How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog

I'm not going to lie. I had many, many illusions about blogging when I started The Crooked Pen. I thought that, with enough vigor and talent I would be able to flock hundreds of thousands of people to this site. I had seen other blogs similar to this one and I thought I had them [...]

I’m Still Alive and Also Writing Things, or Going on a Writing Bender

It's been an inexcusably long time since I update this blog, I know. I try to update at least once a week, but this obviously hasn't been happening recently. I have a good reason for this, however...... Okay, not a good reason, but it is a reason nonetheless. You see, I've actually been writing recently. [...]

Editing is the Worst Thing Ever

Is there anything quite as beautiful as writing the first draft of a story? Every moment is primed with intrigue, wonder, and mystery. You just paint everything on the metaphorical canvass as you see it in your mind's eye. Ideas pour forth from you like a soda fountain filled with Mentos You pat yourself on [...]

Strange Writing Prompts For Your Boring Monday

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I'm finding myself consistently disappointed by writing prompts I find on the internet. I understand that the main point of these niblets are to get our minds jogging and not to help us produce a 1,000 page Pulitzer Prize winning work of art. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel [...]

How to Mary Sue Proof Your Characters

Last week I wrote a post about Mary Sues and why people write them. Today, I want to give you some unsolicited pointers on how to avoid writing a Mary Sue, or even a Gary Stu (the male equivalent). Enjoy! Start with a real person. While it may not be a good idea to base a [...]

Your Characters are NOT Your Friends: A Public Service Announcement for Writers

I've seen several Instagram posts that say things like "is it sad that my characters are my best friends?" or "I have more conversations with my characters than I do with real people. Is that bad?" Yes. Yes, it is. Not because you're a wallflower with friends that exist only in your mind. That's perfectly [...]