Even outside of the time I spend with my fingers on the keyboard, I do a lot of thinking about my characters. I’ve become the stereotypical “head in the clouds” writer who might walk right into you at the grocery store because my mind is on my stories. And most of all, on the characters … Continue reading Fun ways to build characters
As I go about my usual business wasting time on social media, I often come across excellent articles on the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Because I'm distracted by cat pictures, I tuck them away in my pocket to read later. Every so often, I like to share some of the best information … Continue reading What’s in my pocket? Resources for writers
I've been a professional writer for about three years now. If you're curious what my typical workday looks like, I've done a guest post for Allie May at Hypergraphia. It contains, among other things, pictures of my cats, and a word I can't spell to save my life. Check it out here!
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
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
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