How to NOT Suck at Reviewing in Five Easy Steps

To anyone that has read this blog for any length of time, it's no secret I love reviewing stories in all forms of media. It enables me to think critically and learn what makes a story fail or succeed. I owe much of my growth as a writer to watching other reviewers discuss what they [...]

Books, Writing, and Other Goals for 2020

Now that we've shucked off our ugly Christmas sweaters and vacuumed up all the tinsel, it's time to create unattainable goals for ourselves! We do this pretty much every single year, or-- if you're like me-- you've pretended to not come up with resolutions so that you aren't disappointed by your inevitable failure. However, now [...]

Being a Writer is…

Being a writer is- ..spending hours trying to describe how a character walked through a door. ...looking up synonyms for "said" every other sentence. ...typing for 3 hours straight and then deleting everything but one sentence the next day. ...having 10 works in progress you're probably never going to finish. ...imagining yourself discussing your books [...]

So, I’m Not Dead

Okay, so, excuse time. Truth be told, I probably could have updated this blog a long while ago but I didn't want to because I have not been satisfied with the content I'm working on. As of this writing, I currently have five blog posts in my drafts folder and two short stories I want [...]

Unpopular Opinion: Outrage Culture Conditioned Me To Not Care About Anything

Just as a heads up, this is as close to addressing political issues as I am likely to get on this blog outside of discussions involving freedom of expression. The only reason I'm even bothering typing up this post is because, as bloggers, may of us have lives that are saturated by media. Hell, most [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Social Media Killed My Curiosity About Authors

When I was a child I daydreamed all the time about talking to my favorite writers. While I was toiling for hours over my own horrible manuscripts, I would wonder to myself what wisdom they would impart onto me if I ever mustered up the courage to write to them. Writers back then were these [...]

When a Writer You Admire is a Jerk

A few years ago, my novel writing class had a high-profile guest speaker talk to us: the award-winning author of a YA book we had been assigned to read about a week prior. I was pretty jazzed about it considering how much I'd enjoyed the story. I've had predominately good experiences with meeting published authors [...]

If You Want To Be a Writer, Lower Your Expectations a Lot

When you decide to become a writer, there's one truth that you must confront at some point: what you write will probably not be as good on paper as it was in your head. I've come to realize this after multiple drafts and constant rewrites of fiction, nonfiction, blog posts and etc. I know it's [...]