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 … Continue reading My Favorite Words

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 … Continue reading On Writing Characters People Give a Shit About

Mistakes I Used to Make When Writing

When I first started submitting my work to the public for critiques, I made a lot of amateur and completely fixable mistakes. I'm sure I still do, and will someday reflect on my writing from today with embarrassment. Still, I write better now than before I learned not to do the following: Writing Purple Prose Ugh. … Continue reading Mistakes I Used to Make When Writing

When to Transition in a Novel

A friend of mine who is a talented writer was complaining to me yesterday about the difficulties of scene transitions. She is struggling to determine what she should and should not include in the current in progress draft of her novel. I feel her pain, but also know plenty of experienced writers have trouble in … Continue reading When to Transition in a Novel

On Writing Villains Who Don’t Suck Ass

Sometimes the villain of a story is a force of nature, a la Jack London's famous story, To Build a Fire. Hypothermia makes for an excellent baddie, even lacking motive or a personality. However, if your story's villain is a human (or sentient being of some kind), they're gonna need both. Think of history's most … Continue reading On Writing Villains Who Don’t Suck Ass

Weird Shit I’ve Had to Google

Bullshitting has its limits. There is a lot of advice out there that says you should only write what you know, and even more that says to write anyfuckingthing you want. The problem with the former is that most of us are less exciting than the stories we create, and the problem with the latter … Continue reading Weird Shit I’ve Had to Google