Opinions and Rants

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“More complicated” isn’t always “better.”

June 27, 2014

If you’ve ever taken a literature class, you’ve seen this problem. The literary canon–the list of books which are largely accepted as being the most important and influential in shaping our culture. If you notice, the books within the literary canon are all “literary” works. In other words, genre artists need not apply. In academia, literary works are valued highly over nonliterary works, so much so that the professor for my novel writing class actually separated us into two individual groups: the students writing what he considered “literary” works went to one room, and the students writing “genre” fiction went to the other. In other words, “genre” writers didn’t get to critique literary works, and same visa versa. Kinda shitty if you think about it, right? (And I did have the chance to read some of these “literary” works, and they weren’t any better or worse than the stories the genre writers were coming up with, but their authors sure […]


Benefits to writing with technology.

June 24, 2014

Since I wrote about the benefits of writing things out by hand yesterday, it seemed only fitting to write an article covering the other side of the spectrum: writing with technological assistance. Again, like I stated in my last article, the vast majority of us do write using technology and not the “old fashioned” way, so maybe this list is totally pointless, but it’s good to consider nonetheless. Realistically, I consider my computer to be my most important writing tool when it comes down to getting serious work done. Most of what I write free-hand is done purely to help me work through problems, experiment with language, or just jot ideas and scenes down without worrying too much about whether or not those things will ever come to light in my final drafts. However, when I sit down to write at my computer (with Scrivener at hand–can you tell how much I love this program?), it’s time to get some […]


Benefits to writing by hand.

June 23, 2014

My typing speed is well above average–and by now I’m so good at typing I can accurately get words onto the page without looking at the screen. I just wrote that entire sentence without looking once and I didn’t make a single mistake. That’s what happens when you write all the time–for work and for pleasure. You get really effing good at typing. Most writers are probably at least vaguely familiar with this, and even if they didn’t take a true “typing” class, they’re probably better than their peers just for the sheer practice of it. As such, most writers today do the vast majority of their work sitting behind computer screens and clicking their word counts away on keyboards. Add to that the fact that there are dozens of awesome writing softwares available for us–softwares that give us awesome tools that help us create our stories–and it’s probably hardly a surprise that we’re so glued to our technology when […]


3 reasons you want non-writers to critique your work.

June 17, 2014

When I’m asked to critique a friend’s work, I’m always flattered and usually (as long as my schedule allows) totally willing to oblige. I understand why my writing friends value my opinions when it comes to their work. It’s the same reason I value theirs when it comes to mine. Writers understand writing, storytelling, and character development in ways non-writers don’t. Writers can give critique in a language I understand as a writer myself. I know they know what they’re talking about. But it’s important to have a list of readers who aren’t writers willing and ready to read your work, too–and not just people who are willing to give you a paragraph response to what they thought at the end. You want non-writers who are willing to try to do what your writers will do: actually delve into the story itself and give you valid, detailed critique on what works and what doesn’t work. Especially while going through school […]


Why I haven’t (and probably won’t) read “The Fault In Our Stars.”

June 13, 2014

There’s a lot of big news going out about John Green’s latest book-turned-movie, The Fault In Our Stars. The book and the movie have flooded my Facebook newsfeed. Commercials and ads were everywhere for a while. I have friends who are picking up the book to read because they’ve heard it’s phenomenal–and I’m sure it is. I have no doubt, from what I’ve heard, that this book is really powerful. I have yet to hear anyone say anything negative about it, which I would expect by this point (unless all my friends have the exact same taste in novels, which I know they don’t). But, all that aside, I haven’t read The Fault In Our Stars, and I don’t plan to. It’s not because it’s popular. I think that’s the most bullshit reason not to read a book, watch a movie, or enjoy a television show ever. I had a friend who refused to read popular titles because she didn’t […]

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