It’s the most wonderful time of the year

No, not Christmas. If you think I am one of those people who eagerly await the Yuletide season with shining eyes and heart of hope, you can rest assured that after the last several such holidays I had, it will take a lot of doing to get me to anticipate Christmas with anything more than… Continue reading It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Don’t Do Hard Things: Just Do Something

Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Do Hard Things™. Anyone else tired of hearing these mantras and ones like them? It’s not that they’re bad ideas, it’s just that I find the effect of hearing them all the time kind of paralyzing. Let me explain. The mindset of “overcoming” is everywhere in our… Continue reading Don’t Do Hard Things: Just Do Something

‘Driven on by some demon’

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither… Continue reading ‘Driven on by some demon’

Stop Plotting Your Life Like You’re Plotting Your Novel (or alternately: Start Plotting Your Life Like You’re Plotting Your Novel)

I am not an outliner or plotter when it comes to my writing. I usually start with a pretty vague idea, or perhaps one scene or detail that is specific, and then just start writing and see where it goes... Which can be a problem when it’s translated to life.

Cite Your Sources: Because Some Who Wander ARE Lost

Carved into wood, lettering whimsical and loopy, pine trees accenting the bottom, the piece reads: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.J.R.R. Tolkien Never have I been so annoyed by a sign that I like in all my life. Aesthetically: beautiful. Quotationally: love quotes. Authorially: big fan of Tolkien. The problem?… Continue reading Cite Your Sources: Because Some Who Wander ARE Lost

NaNoWriMo: How it went… and is still going.

Well, last night was the last night to update word counts and scramble in the last couple thou. I actually forgot about it—I was reorganising my bookshelf at the time. Was it in dire need of reorganising? No. But nor has it been any of the other five times I’ve completely reorganised it this pandemic,… Continue reading NaNoWriMo: How it went… and is still going.

I think I just made a terrible mistake

In October, I seriously considered doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. Given the state of things and my nigh-jobless condition, it made sense. But I didn’t really know how it worked—I would have to look into it, prepare for it. I didn’t. Then it was already November, and while not too late to… Continue reading I think I just made a terrible mistake

Storm Warning: Writing the Inciting Incident

Writers are often encouraged to start their novels off with a bang. Hook them in the first paragraph, the first sentence—heck, the first word. Sometimes, it takes on the form of marketing strategy. “Look at television commercials,” they say. “The scene is set, a problem arises, and the product appears as the answer to the… Continue reading Storm Warning: Writing the Inciting Incident

Secondary Characters: The Curse of the Dark Horse

I have a problem that’s been going on for quite sometime. I’ve sort of noticed it off and on in the background, but always dismissed it as something I don’t really need to take steps to fix. Until now. It came to a head when I went back to a WIP and started thinking about… Continue reading Secondary Characters: The Curse of the Dark Horse

The Plot Thickens: A Writer’s Guide to Looking Like You Knew What You Were Doing All Along

When I first started writing stories, I probably had a setting, a few characters, and an inciting incident. Nothing more. I did not know the meaning of the word “plot,” as noun or verb. I embodied the method of "pants-ing" and, consequently, didn’t finish a single story until I was in my early teens. It's… Continue reading The Plot Thickens: A Writer’s Guide to Looking Like You Knew What You Were Doing All Along