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. 

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In Narrative Voice: Point of View and Tenses, we looked at the difference between various points of view; now we'll consider how to put that information to good use. The question is: How do you, the author, know what point of view is best for you and your story? 

Choosing your story's point of view may be the most crucial decision you make when crafting your novel. Point of view… read more

June 14, 2024
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May 31, 2023

People always ask writers where we get our ideas. Our answers are varied—conversations, song lyrics, witnessing an interaction between strangers on a bus, the particular shape and color of a piece of fresh fruit in a loved one’s hands, an old TV show barely remembered.

Life is full of sources of inspiration and tapping into that inspiration can take your writing to a new level. Those… read more

May 17, 2023

Queer is a huge spectrum and the umbrella gets larger as we humans find language for various aspects of gender identity, orientation, and ways of existing outside of the heteronormative majority. According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 1 million folks in Canada who identify as LGBTQ+. That’s a lot of people who are looking to read about people like them. But reaching this… read more

April 28, 2023

Parents, does this sound familiar?

You’ve had a novel swirling around in your head for some time; characters form while you're driving in the car. Plot twists develop in the shower. Worlds and settings come to life while you prepare dinner. You sit down at your computer desk, or open your laptop and prepare to write. 

Just as you type out a few words, your child appears beside… read more

April 17, 2023

This post is part two in a series.

In The Structure of Flash Fiction (part 1), we discussed how you can use flash fiction to help hone your story and covered the first part of flash fiction structure.

Here's what comes next:

Section 3:

The middle part of the story contains a few (maybe 4-6) sentences that show the attempted conflict resolution has failed.

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March 30, 2023

Flash fiction is a very short story. How short depends on who is defining it. Some say less than 1500 words, some say 1000. Some flash fiction stories can be just a few words. For novel writers, thinking about your story this way can also help you focus on what matters.

Though these articles are about structure, it’s important to note that no two flash stories are alike. The more flash… read more

March 10, 2023

A lot of people write by the seat of their pants—that is, they rush headlong into writing a book without any sort of physical outline. That’s okay. Everyone’s writing process is different and if throwing yourself into a story without an outline works for you, there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you’re ready to consider plotting your next novel, or if you’re partway through a book and… read more

February 27, 2023

If you talk to other writers about writer’s block, a fair number will say there’s no such thing. Writer’s block is just lack of planning; someone once told me. Another said writer’s block just means I’m not trying.

But if you’re not writing, you have writer’s block, and whether that’s caused by an uncomfortable chair, a lack of ideas, or fear of failure, the end result is the same—you’re… read more

February 09, 2023

Whether it's a magical fairy tale like “Cinderella” or a well-worn favorite such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), classic stories continue to inspire both readers and writers alike. Works that are in the public domain offer a multitude of opportunities for writers seeking inspiration. This can be seen in the numerous retellings of classic myths and fairy tales as well as the… read more

Fantasy world
July 30, 2023

The year 2022 was a banner year for retellings of classic stories, fairy tales, and myths, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Recent and upcoming examples include Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau (a riff on The Island of Doctor Moreau), Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful (a fantasy remix of the The Great Gatsby), and Mary McMyne’s The… read more

January 14, 2023

When working in the subgenre of cosmic fiction, it is critical to remember that the atmosphere of creeping dread is key.

Real-world issues such as climate change, racial violence, and political upheaval work well in the realm of Lovecraftian horror.

It is the sensation of fear centered on the unknowable that creates this existential panic and madness experienced by characters who… read more