Sue May Warren

Big Screen/Your Scene

Craft Tips and Techniques from Today’s Blockbusters

27 Tears, er...Dresses

The problem with bridesmaids dresses is that they’re overcute. Especially the ones from the ’80s—you know what I’m talking about. Go to your closet, way in the back where you hid them and take a close look. Puffy sleeves, dropped waists, mermaid curves with one-shoulder straps. And the colors—peach, turquoise, metallic blue. Yes, there wasn’t one woman in the audience of the movie 27 Dresses who didn’t wince just a little when Jane Nichols (Katherine Heigle) opened her overstuffed closet and dragged out her monstrosities.

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Marlo Schalesky

Author By Night

Call Me Crazy . . .

The kids are screaming. The phone is ringing. The laundry buzzer is blaring. And I’ve got payroll for my company spread all over my desk. Tomorrow, edits for my next book are due. Caller ID tells me the guy on the phone is one of my best clients.

Welcome to my life . . . welcome to a typical day for this “author by night.”

Crazy? Can one person really do all of this?

To answer your first question: Yeah, I’m insane.

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Brandilyn Collins

Making A Scene

Story Resolution-Part II

How much should be explained to the reader in the resolution of a novel? I say not everything. That’s doesn’t mean I advocate leaving large parts of the story not wrapped up. Readers won’t like that, no matter the genre. My answer lies more with “connecting the dots” for the reader. I am for tying up loose ends. I am not for connecting every dot. I like to think my readers have the intelligence to do that on their own.

Let’s say I write a book in which the killer could be A, B or C. There’s also been a kidnapping, and readers are led to believe the perpetrator of that crime could also be A, B, or C. 

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Susan Meissner

For Writers

The Page, Your Canvas

I have long been awed by the bold talent of artists who can take a blank canvas and create from nothing a visual story of color, form, and depth. I lack that particular skill, but I appreciate the ability a proficient painter has to communicate truth in a remarkable and unforgettable way.

Fiction writers share a bond with artists that we can too easily fail to be grateful for. 

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Mary DeMuth

Write Real

Subtlety in Fiction

It’s the word God keeps whispering to me. And it stretches my soul. I’m the out-there girl, saying it all, holding back nothing. Even in my prose.

When I sing, I’m loud.

When I bang on the piano or play the guitar, I resound.

When I tell a story, I shout to the reader’s face.

Last night as I listened to my daughter’s choir concert, a memory flashed inside me—my voice coach tutoring me in high school.

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Short Stories

Beloved Stranger

"I had thought the bridegroom would be here, your majesty," Westered said after another half-dozen introductions and the king smiled with faint uneasiness.

"He will be, my lord, at any moment now."

He turned and spoke to one of the pages, keeping his voice low.

Second Chances

Disentangling himself from the sheets, Ben struggled from bed. He glared at his bedside clock—4:15 AM. He rubbed his eyes that burned as if he’d used Visine laced with hydrochloric acid.

He paused to gaze for a moment at his wife’s peacefully sleeping form, then placed a single rose and a card on the nightstand...

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