How many of you have been writing for a while? This article is for you—though if you’re brand-new, this will eventually apply to you, too. Ahem. There will come a day when it’s time to start that story over from scratch.
If the semicolon was just a little less top-heavy, then it would be a comma, and rightfully used and appreciated. Sadly, many writers have a confused relationship with the semicolon, not really sure how or when to use semicolons in their lovely sentences.
Don’t worry, little semicolon. Your virtues will not be lost on this audience as long as I have a say in it.
The point of this blog post is not to give you tips on how to dress.
No: Instead, it’s time to talk about the clothes your characters wear, and why that matters.
We recently talked about how long your blog posts should be. Today, let’s talk about how to write a blog post that helps you accomplish your writing goals.
“Don’t write third person omniscient.” That’s a piece of advice often echoed by editors, publishers and agents alike. But being the rebellious creatures they are, as soon as authors hear someone tell them what they must do, they get an itch to do the exact opposite.
But before you “stick it to the man” and start drafting your magnum opus in third person omniscient, let’s look at some examples of when that perspective is best used and discover why the industry often favors “closer” points of view.
Writers encounter dialogue every day, but too often recently I’ve seen great stories ruined by choppy, incoherent, and straight up weird dialogue.
Let’s break down the essentials of dialogue tags so we can all write clearer conversations.
There was no hesitation as I vomited. I didn’t put on my glasses, clean the seven litter boxes, or put on shoes before I ran to the toilet and vomited. The virus was forcing me to avoid perfection and get rid of what was in my stomach.
Vomit your first draft as quickly as a virus makes you run to the toilet.
Storytelling is world building. Whether you are writing horror, science fiction, or romance, your readers must believe in the world you are creating. Often this requires us to develop characters who are in positions we have little to no personal experience with.
Thankfully, replicating things we haven’t already done is not impossible; it just takes practice. Here are three tips that will help you reproduce professions you’ve never been a part of and create believable character development.
The first time I wrote a novel, I didn’t think about genre until the first draft was done, and I began trying to untangle my mess in revision. After two painful years (mostly comprised of avoidance, procrastination, and general despair), I hired a developmental editor who began our first phone call by asking, “What kind of book is this?” and “Who is your ideal reader?”
“It’s for everyone,” I said. I could hear the rise and fall of my breathing in the silence.
“No, it isn’t,” she said in a kind, but firm voice. Within minutes, I realized I had skipped a clarifying question that would guide every step of the book process from the plot and characters to cover design and marketing.
I have two groups of friends. First, there are friends that love to plan and have zero surprises in their life. These are the friends that help you move and get you to the airport on time.
The other group is the friends who are up for anything. They turn the corner and find the best Thai restaurant no one has heard of. They will convince you to stay out late, way too late, especially when you work early in the morning.
With my friend Robbie, “an up for anything” kind of fella, I discovered the best way to practice my improvisation and character development . . . simply by tapping a button on my phone.