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Pet Peeve #1

When I guest lectured at the Odyssey workshop a few weeks ago, I was asked by one of the student what my pet peeves are regarding writing. I went through my list of anti-vibes: Telling instead of showing, starts slowed by set-ups and lectures, ginormous blocks of description, etc. It wasn't until I was driving home I realized I had neglected to add my number one pet peeve. That is taking the opportunity in a piece of fiction to take a jab at a political figure none of which has anything to do with the story.

If I'm reading your story it's only because you've given me a reason to go to page two and I want to know how the story comes out. If you stop your story to put a creep on Obama or Bush or Clinton, YOU HAVE STOPPED YOUR STORY! It knocks me right out of your tale.

I don't care about your politics, digestive system, home life, or views on global warming. I want the story. If you want to badmouth a politico, go to the neighborhood bar and regale the other pundits there with your views. When you get to your keyboard, allow only the storyteller to tickle the keys.
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What About This Blog?

For writers & readers. For writers, this is stuff I've learned, am in the process of discovering, and stuff that is imparted to me by other writers. For readers, I believe the more one knows about what goes into the writing of a story, and into the life of being a writer, the more one appreciates an author's writings.

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Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine Series, his works include the Circus World and Infinity Hold series, Sea of Glass, other SF & fantasy novels, recovery and writing instruction works, and numerous short stories.