for November, 2013

I’ve been lying to you.

November 30, 2013

For the past month, you’ve been reading blog posts on this site covering a variety of topics: from characters to conventions, from short stories to writing exercises. Well, I’m here to tell you… Not a single one of these pieces was written in the month of November. Not one. I started writing them all at the end of September and by mid October I had thirty pre-written posts scheduled for the coming month. In fact, even this post, the one you’re reading right now, was written on October 11th. Why? Because this year, I took part in National Novel Writing Month. (I’ll wait patiently here for a few of you to get the giggles out of your systems.) You see, for those of you who know me, you’ve most likely heard a rant or two on my dislike of NaNoWriMo (I still think the acronym is lame). Knowing that, I’m pretty sure you’re sitting there chuckling in your chairs, saying […]


Characterization in three simple steps.

November 29, 2013

As I’ve stated before in a few articles (this one, most specifically), my stories usually stem from my characters. Obviously, this means my characterization needs to be pretty solid. There are three particular things I look at when I’m writing to ensure my characters come off well-rounded and natural. The first step to creating well-rounded characters is to actually build character profiles. These can be pretty simple for minor characters, and more intense for more prominent people in your story. Since I’ve already basically covered this step here, and since we all know that well-rounded characters need to grow and adapt through a story, I don’t need to really go more into detail with that, do I? Oh, wait–the growing and adapting thing? That’s one of the many reasons you need an outline. Please refer to this article for more information on that. Anyway, as I stated above, there are three things I look at while I’m writing to ensure […]


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2013

I’m more than three months into this “post-a-day” nonsense, and today is my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving! Yes, yes, I know the story of the first Thanksgiving is a bunch of crap and that there’s no real validity to the holiday from a historical standpoint, but that’s not what I like about it. Let’s face it–most people who celebrate Christmas don’t REALLY enjoy it because it celebrates the birth of Jesus (which actually was probably in April anyway). Most people enjoy Christmas because they enjoy presents and getting the day off work. I enjoy Thanksgiving for similar reasons–in other words, the reasons I love Thanksgiving have nothing to do with the historical “reasoning” behind the holiday. I love Thanksgiving because there are two things that matter to me more than anything else in the world: family, and food. Absolutely everything served on Thanksgiving is delicious. I love turkey. I love stuffing. I love pie and cranberry sauce and […]


Writing Exercise: Write without “saying” anything.

November 27, 2013

Hey guys. I’ve talked a bit about the word “said,” and how most writers go through an “avoiding said” stage when they’re working on improving their craft. And while that post goes into detail on how using synonyms for “said” isn’t actually always the best idea, there ARE other ways to stop using it so frequently. My husband and I were actually talking about this, and he told me he tries to avoid using not just “said,” but any dialogue identifiers when he writes. Even though you should usually use “said” instead of any other dialogue identifier in most (not all) cases, it is actually a really good practice to remove these identifiers entirely. It forces you to think more about the other actions your characters are taking, and it makes you identify who is speaking in what scene in more creative ways. That being said, here’s my challenge to you today: write a whole section of dialogue without using […]


Embrace your bad writing.

November 26, 2013

Have you ever had a day when everything you seem to write comes out like absolute crap? You erase line after line of text because it just isn’t right, and no matter what you do you can’t get that “magic tone” you’re looking for. You try what they tell you to try. You walk away from it and come back to see if you like it better once you’ve had a break. You write something different for a while and start over later to see if you have better luck. You even take a shot of tequila, because someone somewhere once said having a serving of alcohol helped the creative juices flow. And yet, you still hate everything that’s coming out. These days can be really disheartening, especially if there are other things going on that make us feel like we just can’t do it. We all want to believe everything we write is pure gold–and usually we do. Most […]

1 2 3 6

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: