for April, 2014

5 questions writers hate answering.

April 25, 2014

Whenever I tell someone I’m a writer, or that I’m writing a book, I get a slew of questions. Most of them are fine and dandy. Many of them are awesome and I love answering them. However, all writers have “those” questions, the ones they hope people don’t ask because they don’t really want to give an answer. These are a few of mine. What other questions do you hate being asked? What’s your real job? First of all, my “real” job is a writer, but for many other writers out there, they have jobs outside of the writing space. Not only is it kind of shitty to think of yourself as a writer when you have to work at a restaurant or a convenience store to pay the bills, but it’s equally shitty when people don’t view writing as a “real” job. This further propagates the “writing isn’t something you can have a career in” mindset that a lot […]

A Different Kind Of Fear

Another kind of fear.

April 24, 2014

I’ve talked about how we as writers tend to be afraid of certain things: failure, rejection, and not being “good enough.” But I think there’s another big element–another big thing we’re all really, really afraid of. Meeting someone better than we are at what we love to do. I’ve been in a lot of writing classes and a lot of writing critique groups, and I can tell you one thing almost for certain: on the surface, most writers come off a little prudish. We try to talk tough, like we know something other writers don’t know, or like we know something they’ve forgotten. We tend to grow out of this as we get better and as we have more experience in critique groups, but essentially, we can be pretty passively nasty to one another. I mean, not in that we really hate one another, but in that we’re pretty darn competitive. There are a lot of reasons for that, but […]


4 times it (may be) okay to use clichés.

April 23, 2014

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about clichés and why we aren’t supposed to use them as writers. That article is more-or-less absolutely true. As a really good, standard rule to follow, you should pretty much avoid clichés as much as possible. But, as with all writing rules, there are almost always some exceptions. In the matter of clichés, it isn’t any different. I was talking to a friend about what exceptions we thought there were to the whole “cliché” rule, and we came up with four big ones. In dialogue. To be honest, there are a lot of things you can get away with in dialogue that you absolutely can’t get away with anywhere else, and the cliché rule is one of them. It’s totally okay to use clichés in dialogue for a few reasons. One, clichés are standard in our every day lives–we use them in converstation all the time because people get it. The average person isn’t going […]


3 reasons clichés are taboo.

April 22, 2014

As we begin writing, and as we begin exploring short stories and novels and our own creativity, one of the first things we learn to do is imitate. We copy writing styles from our favorite authors. We copy dialogue and context styles from movies and shows. We even copy basic plotline ideas or characters until we develop enough to create our own. Another thing we copy are clichés. You’re probably familiar with a few clichés, so I’m not going to bend over backward explaining it all to you (hah hah, see what I did there?). If you aren’t familiar with clichés, you’re wrong, and here’s a comprehensive list of a bunch of them so you can remind yourself. This copycat stage of writing is awesome, and totally okay. It’s how we learn to conceptualize language and plot and characters, and it’s also how we begin to develop our own unique styles. However, this stage can’t last forever, and the longer […]


6 movies that were better than the books.

April 21, 2014

So, I did say that most books are better than the movies, but there are exceptions. This is a list basically composed of my personal opinions AND accounts I’ve heard from friends and family. Warning: this might offend some literary purists out there. Double Warning: I don’t really care. Any other movies out there you think were better than the books? Lord of the Rings Don’t get me wrong, I really love the story in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Like, a lot. But it’s the story I love, and not exactly the writing. I think (most) people who say they LOVE the Lord of the Rings books really just love the story, and I also think most of them claim to love the books because it makes them look well-read and more intelligent because those books are hard as hell to read. Almost every single piece Tolkien wrote about Middle Earth was designed to be more historical than […]

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