Book Review – Slaughterhouse Five

The most recent book I finished on Audible was Kurt Vonnegut’s famous Slaughterhouse Five --narrated by James Franco! I didn’t know what to expect going into it at all. I’d never read any of his books, and didn’t know anything beforehand about this one, except that both author and novel are widely acclaimed. I didn’t [...]

Make Your Writing Kick Ass

Ever read back over your action scene, only to find it lacking? It's not always easy to get what you see in your mind on paper; especially when it's supposed to be a balls to the wall action scene. Often these scenes come across dull and even boring because the writer hasn't used effective language [...]

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 [...]

Book Review – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (No Spoilers!)

I know Margaret Atwood to be one of the greats, and once started another of her books. It was strange, albeit well written, but as I usually do I got distracted and didn’t finish it. I’ve heard about The Handmaid’s Tale a lot lately, especially with the Hulu series now out. So, I downloaded the [...]

Show and Tell in Writing

If you submit your creative writing for critiquing, you’ll quickly become familiar with the phrase, “Show, don’t tell.” According to the modern critiquer, “telling” is an unspeakably evil act in the realm of creative writing. You must never tell. Always show. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, showing is more interesting for [...]

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, [...]