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I spend a good deal of my mental CPU time thinking about how to translate what I see around me into words that will allow those who read them to know and almost -experience- what I am talking about. In this, I have learned a few things which I will now share with you:

1) No matter how accurate your grammar is, if the rhythm of what you say is not pleasing to the mind's ear, people will not remember it. Rhythm, cadence, and meter is twice as important in prose as it is in poetry.

2) The most important thing about any story is knowing how to start it...and -when- to end it. There is nothing more annoying than a story that ends before it should have, except perhaps for a story that drags on and on long after it should have been brought to a close.

3) Humor is a neglected artform. And it is, indeed, an -art-. The hues of humor are as varied as the paints which may be applied to a canvas. Angst, however, has only one A canvas painted completely black is rarely interesting to look at except as a reference point for the rest of the room. I am much more impressed by an author who can make me laugh, than by an author who can only make me cry.

4) Never, ever, ever, use two words when one word will do. And, if you can possibly get away with using no words at all, then you are truly a master. What I mean by this is twofold. First of all, words lose their effect if you use too many of them. There is no need to say, "The lamp stood on the table, illuminating all around it, sparkling and bright, a beacon against the sadness in the room, encasing the dead man on the floor in a soft glow..." because somewhere in there, the dead man got lost. And really, he's the most important part of the statement, ne? There is little that is more tragic in the world than an author who tries to impress her audience with her showy use of words....and ends up losing a good story in the process.

As for the second part of the statement, "And, if you can possibly get away with using no words at all, then you are truly a master," I will leave this to you to interpret. But, basically, if you can learn to imply to every single reader that there was a dead man on the floor without ever actually saying "THERE IS A DEAD MAN ON THE FLOOR", then you have won.

5) There is an art to ending a chapter. It should -never- make a reader feel cheated, and yet...should somehow always leave them wanting more.

6) Knowing when to reveal things is highly important. Too much suspense leaves a reader feeling agitated. Too little will bore them.

7) Know your own strengths, practice those things at which you are mediocre, and avoid your weaknesses. I am good at humor. I am bad at smut. But there a great many things at which I am merely mediocre. Describing a person, for instance, was never something at which I was particularly good, so I try to make up for it by using dialogue (internal or external) to reveal a person. Neither am I great at laying out a scene, so usually, I end up resorting to a few tricks I have picked up along the way. (To make up for being bad at smut, I have tried to become good at creating sexual tension. I am still working at this.)

8) This is the last, and what I consider to be the most important truth about writing. I say it often, and I shall now say it again. At any given time, in this world, there are only about a half-dozen great writers. I am not one of them. I will never be one of them. But, this does not mean that I should stop striving to be a better writer every day.

Sometimes, fans of mine ask me: Angrybee, how did you learn to write? And, my answer shall always be...whether I ever become published, or die in obscurity..."I am still learning."