: Mood Killers: Four Book-Throwing Offenses (and How to Avoid Them)

Beginnings
1/14/2013: 10 Ways to Get Your Chapter On
4/9/2012: Introducing the Hero: How to Flirt with your Reader
4/2/2012: Brilliant Beginnings: Engaging Readers On Page One

Breaking the Rules
9/10/2012: The Right Way to Write
7/16/2012: Long Live Adverbs: An Ode to Rebellious Writers

Body Language
1/21/2013: 41 Flavors of Body Language for Writers

Characters (see also: Heroes, Villains)
12/24/2012: Why Side Characters Sometimes Steal the Spotlight (and How to Steal Some Back)
7/2/2012: Character by Design: Three Steps to Creating Distinct Personalities
6/11/2012: (Characters) Doing the Wrong Thing: Why It Feels So Right
8/29/2011: She’s No Mary Sue: Creating Characters People Care About
8/1/2011: The Twist Is Not Enough: The Secret to Making People Care

Climax
12/26/2011: Books with a Bang: Troy Denning on Writing the Ultimate Climax
12/12/2011: Tell it Like a Trickster: How to Write a Good Twist
12/5/2011: Five Steps to a Heart-Stopping (Literary) Climax

Cross-Cultural Writing
1/9/2012: Beyond Orcs & Elves: Stacy Whitman on Writing Cross-Culturally

Description
1/7/2013: Playing with Focus: When Description Attacks
11/12/2012: Writing Meaningful Description
7/9/2012: Bringing a Book to Life: The Tragic Reality of Pockets Full of Bat Guano
5/14/2012: The Rule of Threes: Expressive Character Design
1/16/2012: Total Reader Immersion: Writing Evocative Description

Dialogue
12/03/2012: Erin M. Evans on Writing Dialogue to Die For
1/23/2012: Give Your Characters a Voice: Writing Strong Dialogue

Doing Horrible Things to Characters
8/22/2011: Make it Sting: How to Write Betrayal
8/8/2011: How to Kill (a Character)

Endings
11/28/2011: “The End” Is Nigh

Fight Scenes
7/23/2012: Make Your Fight Scenes 20% Cooler
12/19/2011: The Art of the Epic Battle
8/15/2011: R.A. Salvatore on How to Write a Damn Good Fight Scene

Genre
3/5/2012: The Sexy Space Cowboy Mystery Elf Brigade: Crossing Genres Like a Pro

Heroes
9/3/2012: Creating Heroes and Villains with Killer Chemistry (also in Villains)
9/25/2011: Tall, Dark, and Heroic: Paul S. Kemp on How to Write Antiheroes
9/19/2011: Concerning Hobbits: “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you!”
9/12/2011: Fatally Flawed: How to Write Tragic Heroes
9/5/2011: So You Want to Be a Hero?

Humor
3/19/2012: Making People Laugh: The Secret Art of Funny Fiction

Interviews
12/03/2012: Erin M. Evans on Writing Dialogue to Die For
8/13/2012: Brenda Chapman on Writing BRAVE
3/26/2012: Philip Athans on Building Immersive Sci-Fi & Fantasy Worlds
1/9/2012: Beyond Orcs & Elves: Stacy Whitman on Writing Cross-Culturally
12/26/2011: Books with a Bang: Troy Denning on Writing the Ultimate Climax
11/23/2011: Tips from the Pros: Greenwood and Evans on How to Jumpstart Your Writing
11/21/2011: Tips from the Pros: Shelly Mazzanoble on How to Be Inspired
11/15/2011: Tips from the Pros: Kemp, Pauley, and Cordell on How to Wrangle Your Muse
10/10/2011: Smarter, Faster, Meaner: Richard Lee Byers on Writing Mastermind Villains
9/25/2011: Tall, Dark, and Heroic: Paul S. Kemp on How to Write Antiheroes
8/15/2011: R.A. Salvatore on How to Write a Damn Good Fight Scene

Inspiration (see also: Writer’s Block)
9/24/2012: Turning Inspiration into a Plot
10/31/2011: The Shotgun Approach to Writing

Magic
3/12/2012: Making Magic Work (in Books)

NaNoWriMo
10/29/2012: For Those About to Write, I Salute You (with 5 NaNoWriMo Tips)

Outlines & Plotting
1/28/2012: The Whys, Whats, and Wherefores of Story Arcs
12/17/2012: Turning Passive Plots into Active Plots
4/23/2012: Things to Consider When Plotting World Domination: Play to Your Strengths
11/7/2011: NaNoWriMo Special: The Quick and Dirty Outline

Point of View
9/17/2012: A Matter of Perspective: Using Distant and Tight Third Person
6/18/2012: From Facebook to Fiction: The Tricks and Traps of First Person

Pitches & Queries
11/26/2012: Elevator Pitches: How to Talk About Your Book

Revision & Editors
12/10/2012: Five Dos and Don’ts for Picking an Editor
8/20/2012: Don’t Poke the Editor: Six Deadly Don’ts (and Dos) for Dealing with Editors
5/21/2012: Discover Your Word Crushes: What Word Clouds Tell You About Your Writing
5/7/2012: Give It to Me Straight: The Cardinal Rules of Critiquing for Writers
2/27/2012: Rivi… Rive… Revision (Or, How to Love the Red Pen)

Romantic Scenes
2/6/2012: Some Write It Hot (Or, How to Make Your Editor Blush)
2/13/2012: Valentine’s Day Special: Six Steps to a Sizzling Suplot
2/20/2012: Bad Romance: Star-crossed Lovers, Love Triangles, and Bewitched Boys

Scary Scenes
10/22/2012: Frightening Writing: Tips for Scaring off Pants
10/24/2011: Halloween Special: How to Scare Your Reader (Tricks from the Movies)

Technique
10/15/2012: Unnecessary Words, Blah Words, and Just Plain Wrong Words
10/1/2012: Sentence Length Matters: The Anatomy of a Perfect Paragraph
6/25/2012: Prose’s Unsung Heroes: Punctuating with Personality

Titles & Naming
8/27/2012: A King Named Sue: Picking Perfect (Character) Names
5/28/2012: One Title to Rule Them All: Naming Your Book

Villains
9/3/2012: Creating Heroes and Villains with Killer Chemistry
10/17/2011: The Making of a Monster: From Dragons to Lady Gaga
10/10/2011: Smarter, Faster, Meaner: Richard Lee Byers on Writing Mastermind Villains
10/3/2011: Sympathy for the Devil: How to Write Killer Villains

Writer’s Block
11/5/2012: Help, My Writing Is Broken! (Or, How to Deal with Writer’s Block)
11/23/2011: Tips from the Pros: Greenwood and Evans on How to Jumpstart Your Writing
11/21/2011: Tips from the Pros: Shelly Mazzanoble on How to Be Inspired
11/15/2011: Tips from the Pros: Kemp, Pauley, and Cordell on How to Wrangle Your Muse
11/14/2011: The Blank Page Blues

Writing Exercises & Self-Improvement
2/4/2013: Validation and the Writer 
12/31/2012: Resolutions for Writers: 10 Ways to Hone Your Craft in 2013
10/8/2012: Read the Way You Write: Classify It, Deconstruct It, Play with It
6/4/2012: What Authors Can Learn From Artists: Teaching Yourself to See
4/16/2012: Five Steps to Finding Your Voice
1/2/2012: Resolve to Write: 52 Writing Exercises to Hone Your Craft

World Building
3/26/2012: Philip Athans on Building Immersive Sci-Fi & Fantasy Worlds
1/20/2012: Curse Like an Orc, Woo Like an Elf: The Secret to Fantasy Languages

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