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Matt Dovey

9:15pm, 23rd August 2016

Anatomy of a Golden Pen: Conflict

It took me an embarassingly long time to work this out: conflict is everything.

Do you know what happened to the first story I wrote once I worked it out? When I first focused on deliberately working it into every paragraph? It won WotF.

If you only ever take one piece of advice from me, take this: you need more conflict.

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TAGS: Anatomy of a Golden Pen, wotf32


5:00pm, 23rd May 2016

Anatomy of a Golden Pen: Research

Two of the young spinners in Catawba Cotton Mills. Newton, N.C., 1908; image in the public domainBeing a writer, I'm full of self-importance and arrogantly believe everyone wants to read pages and pages of nonsense from me. As such, I'm going to start a series about my Golden Pen story from Writers of the Future volume 32, Squalor & Sympathy, dissecting it from various angles.

First up: all the historical accuracies and references in the story.

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TAGS: Anatomy of a Golden Pen, wotf32


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Matt Dovey is a professional writer of short science fiction & fantasy. He is very tall, very British, and probably drinking a cup of tea right now. His surname rhymes with “Dopey”, but any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental. More →

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“I'm a bone poet,” she said. “The bonethieves only ever work towards violence and supremacy. All the bones they steal are only to help them steal more bones. They never think of all the better ways bones can be used.”

The Bone Poet & God

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Mark's next door neighbour and business partner Pat kept telling him that power flowed through his veins. He took a breath and closed his eyes, trying to will the power back out again and into the ash wand in his outstretched hand. He pointed it at Pat's door. A narrow beam of blue light squeezed out of the end and hit the lock. Nothing happened. Sighing, he folded the wand and put it in his pocket. He took out his key and let himself into her house.

Psychopomps by Judith Field
Far Fetched Fables #181

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