Creating effective character descriptions can be difficult. You can bore the reader with too much description, but if it’s used effectively, it can be a powerful tool. In this example, Jim Butcher uses character description to build tension, illuminate his characters, set a consistent tone for the novel, and tell us about the protagonist. This … Continue reading How do I write effective character descriptions? (part 1)
Warning: This isn't an in-depth, academic poetry analysis full of symbolism and themes. This is a more practical look at what E.E. Cummings' style can teach authors about writing. E.E. Cummings is well known for playing with words, putting them together in unconventional ways. He also used unusual grammar for a wonderful dramatic effect. These … Continue reading What fiction writers can learn from E.E. Cummings
The present tense is a controversial subject among writers. You’ll hear people who love it and people who vow never to read anything written with it. If you write present tense, however, you’re not keeping bad company. Haruki Murakami, John Updike, and Margaret Atwood have all written wonderfully in present tense. They’re not the only … Continue reading Should writers use the present tense?
I’ve often heard people who give writing advice say “don’t write a prologue.” If I were someone qualified to give writing advice, I’d say, “don’t write a bad prologue.” The prologue at the beginning of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind is a beautiful and necessary part of the novel. If The Name of … Continue reading On beginnings: The prologue to The Name of the Wind