If you’ve ever done NaNoWriMo, you’ve probably noticed that some people reach the goal not in a matter of weeks, but a matter of days. My feelings towards those writers are conflicted. On the one hand, I’m jealous. I mean, if I could write my draft in a week instead of a month, making it … More 100k in 2 Weeks: What You Need to Know
I’ve heard from several people lately that in order to create fear in your writing or a drive for the reader to know more, writers need to remember to include a good sense of mystery or the unknown. This camp includes J. J. Abrams, who is known for loving the idea of the “mystery box”–something … More Fear: Mystery. . . or Knowledge?
(Disclaimer: Yes, this is sarcastic. And no, I didn’t interview Abrams or get his permission. This is for entertainment purposes primarily. But still… there are things to be learned!) With everyone raving about the new Star Wars movie like it’s the best thing to show on the big screen since, well, ever, I thought it would … More The J. J. Abrams Guide to Brilliant Storycrafting!
If you’re self-publishing, self-editing can be a strong temptation. It’s fast, simple and free–which you really can’t get anywhere else. But it has its problems as well, especially when you get beyond the technical aspects and focus on the overall quality of your writing. This article from eBookIssues.com offers several incredibly useful tips for tackling … More Self Editing Tips to Benefit Writers – Curated Post
Today is National Panic Day on the Finish That Novel calendar. It’s not a random holiday that is directly related to writing, but I do think that it’s a good idea to take it to heart and re-energize your ideas about your writing. And yes, to panic about it. There’s plenty to panic about. For … More 7 Reasons You Should Panic on National Panic Day
A few years ago, I found myself staring tensely at my computer screen, fingers hovering over the keyboard as I wrestled with a problem that every conservative writer must face when trying to keep fiction realistic. One of my characters was going to swear. And I did not want to write a swear word. What … More Sex, Swearing, and What You Don’t Want to Write
Some people say writers’ block doesn’t exist. It’s an excuse for laziness, one of the weakest reasons why not to write. But I know better. The past few days especially have been hard for me. I’m finally moving on from my NaNoWriMo book as it enters the advanced editing and less creative stages, and I … More 5 Ways to Kill Writers’ Block (After It’s Started)
Song, poetry, and regional or foreign accents are only a few of the tough calls you have to make in the process of writing a novel. Do you include them or don’t you dare? Little effects and “writing within writing” can bring your imaginary world to life that much more, but it can also give … More Why Your Readers Will Never Know You’re A Bad Writer
Like it or not, your novel fits into a genre. Even if it’s not so-called genre fiction. And your genre (and knowledge of that genre’s market!) will play a huge part in your success as a writer. It’s easy to feel like genres are just another way of categorizing novels and putting them into boxes, … More Genre Matters: What’s Your Market?
A novel can only be as perfect as the person (or people) who write it, and no matter how incredible a work of fiction can seem, there are mistakes, bad choices, and strings left untied. Fortunately it’s possible to learn from past mistakes to do better in the future, so I thought I’d jot down … More My Biggest Novelling Fails
Writers don’t know when it happens, and usually only dedicated readers will notice, but one of the greatest tragedies that can befall a novel is when the plot lets down the characters. I don’t mean when bad things happen to the hero–I mean when a fascinating character is bursting with potential… and then falls flat. … More When Bad Stories Happen to Good Characters
In this second part of my “How (Not) to Write” series, I’m going to look at one author in particular and tell you how you–yes, you!–can write a fantasy series just like George R. R. Martin. Well, actual results will vary. George R. R. Martin is a celebrity fantasy author for his famous “Song of … More How to Write Just Like George R. R. Martin (A Parody)
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been evaluating the effects of various kinds of writing on my fiction. I consider myself primarily to be a fiction writer, but I’ve also done a lot of many other kinds of writing, like poetry and article writing. Today I’m going to be looking at my experiences writing scripts … More What I Learned by… Screenwriting
There are people who are obviously writers, who have published books and live entirely off their craft, dedicating their lives to writing page after page of glorious text. Then there are people who are obviously not writers, who have nothing more to do with the written word than finger-pecking Facebook status updates and texting their friends. Many … More Two Factors That Make “Real” Writers