Four Steps to Revising My Opening with a Critiki Bar Hangover

Ugh. I just woke up with a wicked headache, and my tongue feels like it’s taped to the roof of my mouth. That’s what I get for drinking at The Critiki Bar, my pick for best workshop of the 2022 RMFW Gold Conference. The bartenders (er, moderators) were Katharine Sands, an established New York literary agent, and David L. Robbins, a best-selling author and creative writing professor. Prior to the …

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Pacing and Paragraphs

Having spent the last three years as a member of a robust online critique group and the last year as judge in a novel contest, I’ve learned several things about what makes writing effective. I’ve found many people have a story to tell, but only a small minority have the ability to tell their story well. One such aspect of good writing is pacing. Stories should speed up when the …

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Critique Groups: The Writer’s Lifeline

If you are a writer or aspire to write, you soon discover it’s not as easy as it looks. In fact, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years. It’s a career where the minute you think you’ve mastered the craft, your editor returns a document covered in markups and comments that triples the size of your MS Word file. Hence, writers …

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