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

January 5, 2020

Hindsight is 20-20


You know I had to make the 20-20 hindsight joke right now, and you can bet I'll do it again at the end of the year.

Anyway, what a crazy year it’s been! I went from a fresh MLIS graduate to head librarian of my own library, and on top of that moved to a new town and bought a house! 


Year in Review

But enough about non-writerly things. How did I finally do on my weekly goals? By the end of 2019, I:

December 25, 2019

Non-Writing Advice for Weary Writers



Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

To all you good writerly girls and boys (and the bad ones, I suppose), I offer this advice. Not writing advice, though. That's overplayed. No, I offer good, sound advice to make your life easier, which will, in turn, make your writing better.


1) Don’t worry about “making it”.

What does “making it” even mean? Landing an agent? Being published? Being a best seller? And what is “it”? A novel? A published novel? Life as a professional writer? I think that we’re all in this writing game for different reasons, but mainly for the love of it—by which mean writing. We don’t set out to “make it” profitable or marketable, because we don’t write for the profit or for the market. We write for us. You write for you. Are you writing? Then you’ve made something, and that’s good enough.

December 10, 2019

Common Misconceptions About Character


Characters are the heart and soul of any story, so it makes sense that those of us who write or analyze stories focus much of our time on the ins and outs of character and characterization. Yet a lot of this analysis ignores certain types of storytelling, unfairly idealizing some story and character types over others. Worse than that, even, is that which misunderstands the relationship between an author and their characters. I've noticed three particular misconceptions which crop up the most, and I have a theory as to where they come from (Hint: it's moralism!).

November 17, 2019

Library Life Update


Salutations, dear readers! I'm a little late, as you can tell, but not without reason.

October, as you may know if you follow me on Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram, was very busy, what with my being a writer-in-residence for my library, picking up a million shifts, doing a craft fair, and attending a wedding. I hadn't had an actual, unclaimed-by-various-obligations day off since the beginning of November.

My life isn't going to calm down anytime soon, though, owing to my new job. That's right! I am no longer a library specialist! I am now a fully fledged, honest-to-goodness librarian (I would have said card-carrying, but isn't that all of us?). Technically, I'm also a library director though I prefer "Librarian" as my titlebecause I'm now in charge of the Williams Public Library.

October 30, 2019

Thoughts on Twists


Every story ever told can be broken down into three parts. The beginning. The middle. And the twist!
Goosebumps (2015)

There's something about a good plot twist: the shock, the awe, the feeling of having your world turned upside down. A good twist might make you see a character in a new light, or rethink everything you thought you knew about the setting. A bad twist, on the other hand, can ruin an otherwise decent story. Bad twists feel cheap and stupid, and make what might have been good, even great stories into muddled and unbelievable messes. So what makes a twist good or bad?

October 16, 2019

Video Games as Interactive Storytelling


As previously established, video games are a worthwhile form of storytelling, combining the best aspects of books, movies, and comics. They are unique among mediums, however, for being a truly interactive form of media. They are games, after all, and thus incorporate aspects play and choice.


Environment

Because you, the player, control the character, you experience the world as if you were in it, much more than in any other medium. You explore the environment. You fight the boss, and experience the struggle of battle. You help various NPCs, or non-player characters, with tasks. You make friends and allies, and fight alongside them. Although I never like my favorite characters getting hurt in any medium, when people attack my allies in video games, it's personal.

September 20, 2019

Poem: Writer's Block


First of all, let me apologize for not posting on Wednesday, and secondly, for this not being the follow up video game post. I've been swamped with work and other obligations and haven't been able to focus on putting together coherent ideas. Also, there is a current discussion in the gaming community (namely, must games have an easy mode if they are story-focused?) that I think I ought to address in my post. That being said, the poor little post hasn't been written yet. In the meantime, please enjoy this poem I wrote a few months back.


Writer’s Block

September 5, 2019

Video Games as Textual, Audiovisual, Spatial Storytelling


Video games are worth your while and are a unique form of storytelling. Games combine the best aspects of books, movies, and comics, while offering one other element, which we’ll get to later. First, let’s talk about games’ use of textual, audiovisual, and spatial storytelling.


Text and Subtext

Like a book, many games use text to tell their story. Older games rarely had voice acting, instead having each character’s words written or typed out on the screen. Games that now have voice acting still usually reserve it for cutscenes and use text for the majority of encounters in the game. This is somewhat equivalent to a comic’s use of speech balloons.

August 22, 2019

Comics as Visual, Spatial Storytelling


Comics are worth your while, and are a unique form of storytelling. We've already discussed books as verbal storytelling and movies as audiovisual temporal storytelling, so what of comics? Comics—which includes comic books, graphic novels, webcomics, manga, and even comic strips—employ semi-verbal, visual, and spatial storytelling. 


A Way with Words

Like movies and plays, comics don't rely on words to tell their story. In fact, there are graphic novels out there that use no language at all. They are still semi-verbal, however, because the vast majority of them include words in the form of dialogue—usually in white balloons—narration, sound effects, and other uses of text.