>Mistake Number 11

> Don’t Forget Stimulus and Response. Things happen for a reason. People act for a reason. If they do something…

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>Mistake Number 10

>Don’t have things happen for no reason. This one resonates with me because coincidence, especially, disturbs a fictional experience. “In…

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>Mistake Number 9

> Don’t Duck Trouble. More good advice, and it bears some resemblance to advice I heard once from Charles Baxter:…

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>Mistake Number 8

> Don’t Write About Wimps. I learned this one the hard way. My whole novel was about this passive guy–he…

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>Mistake Number 7

> Don’t Use Real People in Your Story. Fair enough. Real people are boring: “Good characters have to be constructed,…

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>Mistake Number 6

> Don’t Describe Sunsets. By which Bickham is saying that too much pure description gets in the way of story,…

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>Mistake Number 5

> Bickham is getting serious with this one. What he calls “warming up the engines” I have also called “throat…

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>Mistake Number 4

>I think it’s safe to say I agree with this one–miracles are pretty unusual in the fiction writing business. Bickham…

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>Mistake Number 3

>This one is debatable. I believe readers find a display of expertise to be convincing, adding to the author’s credibility.…

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