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 [...]

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 [...]

To Infodump or not to Infodump

I worked on a neat little infographic for the better part of an hour, thinking I'd make this post pretty and succinct. Then I messed up the layout, got frustrated, and rolled with an entirely different blog post altogether. If you've been around the fiction-workshopping block a time or two million, you've heard of infodumping. [...]

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, [...]

8 Writing Habits of Amateurs

If I wanted to write this blog in the style of a shitty tenth grade academic essay, it might go a little something like this: The topic I am writing about is amateur writing habits. I think that you should state the purpose of your paper clearly from the beginning, or you will look unprofessional. [...]

4 Steps for Quick & Easy Revision

I wrote this post a short while back about how I like to revise my writing, which is accurate but unhelpful. This time around I have actual advice. Step One: Break Down the Workload Give yourself about 1,000 words to revise per "session." It may sound unproductive, but trust me on this one: the fewer words you edit [...]

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 [...]