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grin and bare it

A blog by Matthew Dicks

Much improved

By Matthew Dicks | May 22, 2009

Just after complaining about my ability to write dialogue, I receive an email from a friend who just finished reading a draft of UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO. Finished the book last week.  It’s a good story –…

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New Yorker insider

By Matthew Dicks | May 21, 2009

Dan Baum has been twittering about his brief career as a staff writer at the New Yorker, and it is fascinating for anyone interested in the literary world and learning more about how freelance writers…

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Two. Period.

By Matthew Dicks | May 19, 2009

In the recent debate over how many spaces should come after a period, I unequivocally come down on the side of two. In the words of this blog’s author, “Taking the extra space away from…

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Bad dialogue

By Matthew Dicks | May 18, 2009

Each time I sit down in front of the laptop, one of my goals is to craft dialogue that is crisp, well paced, realistic and original. A daunting task depending upon the day. I’m much…

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By Matthew Dicks | May 17, 2009

Another amusing Twitter application: Converting classic novels into 140 character tweets. From the Guardian comes an article about this new medium and this treatment of Pride and Prejudice, one of my wife’s favorite books: Woman…

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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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