How to Write Better By Following This One, Simple Rule

How to Write Better By Following This One, Simple Rule

Out of curiosity, I recently Googled “how to write better.” You should try it. I got a list of great resources that would help any writer. However, as I read each of the articles, something began to gnaw at me. Something was missing in the excellent advice these well-respected writers were giving on how to write better. A core rule had been left out.

This article is about that missing rule.

The 6 Elements of Fiction

The 6 Elements of Fiction

Much of writing is instinctual, but there are some tools every writer needs to make their story professional and effective. Today, I’m talking about the elements of fiction: character, plot, setting, point-of-view, theme, and style.

Parentheses: How to Use ( ) Correctly

Parentheses: How to Use ( ) Correctly

People ask me all the time (and by all the time, I mean never), “Liz, what is your favorite grammatical/punctuational structure?” It’s hard to narrow it down to just one (although you’re probably already aware of my love for the Oxford comma), but if I happened to be in a life-or-death of language situation, it would probably be the parenthetical statement.

I bet you already figured that out.

7 Lies About Becoming a Writer That You Probably Believe

7 Lies About Becoming a Writer That You Probably Believe

The profession of writing has been around for thousands of years. You would think we would have figured out how to become one by now, right? However, the more you read, the more you realize no one seems to agree on how to become a writer.

Depending on who you listen to, becoming a writer is either the easiest thing in the world (“Just write!”) or a proposition so impossibly difficult that only a combination of talent approaching genius, luck, and years of expensive training (i.e. “Get an MFA!”) can turn your writerly dream into reality.

Emotional Writing: One Surprising Method for Creating Emotion in Your Readers

Emotional Writing: One Surprising Method for Creating Emotion in Your Readers

As a writer, you’ve probably learned that story is not about what happens. Rather, it’s about how the events affect the protagonist. The plot points may appeal to the reader’s intellect, but you want to go deeper than that, reaching and stirring the coals of a reader’s emotions. That kind of emotional writing is when you make a real connection, establishing something meaningful between writer and reader.

But how is this done? How do you reach beyond the plot points and offer your reader something more? There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but I’m going to focus on one technique that might surprise you.

This Fun Creative Writing Exercise Will Change Your Life

This Fun Creative Writing Exercise Will Change Your Life

I’m sure this never happens to you, but there are times when I don’t feel very creative. We just had a new baby, our second, bought a house, our first, and are now busy managing a thousand new details. All the busywork and bill paying leaves me feeling pretty dry.

But no matter how un-creative I’m feeling, there’s one creative writing exercise that never fails to fire up my writing.

The Powerful Reason You Should Tell Your Story

The Powerful Reason You Should Tell Your Story

For a lot of us, this has been a rough year, a tiring year, a painful year.

Some years carry a heavier toll than others, and this is one of them. Yet in spite of that—or maybe because of it—there’s something you need to do: tell your story. I know how tired you are. I know some of you you don’t feel heard. I know some of you might fear you don’t matter.

You do.

Why You Need to Use the Oxford Comma (or Not)

Why You Need to Use the Oxford Comma (or Not)

Most of the fun of writing is using your words to tell a story. They course across the page, delighting in the joys of Maureen finally finding her Henry, shuddering as Ingrid uncovers her third dead body of the day, or mourning with Carlos for his lost mother. But I’m not here to talk about words. I’m here to sing the praises of punctuation; specifically, the Oxford comma.

Most people I’ve met have no idea what the Oxford comma is, but it’s probably something that you have used in the past. What is it?

8 Best Rhyming Books for Children’s Book Writers

8 Best Rhyming Books for Children’s Book Writers

There are lots of book lists for teachers and parents looking for fun rhyming books, but today I thought I’d share a few with clever rhymes that you can study as you decide whether or not your book needs to rhyme. One thing to note with all of these is how rhyme works for the story. Notice how rhyme in these books enhances the story. None of these rhymes feel forced.