If you want to dive deep into the darkest crevices of a writer’s mind, you should follow Irina. Many of her posts are long and thoughtful digressions on life and writing. She’s better at explaining these sorts of things than I am.
This one hit me so hard in the feels, I needed to reblog. I’ve been feeling some heavy imposter syndrome these days (Sorry for being such a Danny Downer lately!). This is such a great way of looking at it.
I’ve had those 45-minute rants plenty of times in my professional field, but it never clicked how meaningful that is. Thanks, Irina, for sharing your insights!
Richie Billing and I have finished another episode of our writing podcast, The Fantasy Writer's Toolshed. This episode should appeal to all writers, whether they are genre or literary authors. This time Richie and I discussed several of the so-called "writing rules." I think we managed to convey a good bit of writing wisdom amid … Continue reading FWTS Episode 6 – Writing Rules
Ended up writing a long post on Facebook, reacting to this article on Gizmodo, and thought I'd share here. Canon is important. Canon is no different from the worldbuilding that authors do within their individual series. It sets the rules of the setting and establishes reader (or viewer) expectations. An author in a collaborative project … Continue reading Is Canon Important in a Collaborative Project?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKtN5pIeAPc&feature=youtu.be This month, Richie and I have a real treat for short form writers. This is going to be another long episode, a deep dive, maybe the deepest dive, into a topic that is near and dear to both of us. That, of course, is the short story. In this episode, we distill our shared … Continue reading FWTS Episode 4 – The Short Story
Irina and I had a good exchange regarding this topic on my previous post. Check out this awesome continuation she posted on her blog.
I think my thoughts on the issue have changed some over the past couple years. This is probably in large part because most of the favorite characters I have written (as a male author) have been women and girls. And I tend to like female characters more in fiction (who knows, maybe this very issue causes people to be more conscious about how they write and create female leads). Of course men can write deep women characters and vice versa. And any hack writer can write shallow characters of any gender.
But I do think there are some things that are inherently foreign from one side to the other, and at a minimum, require a good amount of research before publication. I wouldn’t write a story about a Korean character (I’m pretty white as far as the ethnic spectrum goes) without having a whole lot of either experience or research (I’ve lived in Korea for 11+ years and did my master’s thesis on Korean political history). Women are the same way for me. There are some things I feel confident about because either they should be human universal traits, or because I have enough experience in my relationships to tease them out. But there are plenty of things I wouldn’t try to guess at. Morning sickness, or just the experience of being pregnant. Or the experience of dealing with the heavier burdens of living in a patriarchy. In the end though, I think seeking to understand these differences in perspective makes us better authors, and better people.
Great post, by the way! 😀
There’s a topic that has been nagging me for quite a while, demanding attention and asking that my opinion on it be shared with the world. My usual response has been “Shut up and go sit in the corner, you’re too politicised as it is” but a recent chat with a fellow writer sort of convinced me it was possible to write about it without enraging armies or even your discussion partner. The nagging topic is about men writing female characters and, gasp, women writing male characters.
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So we finally dove into a real writing topic. This was something that came up in comments and discussions all over the web, as it's one of the most iconic and important things fantasy writers do. I'm talking, of course, about worldbuilding. One of the reasons I think fantasy as a genre doesn't get the … Continue reading FWTS Episode Three – World Building
I’ve written about dialogue grammar and formatting before, but K.M. Allan does a much better job here. Pay attention to the part on “action beats.” I see a lot of writers getting that wrong.
Dialogue is an important part of any story and essential to get right.
Good dialogue can reveal twists, unveil character traits, motivations, change the direction of the story, and give your cliffhangers the perfect bite—I mean, who doesn’t love the final line of a scene ending in a suspenseful piece of dialogue!
While it’s up to you to perfect your dialogue, if you want to ensure it’s working for your words, double-check it with the help of this checklist!
Use your search function to find every instance of quote marks (” or ‘), and as you look at each highlighted quote, check the following…
Spelled Out Emotions
While there’s nothing wrong with telling emotions, if you’re spelling out every single instance, use this check to shortcut your way to finding all that telling and convert some of it to showing.
Telling: “Get out!” Jenny shouted angrily.
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We did it! Richie Billing and I wrapped up the first episode of our new fantasy writing podcast, The Fantasy Writers' Toolshed! This first episode addresses a common issue in fantasy, cliches. (Which, I guess by definition, must be a common issue. Ha.) In deciding which cliches to discuss, we've relied in part on the … Continue reading FWTS – Episode One
So, fellow Of Metal and Magic author Richie Billing and I did a thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bas9x8N5Btk&feature=youtu.be We are planning to do one episode of this podcast a month, focusing at the start on common fantasy writing issues and then expanding into general writing topics. The first episode should be done by the end of November or … Continue reading Do you even Podcast?
Here are a couple articles I came across in the past week which have some interesting things to say about short story writing...