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May 22, 2017


Hank Phillippi Ryan

I am going to print this out and keep it. SUCH valuable info! If I do say so myself. And it really made me think.

I'm in the midst of revisions--and there are so many different levels of it! It's a real challenge, and so exciting when I make a change that makes all the difference.

Jim Collins

I agree, lots of great stuff here! I've never read Frayn or Hayder, so thanks for those additions. Present company excepted: for settings, I love what Louise Penny does with Three Pines, and also Guy Kay's work on various historical settings. For characters, I love Lee Smith, Deidre Madden, Ursula LeGuin, Gene Wolfe. Plot is tough; I tend to admire Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, sometimes John Hart.

Hank, when you print out something like this, what do you do with it? Do you keep a notebook and look at it at different times?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Great question, Jim! Somehow printing it out makes it more durable..and I put it in a stack of stuff to read--which I look through when I am having trouble writing. It's sort of a compost of thought-provoking things. And seems to work!

Triss Stein

What an interesting and helpful post! I'm going to print it out and keep it handy, too. As I've written books, some things seem to be better, but plot? Always a struggle. There is that time about mid book when all the story line and characters and events are in place...and how do I keep the tension up and story rolling? I go back to good books on writing and writers I admire and keep muddling along until something clicks. But this fall I am going to the Sisters in Crime workshop at Bouchercon. Topic? Structure!Maybe I'll learn how to eliminate that hole in the middle of plot.

catriona mcpherson

I'm amazed and encouraged by other people saying they print stuff out if it feels important. Not really the same thing - but related - I was just recently asking some fellow writers if they'd read an ARC for a blurb (UK - read a proof for a puff). I offered heatbound proofs or a electronic file and every single one of the writers asked for paper.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Exactly, Catriona! When people ask me for that,I always ask for paper, too. It doesn't seem real, otherwise.

Read a proof for a puff! Love it.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Triss, hurray! Hope to see you there..xo

PA De Voe

I'm with Hank on printing this off. I'm starting a new series and want to make it as strong as possible--so much to learn! Thanks to you all.

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