for October, 2014

Can artists be “trapped” by their work?

October 17, 2014

A week or so ago, news articles popped up all over my social media feeds talking about JK Rowling’s cryptic tweets to Harry Potter fans around the world. Though by now it’s been revealed that the anagram was actually a hint at the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies and NOT another installment in the Harry Potter story specifically, rumors flourished for those first few days of people eagerly hoping that JK Rowling was going to continue writing novels about Harry’s world, from prequels of the Marauders to the aftermath of the war in book seven. Sometimes, guys, it feels like I’m the only one who wants this to end. I ended up in a conversation with some fellow Harry Potter fans about this tweet and all the rumors surrounding it a day or two after the news broke. Let me make something very clear: each and every single one of us (excluding my husband, who is reading the Harry Potter series […]


4 reasons to consider rereading books.

October 15, 2014

Not long ago, I talked about how I recently bought the entire Inkheart series when I found it in the bargain bin at Hastings. Inkheart was one of those books I read my freshman year of high school right around the time I got really involved in the idea of writing my own book (and, actually, around the same time I started planning Martyrs), and at the time, I absolutely loved it. I never read the following two books, in part because I didn’t own them and also because I heard rumors that my favorite character died and I hadn’t yet resigned myself to the fact that my favorite characters would always die. Anyway, I recently cracked the cover of Inkheart again and got through the entire book in the matter of a few days (it’s a young adult book, so that’s really not that much of an accomplishment for someone who can read as quickly as I do). I’m […]


Monday Muse: Your Name.

October 13, 2014

How were you named? If you feel that your name is boring and the story behind it equally so, make up a name and come up with an interesting story behind that. –1000 Awesome Writing Prompts * * * Like most young children between the ages of five and fifteen, I spent several years of my adolescence absolutely hating my name. I hated the way the word sounded when it slipped from the tongue. I hated the spelling. I hated the fact that, when you put the letters backward, it was still just as painfully dull and uninteresting as it was when it was spelled the proper way. But I especially hated that, whenever I or anyone else heard the name, they associated it not with the young, vibrant girl I was, but with old women who lounged around all day, watching television with the captions on. That’s right. I hated my name because I felt like it was an […]


6 tips for writing great dialogue.

October 10, 2014

Dialogue is one of the hardest things for a lot of writers to really get down. In general, most of us go through the same “stages” of writing dialogue until we get to the point where we’re actually writing great conversations that both feel real and get what we’re trying to get across. There are some major mistakes I think a lot of writers make when it comes to writing their characters’ dialogue down, but luckily they’re easy enough to avoid when we figure out what they are. In general, I think there are six good rules to stand by when you’re writing dialogue. Avoid names. We’re tempted, especially as we begin our writing journey, to have characters call one another by name all the time. Sometimes this is because we’re trying to let the audience know a character’s name in a more subtle way than just blurting it out in the context, but often we just throw character names […]


Get an editor.

October 8, 2014

As writers, a lot of us are pretty damn good at editing, too. It kind of comes with the territory. We literally work in the world of words. It’s what we do every single day, whether it’s what we’re writing for our own personal pleasure, what we’re reading for our own personal pleasure, or what we’re writing or reading for work (for those of us lucky enough to work as writers). So, really, it’s no surprise that most of us are pretty good at reading over other people’s work and giving good, solid edits, whether grammatical or story-wide. Producing writing that is sensical and logical is kind of our thing. It’s what we do. (Unless you’re writing some crazy-ass, post-modern, anti-literature, but that’s a story for another day.) Anyway, if we’re going to follow this “logically,” it makes sense for many writers to feel like they’re good enough at editing to be their own editors for the projects they’re submitting […]


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