Writing

38 posts

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Chekhov’s Gun

If you’re a writer, then I hardly need to explain Chekhov’s Gun to you. However, I didn’t know about it for a long time, so I can’t just go without explaining it at least briefly for anyone who might be unfamiliar. We all know what they say about assuming, right? […]

Characters and Distance

I want to start this post by pointing out that when I write about writing, I’m not giving my thoughts on what I think you should do, or even what works. I’m really just sharing what works for me, and how I write. If it works for you, then great! […]

Stick and Move

NaNoWriMo is a week in. Has your story taken any unexpected turns yet? Mine has. But I’ve developed strategies for this. Part of the fun of being a Pantser is never knowing where the story will take you. The appeal of being a Plotter is in knowing what’s coming next […]

Face Down the White Whale

NaNoWriMo is a few days in now. How’s it going for you? I can’t speak to how it’s going for me because I wrote this post a week ago. I’m sure it’s either fine or I’m staring at a blank screen for hours at a time hoping I can cause […]

Gathering Moss

Confession time: I still haven’t written a word of fiction since finishing the third draft of my manuscript and sending it to a few people to get their impressions. I’m sure I could tell you exactly how many months it’s been, but I think that would just make me sad. […]

Why I Write

Writers have all sorts of pretentious reasons for why they write. I’m going to add my own to the mix. But let me just say that there are really two kinds of writing I do, and a different reason for each. I write fiction novels and I write blogs about […]

The Power of Flow

In the Fall of 2016, I took one of my favorite college courses. It was called Composition Theory for Teachers, and we basically just talked about writing. How to teach writing, mostly, but also best practices for getting writing out of students that’s deeper and more involved. We tried to […]

Is All Writing Art?

What people sometimes mistake about my interest in writing is that I usually don’t care about how “artistic” something is. I care about clarity and evocativeness. Something that can make me feel an emotion is good writing, no matter how plain or flowery the language might be. Some stories let […]

Gamification

In theory, the idea behind gamification is awesome. If you’re unfamiliar with the principle, it’s simply turning work into a game. It means getting points for completing tasks, or gaining experience for keeping up a habit. You might even bring some kind of currency into the equation so you can […]

One Week of Freedom

We writers sure do complain a lot about not having time to write, don’t we? Yet there’s a common stereotype that when you’re a writer, people automatically imagine you must have a lot of free time. We constantly have to tell people our writing time is not the same as […]

Writing Advice for a Younger Me

There are a lot of things I wish I’d realized when I was fourteen years old and started making my first forays into the world of writing. I was proud of those first fumbles in the dark, even though I realized years later that I should not have been so […]