The average writer is his or her own worst enemy when it comes to motivation, discipline, and skill. We all have/had an age by which we wanted to be published, and for those of us who haven’t yet reached that goal, it can feel like we failed our own expectations. As a kid I was … Continue reading Ways I Hold Myself Back as a Writer
I was ten years old in the year 1999. I had finally “mastered” the art of typing, and had just enough experience using computers to conduct my own Internet searches. Neopets was brand new and all the rage, so like many preteens in that era I spent a lot of time with the virtual pets … Continue reading Collaborative Storytelling and Your 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 the reader. On the other, well… Imagine if you had, back in kindergarten, had “show” instead of “show and tell.” Imagine each child holding up a random ass item, allowing the other children to stare at it for a length of time, then wordlessly returning to their seat.
There is room in the world for show and tell, and both are important. I don’t see a need to show everything, but this is where my stance on the matter shifts.
Showing is so much better.
Showing happens in verbs. With action.
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Characters are the lifeblood the story. You can fabricate a setting that lives and breathes, but without characters to thrive in it, you do not have a story. Characters without characterization are all but useless. Don’t get me wrong: they can still carry out all the actions the story requires, bringing it from beginning to … Continue reading Know Your Characters
Using “and I” Incorrectly Example: She invited Sarah and I to her party or She invited I and Sarah to her party. It’s one thing when someone uses “and me” when they should have used “and I,” but for some reason misusing “and I” is on a whole new level of obnoxious. It makes me … Continue reading Grammar Pet Peeves
If English is your native language, you need to get these right.
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. … Continue reading Going After Inspiration
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