Writing, as a hobby, art, and profession, tends to wear dysfunction like a badge of honor. I don’t think it should. And neither should reading, come to think of it. Writers looking to improve productivity are a favorite target for...
People love classifying other people. Our minds are happily oriented around patterns, but when it comes to making sense of others, especially those who are different than us, we get into trouble. Writers who want to tell a story...
This will sound like a commercial. It sort of is, but it’s a recommendation made out of respect, gratitude, and a deep love for the Writing Excuses podcast. For the last three years, this crew of well-esteemed and staggeringly talented...
The big thing in entertainment today is addiction. The products we use – especially computer programs, games, and apps – are designed to hook users into habitual use, then encourage repeated purchases to fuel our investment of time. Before we...
There are some great stories of writing exercises out there that have changed writers’ lives, styles, even dreams. Some are simply interesting, and a few make you wonder why we do these at all. In my final writing course, our...
I am proud to admit I write in many genres. I've been known to write light-hearted fantasy, speculative/science fiction, lite horror, a little supernatural, period realistic fiction, and contemporary fiction. People seem surprised when I say I use worldbuilding...
Some stories take a lifetime to tell. Well, they would if we didn’t use narrative pacing to make sure we hit the best parts while not leaving out important details. Consider trying to tell the story of a person. Biographies...
How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of...
I’ve recently picked up Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story and the first few stories got me thinking. This isn’t just any anthology. It’s geared toward writing instruction, marketed to aspiring writers looking...
This is a busy time of year! As you know, I’m an advocate of writers having day jobs if the situation fits for them, and I follow that path myself. At this point, it’s not a choice so much as a...