for May, 2014

You know what’s worse than the movie?

May 21, 2014

The video game. Yesterday, I ran across a comic on my Facebook news feed that showed a victor’s podium–you know, like the one you ended up on in Mario Kart if you got first, second, or third place. In first place, with a nifty ribbon, was the book. In second, looking appropriately but deservingly disappointed, was the movie. In third, very distraught and unhappy, was the video game. I tried really hard to hunt it down so I could share it in this blog post, but for the life of me, I can’t find that comic again. If anyone happens to find it, let me know! Anyway, this comic made me stop to think. You’ve all heard my opinion on the movies made based on the books we love, but what about the video games that inevitably come after them? To be totally honest, I forgot all about these video games. I probably blocked it out of my memory because […]


Setting the emotional scene.

May 20, 2014

We all know about setting the scene in as far as describing the setting, establishing the available characters, and bringing in the key plotline elements, but a lot of us forget about what it means to have a scene set in emotion. These kinds of scenes, the scenes heavily laden with emotion, come after, naturally, the most emotional parts of the story. When shit hits the fan, your scene better feel like shit hit the fan. In the excerpt from Martyrs below, Darius has just escaped a massive massacre, and he was knocked unconscious in the event. The emotions of this scene are pretty basic: confusion, disgust, and shock. Let me know what you think! Cheers, –MC * * * A low, resonate hum woke him. Cold, clammy sweat coating his cheek plastered his skin to a sticky, leather seat. Everything moved–the surface beneath him bounced and swerved. His body ached. A slash in his arm throbbed with each heartbeat. […]


The difference between a memoir and an autobiography.

May 19, 2014

There are many different kinds of writing out there, and most writers tend to specialize in one form over another. The first, most obvious, divide is prose or poetry. Poetry can be broke into about a gazillion different subcategories, most of which I am TOTALLY unfamiliar with because I don’t write poetry. Prose can then be divided into fiction or nonfiction. Fiction has a whole slew of different categories beneath it (you know, genres), but nonfiction also can be broken into several different segments. Two different segments of nonfiction that tend to get blurred together all too often are autobiographies and memoirs. The reason these two get confused so often is because they’re both personal accounts of one’s own life, written by and about the author. This is different from biographies, which are accounts on someone’s life written by a third party. Both memoirs and autobiographies are written by the people they’re about. In other words, they’re self-reflective. Whereas, though, […]

How To Get A Writing Job

How to get a job in writing.

May 18, 2014

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the motivations writers have to get published. At the top of the list was a motivation we’re all probably pretty familiar with: the desire to get paid for doing what we love to do. After all, what writer doesn’t want to bring in oodles of cash from his at-least-moderately-successful novel? In this article, I also pointed out something I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about before, and that’s that the vast majority of published authors, even authors published through a publishing company, don’t make enough money to live on from one book. I’ve heard ranges from $3,000 to $8,000 per year per book as far as what the author can expect to take home. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, considering not only does the agent get anywhere from 12% to 15% of the profits, and the publishers, obviously, get a pretty big chunk of change themselves. A few of the accounts […]


The detail middle-ground.

May 17, 2014

When it comes to writing, we’re all familiar with the phrase “show, don’t tell,” which most of us are pretty familiar with–at least in concept. Showing, of course, is using language to describe scenes and characters and situations. Telling is skipping the description part and just telling your readers what’s up. Consider this: Showing: “The blood drained from Darius’s face and his mouth went dry.” Telling: “Darius was scared.” With most things in writing, though, this rule isn’t really as cut and dry as we like to think it is. There actually, surprisingly, is such thing as too much showing. Depending on the genre, the age group, and the writing style you’re going for, you need to find the perfect “middle ground” between showing and telling. In some genres, such as high and epic fantasy and higher brow science fiction, it’s more appropriate to lean heavily toward the more descriptive side of things. On the other hand, commercial-grade novels and […]

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