Somewhere in my basement sits a box containing a faded grade-school project asking the age-old question: what do you want to be when you grow up? The girl whose two favorite book series were, not coincidentally, both about girls who were aspiring authors (the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, and the Anne of Green … Continue reading Your Words Matter
You’ve probably heard that popular fiction is plot driven while literary fiction is character driven (driven being the key word because if a narrative isn’t advancing then what story are you even telling?). This is true. There is sit on the edge of your seat plot driven fiction, and there is sink back into … Continue reading Character Meet Plot. Plot Meet Character.
Earlier this year, I had a moment of writing illumination as I read a science fiction novel. A character in this novel had taken a trip and was about to return by hovercar to the human settlement on his planet. As a reader, I was subconsciously prepared for a description of the journey back. I … Continue reading Your Character’s Journey – Home from the Dentist
Less is more. Shorter is … Continue reading Less is More
"You don’t want to look like your heroes - you want to see like your heroes." -Austin Kleon Read. Extensively. Broadly. Deeply. That’s the first piece of advice given to writers. It’s tied with that other great piece of writing advice: write. But why do writers need to read? Usually this advice is dispensed in … Continue reading See Like Your Heroes
Have you ever heard a writer talk about her characters as if… they were real? Like, as if the writer were not entirely in control of her own work? It used to be my pet peeve to hear writers say “my main character told me _____,” or in more ludicrous scenarios, “my main character refused … Continue reading Do Your Characters Talk to You? Should They?