What’s in a nose

[--- Karen Myers ---] Among a great many pedantic bits of advice for beginning fiction writers is the importance of fully describing a character's environment and perceptions as a way of embedding the reader in that experience. Yeah, well.... Boy, is that easy to do clumsily, using a shopping list approach to note the blue... Continue Reading →

Words that don’t belong

[--- Karen Myers ---] I belong to the school of thought that believes that anything that throws a reader out of a story, that breaks his trance, is a bad thing. Typical offenses in this regard are contradictions within the story world, conflicts with how reality works or actual historical circumstances, and character inconsistency ("...but... Continue Reading →

Shallow worldbuilding

[--- Karen Myers ---] Chekhov's gun is all very well, but I like my worlds with a little bit more padding on them. Life isn't a stage play, and neither are novels. In brief, the advice is that every object or incident in a story exists to be a clue/foreshadow, either genuine or misleading in... Continue Reading →

Paying attention to clues

[--- Karen Myers ---] Back in the 1990s, I was doing tech consulting in downtown Chicago. My client was located in the Loop, in one of the older tall buildings that had been retrofitted for data centers in the basement (before that service was typically outsourced **). As techies will do, we traded war stories,... Continue Reading →

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