Author Archives: mzfairtlough

Get back in the saddle!

After a year hunkered down to finish writing my novel, I’m tempted to stop and forget about writing for a while. Don’t misunderstand me. I like writing, I love having written, I adore refining and editing and drawing out the meaning, but … Continue reading

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If you need help writing your novel, try this

It’s more of a workshop than a classic course but I benefited so much the first time around, I’m doing it again. It’s excellent. Truly. For more information, go to: Unthank: How to write a novel

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On finding the plot

If you’re like me and plot isn’t your thing, you may not know it yet, and unlikely as it may seem, you need The Plot Whisperer by Marsha Alderson. Amazon describes it as a “plotting system that’s as innovative as it … Continue reading

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Lipo for Manuscripts

When an editor asks you to shorten your work by 15% it’s not out of cruelty, although it might seems so. Here’s an easy fix to trim down and help avoid head n’ heartache: cut adverbs and consider removing the words … Continue reading

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The inimitable W.B. Yeats said: “Only that which does not teach, which does not cry out, which does not condescend, which does not explain, is irresistible.” Easier said than done.

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Something about mothers

It’s Mother’s Day, in England at least, and so here is a prompt that rarely fails. Write 500 words beginning with: “My mother always… .”

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Something for the weekend #37

Mark Twain said, “Reality is stranger than fiction.”  Well, take a look below at the picture of a CNN news story. Also found in the motel room by the police was “an incoherent man.” So, here is the prompt: what happened before … Continue reading

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Inspired by ABDCE

Nobody ever said writing was easy, and if they did, they didn’t know what they were talking about. Our group met today to write and to wail about the difficulties we’re encountering along the way: the elusive plot element, that … Continue reading

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Something for the weekend #36

There is a monster park north of Rome, the ruin of a folly, inhabited by giants and ogres and mermaids. Abandoned in the nineteenth century, it became a shelter for local shepherds and their flocks. It’s a tourist attraction now. … Continue reading

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Writing prompt – Finders Keepers

On our regular Monday get-together, we wrote to a prompt from a short story contest, specifically Round 11 of NPR’s Three Minute Fiction feature. Author Karen Russell challenges us to write a story in which a character finds an object … Continue reading

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