No, Your Story Isn’t Original and That’s Okay: A Brief Essay on Originality

I think it's safe to say this generation of movie-goers and readers are more analytical about their media consumption than ever before. You needn't go far to find blogs, vlogs, reviewing sites and more for detailed critiques of just about any form of story-telling you care to think of. On the one hand, I think [...]

The Most Beautifully Awful Writing Advice Ever

Recently I was introduced to a gorgeous poem by the late Charles Bukowski called "so you want to be a writer?" Here's a small exert: if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and [...]

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 [...]

Why Do People Write Mary Sues?

For those of you who aren't familiar with what a Mary Sue is, it's essentially a female character that is too perfect. A character that is always morally correct no matter what, has all the male protagonists drooling themselves over her even though she would describe herself as plain, and is special without having to [...]

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 [...]

How I’m Writing What I Don’t Know

Conventional wisdom says that you're supposed to write what you know. However, I have decided to go the harder route and try writing what I don't know. Why am I trying to carry out this obviously horrible idea? Because if I never try anything new, every single protagonist I write will be an introverted middle-class [...]

The Short Guide to World-Building for Noobs

For some people creating new worlds is easy. For others it's a bit more difficult. Here are a few things I've learned from experience: Write more information about this world than you will use in the story.  Get out a notebook and write down as much about this world as you can: the landscapes, the [...]

How to Write Women: a Guide for Men

Hello, men. I am a woman. Today I am going to give you some tips on how to write female characters. Keep in mind that women are human beings and no woman is exactly the same as another. However, I'm hoping to give you at least a general idea of how to pull off a [...]