Babes in Tropeland: Not ANOTHER Alcoholic Dad, Please

For decades the easiest way to get across to the audience the protagonist was a poor-unfortunate soul was to make them an orphan; someone with no northern star to guide them through this perilous hell-scape we call existence. It was a method to make the main character sympathetic from the get-go, but it was also [...]

Writer Problems: Word Drought

I like to think I have acquired a decent collection of words over the course of my life. Words are, after all, a writer's currency. Barring the ability to articulate a certain vision, words are arguably the most important tool in a writer's arsenal. Without them we are useless. However, ever so often, I find [...]

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 [...]

How Drake and Josh Are Destroying My Novel

I never thought procrastination would be so simple, but I found a way. I found a way. I set out  working on chapter seven of my story and somehow found myself plunging into the ether of pop culture sludge. For literally no reason at all, I began looking into the Drake and Josh controversy. In [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]