Fiction

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8habitsforfictionwriters

8 great habits for fiction writers.

March 11, 2014

There are a lot of different opinions out there about what writers need to do to be successful. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. Sure, I think I have a damn good idea, but really, it depends on the people involved and the stories they’re writing. However, as a fiction writer, there are a few great habits I think other fiction writers should strive for in their everyday lives to improve their craft, broaden their minds, and open themselves up. These are things I try to do every day, whether I succeed depends a lot on my mood, my workload, and whether or not I ever changed out of pajamas. You know, we all have those days. Anyway, I sat down and thought about the habits I think help me most in my writing. I came up with eight. Write a little bit every day. It’s important to simply work. I have this blog, which keeps me […]

MartyrsArtSparkieFeatured

Martyrs doodles.

March 4, 2014

Today is my 200th blog on the site. To celebrate both that and the newly rewritten Martyrs, I wanted to share a little something with you. That’s right, instead of having to read today, you get to view instead. When I started writing Martyrs, I did a lot of art to go along with it. Most of that art is just plain bad. Like, buried at the bottom of a notebook back. Like, hasn’t seen the sun in eight years bad. Some of it, however, was quite good. In discussing The Martyr Series with a beta reader and good friend of mine, I broke out my massive folder of Martyrs paraphernalia, which includes hand-written scenes, original drafts, doodles, sketches, poems from other friends, and some fake signatures. In the folder, I found a few of my favorite doodles to share with him because, let’s face it, I love this book so goddamned much I want to show off everything I […]

ToBeOrNotToBeWritingExercise

Writing Exercise: To be or not to be?

February 24, 2014

In rewriting Martyrs (five chapters away! Woot woot!), a lot of what I’m doing is simple. Sure, in the first half of the book I did a lot of major revamps of certain scenes and chapters, but for the second half, the half that was already more or less on par with what I wanted the plot to be, I mostly tweaked the writing to make it stronger. In the chapters I rewrote today, I focused a lot on tightening language. I noticed myself using a lot of verb phrases that include the words “was and were” (or any other form of “to be,” really). Think of it like this: “Dane was walking down the alley toward her,” or “They were speaking quietly amongst one another.” These are “to be” verb phrases, or verb phrases where the auxiliary verb is a form of “to be.” “To be” verbs include is, was, am, are, and were. This is commonly mistaken for […]

What Inspires Me

4 main things that inspire me to write.

February 17, 2014

I have this great friend I talk to almost every day–about our lives and our respective creative endeavors–and he’s been beta reading Martyrs for me as I rewrite it. Every chapter I finish I put on Google Docs for him to read, and he gives me some really great insight into the story. He also really enjoys it, which is a great ego boost for me! More than that, though, he also gets me thinking about a lot of other elements in writing outside of Martyrs, and the other day he asked me a really simple question: “What inspired you to write?” Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. Maybe that isn’t much of a surprise–the truth is, I, like most other writers, was initially inspired by the works of others. I loved reading because I loved how authors could immerse me in their worlds. It’s a beautiful thing. There’s also the language element. I love the […]

SwearingAppropriateness

When swearing is–and is not–useful.

February 15, 2014

A while back, I wrote an article about swearing and why it’s really not that big of a deal–or, at least, it shouldn’t be. Now, in general, I meant that article for swearing by and large, as it comes up in the real world. Today, I want to talk about swearing in writing (and particularly fiction, since that’s my area of expertise). Just like in the real world, there is a time and place for swearing in fiction, and there are two different places swearing can be used: in context and in dialogue. Contextual swearing comes up in the course of the regular prose–the “storytelling” part. Dialogue swearing comes up when characters are speaking. Like I said in my previous article about swearing, I don’t get what the big deal is about it being offensive, but I do recognize that sometimes it’s totally cool (and probably preferable) to swear, and others it’s not really that great. So, in writing fiction, […]

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