The old writing adage of “show, don’t tell” is good advice, but it can occasionally get writers in trouble. Good writers sometimes fall prey to hyperdetailing–giving excessive description without serving the story.
Can’t make it to any writing retreats, conferences, or residencies? Then make your own. Here are the four steps for making a DIY writing retreat.
How to approach revision when you dread it. Knowing the different levels of revision will help you know how to receive critiques, how to prioritize and plan your revision, and how to re-energize the process with enthusiasm and creativity.
Causality governs story events. You want your story to feel authentic, believable, and seamless. You don’t want any of the events or reactions within the story to draw attention to themselves. They must be earned. This article examines common failures to earn story developments.
Is it better to format character thoughts with quote marks or italics? I say neither. No special formatting is necessary to signify character thinking. You just need some solid narration.
Should you use synonyms for “said”? Some writing advice claims “said is dead”; others look disparagingly upon “saidisms,” the fancier cousins of “said.” Here’s the rule of thumb.
Coping with criticism and rejection is key for writers. Having endured lots of critiques and rejections, I can share what mindset I’ve found successful in coping with the ups and downs of receiving critiques and rejections.
There are lots of problems with the default workshop approach. But that’s not to say that workshopping isn’t valuable. It is. And if the workshop members have the right attitude, it can be an incredibly helpful experience for all.
Once the author becomes visible, the enchantment of the story dissolves. The author is the creator of a story, but the author should never be a part of the story. The author is the man behind the curtain. Reveal the man behind the curtain and the Wizard of Oz narrative dies. What sorts of things reveal the author? Here are 12.
I work with a lot of manuscripts–everything from novels to short stories; chapters, scenes; essays, memoir–and in this video, I go over four of the most common problems I’ve encountered in the work I’ve read in the past year or so.