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Imaginary start of a fictional tale

I don't recall the exact moment it began. I want to think it's at the zoo, and in a flash of brilliance I knew the whole plot.

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A super restart

Blogs have fallen by the wayside this year, there has been a lot going on. But they're coming back, every fortnight.

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Outposts: Stories and mysteries

For many years, I was haunted by the image of a man who returns home after a long exile to find himself standing in the midst of an apple orchard while winter bears down — he is destitute, his clothes and hopes falling to shreds, searching for what he cannot remember, much less name.

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A new year

New releases being published by Threekookaburras in 2017 include Outposts by Sean Akerman.

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The End

It can be difficult to know when to end a story. You may begin with a clear idea of where you’re heading. This is true for left-brained plotters, the kind of authors who can write the last sentence first. Other times the narrative grows organically, without much of a plan.

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Secondary characters

All new writers know what it feels like to have a character but have no idea what they should say or do. The writer gives them things to say, actions to perform, but it’s unsatisfying. A puzzle surrounds the secondary character, a puzzle that is solved when you give them a problem to solve in pursuit of a goal. Suddenly, the character has direction and meaning in the story.

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Writer's block

I help my students with problems like procrastination, writer’s block, the inner critic, any issues that freeze them at the writing desk or limit their productivity.

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Character arc

Character arc is the journey a character takes through the course of a story.

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Flashbacks

A fellow writer told me recently there is a hard and fast rule that prohibits writers from using flashbacks. That was news to me! I thought of all the books that use that literary technique.

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In praise of the synopsis

When submitting to a publishing house or agent, every writer has to present a synopsis. These are hell hounds to write. But they are useful, and that is true even before you send one off together with your sample chapters.

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