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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]