So You Want to Write A…

So you want to write a…. Novel…. A novella…. A short story…. An encyclopedia of the Star Wars expanded universe—pre-Disney and post-Disney…. Maybe you’ve done some creative writing in high school and college and now you have the bug to be more serious about it. Or maybe you’ve never put pen to paper, or fingers … [Read more…]

24: Kill All Your Darlings: Self-Editing

Self-editing, after getting started and having a few drafts completed can perhaps be the most anxiety-riddled aspect of the writing process. But it’s also one of the most key parts to the process of producing a finished story. It’s very easy to become (overly) married to plot threads or twists, characters, scenes, dialogue and so … [Read more…]

23: It’s Rather Windy in Here: Drafts

All my first drafts have certainly been exactly as Hemingway describes them in the above quote. Crass, maybe—but true. Future ones will be, too. So if yours is, that’s great! So you and I, my friend, are in good company with the likes of Hemingway and his peers. To quote Anne Lamott from Bird by … [Read more…]

22: Typing Your Story: Genre

Genre, or the category in which a story is classified, isn’t something I think about much with my writing. The actual story is more important to me.  In fact, the only time I really focused on it was during my Film Studies courses.  But I wanted to cover it here as I do get asked … [Read more…]

20: Once Upon a Time: Your Opening Sentence

Opening sentence

Your opening sentence. That pesky hook. So now that we’ve covered character development, giving of details vs. spamming your audience, writer’s block…how to get started? How to write that first line? Perhaps you’ve read somewhere that your opening line is the biggest hook you need to create to pull in your readers. Stephen King has … [Read more…]

17: Finding Your Writing Style and Voice

Writing style and voice are something I’m often asked about—either how I developed mine, or how someone should/could/can/will develop theirs. My answer is this: I developed mine by writing, writing some more—and then writing some more. You will develop yours by writing, writing some more—and then writing some more. (I’m meaning, in this post, the … [Read more…]

16: Who Said What? Yes. What? Yes. Who Did? Yes. I Mean No. I Mean Yes…I Think: Dialogue.

Unless your characters are all mute, they’re going to have conversations with each other. Dialogue is tough. Realistic dialogue is even tougher. Many writers have a tendency to have characters speak as we would write essays and papers—in full sentences, flowing with correct grammar, punctuation, every “t” crossed and “i” dotted. Formally, in other words. But, … [Read more…]