for June, 2014

Why genres have formulas.

June 5, 2014

One of the reasons I really hate romance fiction is because I loathe the formula. Really, though, it’s simple, and I’ve said it before. All romance novels are basically the same when you look at the bare-bones story: Girl meets boy. > Boy and girl can’t be together for some reason (they’re in relationships already, they work together, one of them is a vampire lord and the other a lowly human being) > Boy and girl have rampant sex regardless of this situation. > Things get dire, in which case the sex and budding romance looks doomed. > Just kidding! Everything works out and they can go on to have sex and live happily ever after (at least, until the sequal). “But MC,” you say. “Victorian romance doesn’t include sex.” You’re right. But if you take out sex and just count all the drama, the what-ifs, the will-it-work-outs, and the budding relationship as the same thing (which it is), you […]


Sneak peek into an old book.

June 4, 2014

Hey guys! Due to busy schedules, baby chickens, and a variety of other factors, I’m late (again) getting a blog post up. I decided to give up another sneak peek–this time, though, it’s not for Martyrs. This is the first section of the first chapter of the novella I wrote almost four years ago in my novel writing class. Hopefully you enjoy it! I promise to get back on track soon! Cheers, –MC (P.S. Also, note that this text is technically four years old. It may not match the quality you see in the Martyrs excerpts. You’ve been warned!) * * * The house was absolutely silent. Rebecca Cross stood waiting by the open doorway, black gloved fingers delicately thumbing a steel blade. Not a soul stirred. A gentle breeze from the open kitchen window cooled the air. The window had been left open before Rebecca had gotten there. In fact, the window had been left open every night for […]


Say hello to my little friends…

June 3, 2014

Hey guys! As you could probably tell by the picture, today’s blog has literally nothing to do with writing, reading, storytelling, plotlines, character development, or publishing. If you don’t want to read about the goings-on in my life, feel free to close this page now (jerk). If you have been drawn in by the adorable faces in the picture below, by all means, read on! My Partner in Crime and I have welcomed ten tiny new faces to our family: baby chickens! This has been in the works for a while. Since we moved to our new house (which is mostly rural and has an acre of land with which we can do whatever we want!), we’ve talked about getting chickens. We’ve also talked about getting ducks, miniature horses, regular-sized horses, goats, and sheep, but the chickens were the only animals my husband would actually agree to. He even went so far as to say he’d buy his own, horse-free […]

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What to do when your friend lends you a book…and you hate it.

June 2, 2014

We’ve all been there. Our best friend, second cousin, or obscure next-door-neighbor wants us to read their favorite books. It all started innocently enough. You talk about your writing. They ask what you’re doing and seem really interested and invested in the conversation. Along the way, though, something you’ve said reminds them of their own favorite book, and they eagerly ask you to read it because “you’ll really love it” and “this one part reminds me so much of what you’re working on.” You may try to get out of it for a while, but eventually, you’ll lose. Sooner or later, you’re walking home with a borrowed book under your arm and you’re insanely nervous. What happens if (or, in some cases, when) you hate it? This doesn’t just happen to writers. If you’re an avid reader, it’s really common for people to lend you their favorite books. It’s a bonding experience in many ways–and a nightmare in others. It […]

Editing and Education

Editing and education.

June 1, 2014

Right now, I’m in the middle of helping a cousin of mine with her dissertation. As a writer, it probably makes some sort of sense that I’m also a decent editor–especially for basic proofreading things like punctuation and grammar. With academic papers, I focus on clarity. With creative works, I also do content editing for character development, plotline progression, and overall writing style. I love editing, but not because I have some weird fantasy about semi-colons and prepositions. I love editing because I love to help people. Hell, that’s why I started this blog: to help other writers become better writers. In the course of editing my cousin’s dissertation–and in the past when I’ve edited and critiqued friends’ creative manuscripts–I’ve realized I do a bit more than just basic editing. For the first time, I stopped to wonder if this habit I have may feel a little condescending to the writer I’m working with, but I don’t think it does. […]

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