And we’re back to my bread and butter – getting uppity about writercraft. Continue reading
It’s now about halfway through NaNo, give or take a few days. I won’t talk about how many words should or shouldn’t have been written by now. Honestly it doesn’t matter – as long as you’ve learned something new by this point in the month, that’s really the only thing that matters. Continue reading
In which I accidentally write a blog post in which I encourage you not to read my blog. Continue reading
Publishing is convoluted.
I’m sure this is not news by now. Everyone knows that publishing (self- or traditional) is convoluted. 80% luck, 5% skill and 15% sheer bloodymindedness and all that. Continue reading
Easing back into this blogging gig with a good old getting-high-and-mighty about writing.
One of the questions I got a lot when I was tutoring was ‘how do I write descriptions’. Description, I feel, falls victim to two problems. First, as always, incomplete and misleading common writing wisdom, and second, overemphasis on certain techniques of description. Continue reading
Writing is weird. All hobbies are, I think, once you start doing them with the intent to improve your skills. After all, trying to improve means trying new things, and of coruse a keen awareness of your imperfections. Since writing is a creative, solitary and very personal pursuit, there are very few universal yardsticks for progress (perhaps the only one is “I gave this to other people, and the flaws they pointed out weren’t the same ones they pointed out last time”). So writers often end up with a litany of ‘Is this hobby for me?’ ‘Do I have a chance to get good enough at this to meet personal goals (or, if you’re that way inclined, to get published)?’ ‘Am I allowed to consider myself a “real writer”?’ Continue reading
Full disclosure: I wrote all these NaNoWriMo posts before November. Actually, as I start this last one, it’s the 10th of October. I might be a little bit overenthusiastic about writing, but I’m not quite keen enough to add another 1500-2000 words to every week in NaNo. Continue reading
Teaching anything creative is very hard. Almost as hard, in fact, as learning something creative. Continue reading
Dear Potential Wrimo,
It’s now about a week into October and everyone is starting to gear up. You’re probably on a few forums where people are starting to talk about their plans. If you’re not on any forums, or don’t hang out where writers congregate, trust me, it’s everywhere. Continue reading
There’s a piece of writing advice that I particularly love, despite firmly believing that all writing rules are just guidelines made to be broken in interesting ways. It is this: Every scene or element in the story must do at least two things to further the story, or it gets cut. It’s sort of the inverse of Kill Your Darlings. Kill Your Darlings says to get rid of story things because you love them too much. The Double Duty Rule says to get rid of things if they’re only there because you love them too much. Continue reading