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November 12, 2008


Jersey Jack

Do you enjoy Janet Evanovich, or do you think she works too hard at her humor? Where is the line?


Great list. I think most of them can be applied to any genre. My personnel pet peeve at the moment is "Don't use TV and movies for ideas." I can't tell you how many things I've run into that sound like people got their writing experience watching TV and not reading books!


Interesting comment about the protagonist being a best friend. There's nothing wrong with likable - but I think characters can be likable even with prejudices, addictions (Sherlock Holmes, cocaine), major mistakes in their pasts and faults that they're not going to rectify any time soon. Heck, done well, those could make the character even more appealing to the reader than a saint will ever be.


Thanks. I am trying to write a mystery,more for the practice and discipline than anything else.( as in, I'm keeping the day job) It's a different bird to tackle.I recognize several of the above sins in my writing. I hereby swear to knock it off:>)
Appreciate your site and your thoughts very much.

Mark Troy

I confess to being one of the folks who reads your peeves more carefully than your other posts. I copy them and use them as checklists against my own work. You do a great service to those of us working at the craft by pointing out problems that plague our writing. I do read the posts about what writers should do, but a good example of what doesn't work goes a long way. When my son was getting married, I gave him a book titled, "How not to screw up the biggest day of her life." It was more helpful than all the advice I could give him.

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