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Dennis Palumbo

Articles by Dennis Palumbo

The Three Hard Truths About Agents

There's an old joke about the relationship between writers and agents: a writer comes home to find police and fire trucks crowding the street. As he scrambles out of his car, he sees that there's nothing left of his house but a pile of black dust and smoking embers. Stricken, he asks the officer in charge what happened. The cop shakes his head and says, 'Well, it looks like your age... (read more)

The Three Cosmic Rules of Writing

As a veteran writer and a licensed psychotherapist specializing in writers' issues, I know enough to know there aren't any rules when it comes to writing.

Except for the following, which I modestly call the Three Cosmic Rules of Writing. I'm serious. Learn these simple rules, then burn them into your hearts and minds. It couldn't hurt.

The First Cosmic Rule: 'You Are En... (read more)

When All That's Left Is Writing: Turning Anxiety Into Creativity

An old deodorant commercial once proclaimed, 'If you're not a little nervous, you're really not alive.'

Pretty sage advice, even though the only thing at stake was staying dry and odor-free. But there is something to be said for accepting -- and learning to navigate -- the minor turbulences of life. I'm talking here about common, everyday anxie... (read more)

The Theft of Time

A particularly arrogant film producer once said to me, "I could be a writer, too, if I only had the time."

Which implied, I guess, that if he didn't have to attend meetings, deal with studios, manage production budgets--in other words, if he didn't have a real job--he too could just sit around, effortlessly knocking out compelling narratives and crafting pithy dialogue.

Yet for mos... (read more)

Taking the Mystery Out of How to Write a Mystery

Learn how to write mysteries the right way with this expert guide by Dennis Palumbo who takes the mystery out of writing mysteries.

If you saw the season-ending episode of Monk, do you remember the clue that helped catch the killer?

Me, ne... (read more)