Going After Inspiration

One of my favorite authors, Jack London, has a famous quote. He says, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." This is often true. Think of inspiration as a cute white baby seal flopping aimlessly around on the ice, and of yourself as a bloodthirsty,  club wielding maniac. No, wait. [...]

Writing Dialogue

English grammar is hard. It is exceedingly rare for a person to have a “perfect” grasp of the English language, especially when there are so many exceptions and so much encouragement to bend its already pliable rules. Even native speakers often struggle with writing. This post would be immense if I tried to cover all [...]

How I Make Characters

I come up with characters quickly. By the time I’ve imagined them, I usually know the main premise of their personality and what I hope to accomplish with them. But there is more I need to know about a character than looks and main personality traits. Here is how I flesh them out into people [...]

Mystery Blogger Award

A huge thank you to MladenR at Writer to Writer Site for nominating me! I am flattered and thrilled beyond words to know you have enjoyed reading my blog! Yours is absolutely fantastic also and you would definitely be one of my nominees, but I don't think I'm supposed nominate the person who nominated me. [...]

10 Places to End a Novel Chapter

  Where and how you end a novel chapter can have a major influence on whether or not the reader feels invested enough to finish the book. If it's too long, they may feel they don't have time to read it. If it's unexciting, they may not care enough to read the next chapter. So, [...]

My Favorite Words

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love the English language. I love all the inconsistent, infuriating grammar rules. I love how different every word is from another, how they're borrowed from all other languages. I love how words that sound the same mean different things, and how for just about adjective there are [...]

On Writing Characters People Give a Shit About

It doesn't always take much to get a reader to root for a character. You can start a story with a guy running, and as long as he's just enough of an underdog (being chased by something ferocious, or multiple people, perhaps), the reader immediately wants him to make it out alive. But once he [...]