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grin and bare it

A blog by Matthew Dicks

The good and the bad

By Matthew Dicks | May 15, 2009

I think it’s important for writers to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Awareness allows the writer to take advantage of his or her strengths while mitigating the weaknesses. In this spirit, here are my three…

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Fiction set in real life

By Matthew Dicks | May 13, 2009

I read a piece in The Guardian about Project Bookmark Canada, an organization that’s mission is to “place permanent markers displaying text from stories and poems in the locations where they take place.” What a…

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Old man

By Matthew Dicks | May 7, 2009

In her latest series of notes on UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO, Taryn indicated that I use the phrase old man quite a lot. Scoffing at the suggestion, I used the Find feature in Word to count the…

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In good company

By Matthew Dicks | May 6, 2009

A while ago, I wrote about TIMEQUAKE, the last novel by Kurt Vonnegut that I have yet to finish. I’ve been purposely reading the novel at a snail’s pace for the past few years, in…

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I pity the publisher…

By Matthew Dicks | May 5, 2009

My agent, Taryn, informed me that after my fourth New York Times bestselling book, I’m allowed to write an entirely character-driven novel without any thought or concern for plot. This makes Taryn the perfect person…

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Characters and their names

By Matthew Dicks | May 4, 2009

Last week, a student asked me for a lesson on creating strong characters for his fiction, including tips on how to generate the names of characters as well. I tried my best to answer some…

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Not acting my age

By Matthew Dicks | April 29, 2009

One added benefit of my recent mention in USA Today was the printing of my age, 38. Many of my friends and colleagues thought that this was a misprint, assuming that I was much closer…

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Storytelling on Twitter

By Matthew Dicks | April 27, 2009

For those of you on Twitter, you may be aware of the recent explosion of Twitter stories or novels, sometimes called Twisters, that people are now writing. They are essentially 140-character, self-contained stories, usually amounting…

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Experience counts

By Matthew Dicks | April 24, 2009

My good friend often said that no one can write a decent book before the age of forty. Life experience, he believes, is required to write well. I sold my book at the age of…

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USA Today! Today!

By Matthew Dicks | April 21, 2009

An article appeared in USA Today by Carol Memmott on publishing in trade paperback instead of hardcover, and SOMETHING MISSING was featured prominently in the piece. Very exciting! My initial instinct was to run out…

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