Confession time. For the past three years, I stopped reading. Outside of my clients’ manuscripts, I probably read two to three books per year. Sacrilege! So, how did I get out of this reading slump?
Star Butterfly is a magical princess. You've seen it a million times. You've seen girly girls dreaming of love, and you've also seen many "spunky" princesses who "buck the rules." While I love me a spunky, sword-wielding princess, and even don't mind some of the girly girls, it's far more unlikely you've seen a princess… Continue reading Why My Daughter Will Watch Star vs. The Forces of Evil
Valentine’s fan or not, February puts love on the brain. I think every reader has their favorite book couple. But I’m going to poke some lighthearted fun at the common romance tropes that drive me bonkers. For the record, though, all these tropes can be utilized well, in fresh and less frustrating ways.
When I sit down to start a new novel or short story, the first thing I do is profile my main characters. The full debate of “plot first vs characters first” writing is best left for another post and has no true correct answer. The way I operate goes like this: A story idea strikes.… Continue reading Fiction Author’s Guide to Crafting Characters
The mystery genre is about forcing your audience to the edges of their seats by asking them to flex their brain to unravel the clues you've tangled together like Christmas lights or spread out like bread crumbs. But there is a wide array of mystery-based plots, and each has its own unique flavor. Mystery fans… Continue reading Morsels of Mystery: List of Mystery Subgenres
Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash Ari Aster’s Hereditary is easily the best horror movie I’ve seen since Get Out, and it’s currently at the top of my favorites list. It’s an examination of mental illness, frayed family dynamics, grief, and the horrifying side of genetics. There’s a ton to unpack in this film. So much that it almost feels like… Continue reading Choices Make the Man: An interpretation of Ari Aster’s “Hereditary”
“Don’t head jump” is a command that gets thrown around a lot of Creative Writing 101 classes. It essentially means, don’t allow your reader to view the thoughts and feelings of more than one character in your story, at least not in the same chapter. When characters are talking to each other, you don’t want… Continue reading How To Head Jump: Properly Implementing Multiple Characters’ Thoughts in Stories
Some days are just the rise and fall of the sun. Others form you. You remember those, sometimes start to finish. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast that morning—probably Lucky Charms, the ultimate favorite of my eight-year-old self—but I remember the lizard. Black with yellow speckles and a rich blue tail, turned over… Continue reading Song of the Cuckoo Bird
Do you fall in love with characters first, or the plot? Characterization has always been my favorite part of reading and writing. A great plot is dulled if I don’t care about the characters undergoing the plot’s hardships. But what makes a phenomenal character like Hermione Granger or Atticus Finch? What does a writer pour… Continue reading Literary String Theory Part 1: Multidimensional Characters
If there is not conflict in your novel, you don’t have a plot. You have nothing for the characters to solve and nothing for the reader to look forward to or dread. Similarly, if your character has no internal conflict, he or she cannot change and thus will have a weak character arc. Now, not… Continue reading Literary String Theory Part 2: Characters Collide