From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted my novel Dark City to have a very strong sense of place. I wanted the city to be alive, like Camorr or The Shire or Sin City in the graphic novel series. I wanted my book to have a noir aesthetic, a kind of Gotham vibe. … Continue reading How to make a setting come alive
Writing can be such an incredibly subjective endeavor that sometimes it makes me want to pull my hair out. Did I do this right? Did I do this wrong? Who knows?! The subjectivity also makes me a little insecure when I’m critiquing other writers’ work. Every story and every writer’s style is so different, so … Continue reading Some thoughts on critiquing other writers’ works
I’m rapidly approaching the editing stage for my own novel, and honestly, I’m dreading it. I love editing other people’s work, but self-editing is a different beast entirely. Usually by the time a novel is finished, I’ve become so familiar with every word they start to blur together, and it’s hard for me to see … Continue reading 4 Tips for Self Editing
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
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!
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?
What’s in my pocket? Hint: It’s not the one ring. It’s actually a collection of writing resources I’ve found all over the internet and kept in my handy Pocket app. Pocket is a great app that saves online articles to read later, and you can get it for Chrome, iOS, and Android. Among the many … Continue reading What’s in my pocket?
There comes a moment in the creative process when one set of eyes isn’t enough, and you need to find someone to critique your work. At the same time, you’ll probably need to do some critiquing of your own, either to reciprocate or just to improve your own skills. Here are some tips on how … Continue reading How to critique a story (and get some eyes on yours)
Welcome to the fourth in a series of author interviews. Today I'm talking to Hector Kopczynski about sexuality and gender in writing, building a truly foreign fantasy world, and reading with a critical eye. Hector is currently working on both an epic fantasy project and a gritty spy thriller. Sarah: Currently you’re working on two very different … Continue reading Author Interview: Hector Kopczynski
When I’m staring at a blank page, eyes unfocused, fingers drooping over the keyboard, sometimes I realize I’m just not going to get any drafting done today. That’s when I procrastinate turn to other exercises that help me develop my novel. One technique I like is to do a character sheet, where I examine different … Continue reading Creative procrastination: 11 questions to ask your characters