Writing

What Writers Do (and Don’t Do)

I was talking with a friend the other day, one who knew I worked as a writer, and it came out in conversation that she just assumed I wrote everything by hand. Being a writer, this of course baffled me, but I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about writers in general, but especially about people who make a living from it. So, for those of you who aren’t writers, here’s a little primer for you… (more…)

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gtfo tumblr: On Accidentally Racist Villains

Tumblr is a cesspit of bad advice and poorly constructed arguments, but thing that really gets my goat is the plethora of bad writing advice on there and, consequently, floating around on Pinterest. Why does this bother me so much, you ask? Well, for one, because I have a hard time passing up correcting people I know are blatantly wrong. But the real reason is this: in the era of self-publishing, there’s a plethora of really, really bad fiction. Like, really bad. Seriously. And do you know where most of it comes from? Dear little tumblr users taking this terrible advice because they know no better. So, in the name of bettering the fiction of the future (and a little for my own gratification), I am starting a column in which I correct some of the terrible advice I see on tumblr. Enjoy. (more…)

Beautiful People: Cyrus Atlas Finn

Beautiful People, hosted by Sky and Cait, is a monthly character questionnaire and link-up focused around getting to know your characters better. I’ve been wanting to do Atlas, my beautifully tortured POV character from Thieves of Bakkaj, for a while, and I’m finally getting around to it! Yay! (more…)

Addressing the Absurd

Douglas Adams once wrote, “The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied.” While some would call Myers-Briggs psychological typing complete and utter nonsense, I think it is, at the very least, an interesting way to categorize people, regardless if it’s true or right. I am an INTJ: one of the rational types, the mastermind, the one who figures out how everything works and why. The last thing one of us would do is “hang the sense of it,” but it’s a necessary skill for survival, no? Many of the most influential writers to me—Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, and Emily Brontë, to name a few—are also INTJs, non-sense-hanging lovers of everything rational. But we’ve adapted to survive, we’ve adapted to write. Lewis Carroll took it the farthest, obviously, but there’s an element of the absurd, an embrace of it even, in all their work. Because, let’s face it: people are absurd. There’s no getting around that fact. (more…)

Beautiful People: Graham Bower

Beautiful People, hosted by Sky and Cait, is a monthly character questionnaire and link-up focused around getting to know your characters better. This month’s is about the author, and is not helpful for my purposes right now, so this one is from years ago, and this month’s will be posted later in the month. So, here is Graham, the male half of my current Camp NaNo WIP. (more…)

Beautiful People: Marianne McCarron

Beautiful people is a monthly character link-up hosted by Sky at Further Up and Further In and Kait at Paper Fury. They post ten questions aimed at understanding your characters better, and I am in desperate need of this with Marianne. I’ve decided to just up and start a new novel for Camp NaNo… sort of. It’s got the same title of a novel I’ve started twice before, but the progress I’ve made on that is going to go toward something else, and this concept is going to start over with all new characters and a mostly new plot. So, here’s Marianne, a sophomore in college I know very little about right now. (more…)

Welcome to Hell #1

a study in character development

“Welcome to hell,” the devil said, his long white beard scraggling down from his acne-ridden, pockmarked chin the hair couldn’t quite hide. He holds one arm out, the other too familiar on my back, his sweat-stained suit hanging limply, as though with no feasible options for homicide, it had resorted to suicide instead. (more…)

Beautiful People: Emily Catherine Harlowe

Beautiful People is a link-up hosted by Sky at Further Up and Further In and Kait at Paper Fury, and it’s a wonderful thing. I did one before (though it was almost a year after the questions had been posted), and with any luck, I will manage to keep it up every month, or somewhere thereabouts. With my track record, that’s not likely. But anything is possible!

This month’s is parental-themed, so I tried to think through any of my characters who actually currently have a relationship with their parents. Or even have parents that were mentioned in the story. So of course, I remembered the novel I’m trying to forget for long enough that I can eventually return to edit it: Hawke. I’m breaking my rule for this post, because parental influences are, like, the main theme in this book after terrible decisions. Without further ado, here goes. (more…)