10. Your story is layered with cliches and tropes. Yes, we're starting off with the big ones. <insert cringe here> There are no twists or turning the cliches on their proverbial heads; instead, every move your protagonist makes is predictable. Soon your reader is wondering, "Haven't I read this story a hundred times?" 9. Too many... Continue Reading →
Protagonist: Look, I hope you know I'm here unwillingly. I still have several scenes to appear in today, and if I'm a no-show, things are really going down. Me: Exactly what I want to talk to you about. [Protagonist glowers at the wall.] Me: Let's pretend for a few minutes that we've never met. What... Continue Reading →
We all know real-world basics: how gravity works, how transportation works, where we can find food. In fantasy, everything is up for debate.
"I'll race you." He flashed me a mischievous grin. "Up the hill, past that circle of pines." I glanced in the direction he was pointing. Seriously? The hill he'd chosen was impossibly steep. . .and buried in snow. Talk about a suicide mission. I checked my sturdy snow boots and calculated my chances of beating... Continue Reading →
When we first start our books, it's magic. We're captivated by the stories playing in our heads, by the characters, by (let's be honest) everything that spills across the pages. But as time goes on, we grow tired. Distracted. New stories torment us from a distance, and all we want to do is step back... Continue Reading →
You sit down and place your manuscript on the table. Behind you, fellow writers line up for their upcoming critiques, but, for this moment, you have the agent's attention all to yourself. After all, this is why you attended this writer's conference: to sign the book deal that will launch your career. The agent reaches... Continue Reading →
We all know writers are vampires. They come alive at night to drink ink from the pens of the living, and spend ungodly hours writing until they are weak and weeping from the deaths caused by their words. Sometimes it can be hard to re-emerge from that world. By now I think my friends have... Continue Reading →
When you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it. That you aren't good enough to be a writer. That there's no way you can break into traditional publishing. It's all part of the writer's world myth. As writers, we wish you would stop believing. . . That you should write to your audience.... Continue Reading →