"Corcoran’s fantasy debut is equal parts thrilling and ridiculous. [...] Readers will look forward to the sequel."

July 10, 2019

Reader Viewer Gamer Spy

Ok, maybe not that last one, but anyway...

If you've hung around this blog long enough, you've likely noticed that I tend to talk about "stories" more often than books, and that I use games, manga, and movies as well as written works to discuss writing concepts. This is because I think all those stories, in whatever medium, have something interesting to say, or something worth examining. Yet there exists no decent word for a person such as myself, a lover of stories, if you will.

June 25, 2019

The Obligatory Strong Female Character Post

What constitutes a "strong female character" (or SFC for short). As a person on the internet, I’m obligated to weigh in on this. Everybody’s doing it! But what do we mean by “strong”? Is a strong person the same as a strong character? And do we need more SFCs in fiction?

June 10, 2019

Libraries Are a Writer's Best Friend

There are a lot of resources out there for writers, from helpful websites to books to workshops, but the oddly overlooked one, in this day and age, is libraries. I'll chock this up to people assuming they can find everything they need on the internet (which, to be fair, is mostly true) or to thinking that libraries and physical books are passé (which is blatantly false). Sadly, many writers—who, if they do well, will have their books in libraries someday—don't understand how much libraries can offer them, for free.

May 28, 2019

MacGuffins Matter

If you know what a MacGuffin is, you're probably thinking that they actually don't matter in the slightest and that I'm full of nonsense. If you don't know what a MacGuffin is, here's a definition from Merriam-Websteran object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance. The most famous example is the Maltese Falcon, in the film of the same name. It sets the plot in motion, in that every character wants the statue for himself, but lacks intrinsic value in that "the Maltese Falcon" could be swapped out for the treasure of your choice: the Abyssinian Monkey, the Peruvian Chinchilla, the MacGuffian Beast.

May 15, 2019

Writing Q & A #3

For this Q & A, I combined two short "Asks" from my Tumblr. Feel free to use these questions, as well as those from the first two Q & As, in your own blogging, fellow writers!

Poetry Questions

Q: Do you tend to focus more on word play or imagery in your poems?
A: I do a little of both. Although I like stark, clear images, I tend to write about abstract concepts, which don't always lend themselves to imagery. I'm actually not that into metaphors, but I love using wordplay to create connections between unlike concepts instead.

May 8, 2019

One-Third Year's Resolution

As of last week, one third of 2019 has past! As far as New Year's Resolutions go, I'm doing... okay. My goal, if you recall, was that every week I would write something, outline something, research or edit something, and take or make one picture for social media. I also decided on doing two of any one of those four things, so that I would, in total, do five writing-related activities every week. Pretty quickly, however, I began missing goals. I didn't outline one week and bumped it to the next, or I only wrote half a blog post, or just... didn't write or outline anything! Technically speaking, I pretty much failed at my resolution by February at the earliest or mid-March at the latest.

May 1, 2019

Editing Advice Part 4: Copyediting

Now that you have checked your WIP for continuity, addressed every plot hole, and finished all rewrites, it's time to put on the final touches by copyediting!

Now, just to be clear, the term "copyediting" usually refers to when an editor, not the writer, reads the manuscript looking for errors, and it actually does include a lot of continuity editing and fact checking. But this series is for writers editing their own work before another soul reads it (regardless of if the work will then be self-published or sent out to agents and editors). It is my belief that, for a writer, continuity editing should come long before the final stage of the editing process. Thus, for our purposes, I'm going to use "copyediting" to refer to correcting errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other such things.

Obviously, this involves going through your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, on the lookout for misspellings and typos. However, there are a few items to especially  watch for, roughly broken down into the categories of spelling; grammar, usage, and style; and punctuation, spacing, and everything else.

April 18, 2019

Editing Advice Part 3: Rewriting

Last time, we discussed how to address plot holes and keep world building internally consistent. Today, I will share my thoughts on rewriting, specifically on when you should rewrite, and when you should stop. I should mention, though, that parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series can and should be done simultaneously. That is, while you're rewriting, you can fix plot holes and issues with timing, and when you're looking at some inconsistencies in world building, you might find a section you need to rewrite. So the first answer to "when should I rewrite" is "when you have to fix the problems with continuity, world building, and plot".

But what about in general? First of all, what do I mean by rewriting? I'm not talking about tweaking a sentence here or there, or find/replacing a character's name, nor am I talking about changing the details of how a certain magical creature looks or wether the moon should be waxing or waning in one scene. I'm talking about full on changes to scenes, chapters, or entire books. This is hardcore stuff. Fun, but hardcore. First, let's talk about dealing with different drafts.

April 3, 2019

Editing Advice Part 2: Plot

Part 1: Continuity
Part 3: Rewriting
Part 4: Copyediting

Last time, I discussed the importance of editing for continuity in the categories of time, place, and people. This week, we're going to focus on the plot-centered issues of internal consistency and plot holes. The line between these two categories is vague at best, but I'm still going to discuss them separately. For our purposes, let's say an internal inconsistency is a problem with the world building and a plot hole is a problem with the plot (as the name implies).

April 1, 2019

Fan Art Round-Up!

I've received some fan art recently, and not so recently, so I thought I'd make a little round-up post about it.

The Tumblr user a-whole-lotta-heck drew an adorable Roly PoliceChief for Goblin Week (Did you know there is a goblin week? There is!), and the-greedy-king drew the lovely Delilah wearing her favorite dress.

I also received several character sketches (I especially like Delilah, who does do whatever she wants!) from Adrian W., as well as a heartfelt letter illustrated with the whole cast: