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!).