The Word

Looking to brush up your writing skills or learn a new trick or two? You've come to the right place!  

Check back weekly for helpful tips and articles that make your writing better. 


May 9, 2021

My last post on this topic covered worldbuilding with a purpose, so now I'd like to explore the opposite approach. The truth is that not all stories need extensive worldbuilding, especially when they take place in familiar settings and not on imaginary worlds or some high-flying epic environment. But sometimes you want to do it anyway.

April 16, 2021

Genre is a literary term used to describe categories of fiction. You'll recognize the popular ones, which turn up as special sections at your favorite bookstore: science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and horror. It's is a handy way to group similar types of stories, but genre is often misunderstood.

April 3, 2021

Unpublished writers often wonder how putting some of their work up for free online will affect their writing career. Will it hurt or help? Well, in my case it eventually led to my first book deal. Here’s how everything went down.
 

March 21, 2021

Fiction writers often strive to draw readers deep into the pages of their works. We know the best stories are the ones that make time seem to stop. So what makes a fictional world seem so real readers forget where they are? It’s in the details. 

March 13, 2021

Short stories are a great way for up-and-coming writers to get some publishing credits and start to build buzz around their names. But don’t be fooled into thinking that since short stories are well, shorter, they’re easier to write or get published. 

March 7, 2021

I'll preface this post by saying that if you write straight-up action or pure fluff because that's what you enjoy writing, you can probably skip this week's lesson. 

Still here? Great, then let's look at theme from a fresh perspective. We'll start at the beginning.

Themes. They're core building blocks of nearly every story, but they're also the hardest to pinpoint or wrap your head around.  

February 20, 2021

Stories are, fundamentally, all about conflict.

In most stories, your protagonist wants something—to change a law or the government itself, to avenge a death, to hook up with the cutie, to dispel a curse—and your antagonist usually wants something that is in direct opposition of whatever the protagonist wants.

From those opposing wants come the narrative conflict and thus plot.

February 14, 2021

The term worldbuilding conjures images of secondary worlds, far away planets, and magic systems, so much so that it has become ubiquitous with writing and game development, particularly within fantasy and science fiction genres. But what exactly is it? How does one go about building a world in the first place? And what do you mean, I should consider worldbuilding even when the world I'm writing about isn't big and fantastical?

February 4, 2021

Which of your characters is going to lie to your audience, and why?

January 22, 2021

Now that we’ve established what a point-of-view (POV) and a Narrative Voice are, let’s talk about Unreliable Narrators. These are narrators who, either because of the way they interpret the world, omissions in their story, or outright falsehoods and manipulation, lie to the reader.

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