It’s that wonderful time of the year, when every blogger makes “Best of the Year” lists. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about which books meant the most to me this year, which books challenged me as a reader, inspired me as a writer, and were the most fun. Because it was so hard … Continue reading The 5 best books I read in 2015
Today I'm being featured by Quill Writers, who have posted a little science fiction piece I've written. It's a glimpse into the sci-fi novel I've got in the works, which takes place in a futuristic Denver, Colorado. It goes a little something...like this: The street was both dingy and brilliant at once, the sprawl in the … Continue reading Rocky Mountain Blues
I’m convinced every writer suffers from some amount of writer’s block now and again. A serious writer isn’t someone who never gets blocked, but rather someone who fights through it. If you’re feeling blocked, here are ten strategies I like to use to get the words flowing again. 1. Step back and read some or … Continue reading 10 ways to break through writer’s block
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and refers to a group of over 300,000 writers who engage in a yearly writing endeavor, the goal of which is to write 50,000 words in a month. Although the word count is the flashiest thing about NaNo, it’s really a way to celebrate stories and writing, and … Continue reading How to NaNo like a boss in 5 easy steps
Writing characters with mental illnesses can be a challenge. Authors must do some amount of research to be sure they’re representing the experience in a compassionate, honest, and believable way. Here are five things to keep in mind when writing mental illness. 1. Avoid a magical recovery Books and movies about mental illness often end the same … Continue reading 4 pitfalls to avoid when writing about mental illness
Instead of dissecting the symbolism and thematic significance of a poem, this series is meant to be a practical discussion of what fiction writers can learn from poetry. Because a poem uses so few words, each word must be meaningful and carefully chosen to have the impact the poet desires. In The Love Song of … Continue reading Portraying character in fiction: Lessons from J. Alfred Prufrock
As I go about my days, I come across a plethora of helpful articles on writing and the publishing industry. I use a handy app called Pocket to save them all for when I get a chance to sit down and read them. Every so often I like to share the resources I’ve found. Here … Continue reading What’s in my pocket? Resources for writers!
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?