feedback

6th Annual Blogiversary Contest — Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

June 28, 2016 News
Thumbnail image for 6th Annual Blogiversary Contest — Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

It’s that time of year again. My six-year blogiversary is coming up on July 12th. And I’m once again amazed by the fact that I’ve been writing this blog for six years. How can something feel like yesterday and forever at the same time?

Pin It
Click here to read more

4 Steps to Break Grammar Rules with Style — Guest: Julie Glover

June 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for 4 Steps to Break Grammar Rules with Style — Guest: Julie Glover

While we need to learn grammar rules for our writing, if we follow the rules too strictly, we can strangle our voice,. Today, Julie Glover shares her tips on four steps to break grammar rules in a good way.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Why Is “Unlikable” Often a Deal-Breaker for Readers?

June 21, 2016 Random Musings
Thumbnail image for Why Is “Unlikable” Often a Deal-Breaker for Readers?

A recent article about unlikable heroines pointed out that likability is often more of a problem for female characters than for male characters. While I’ve learned how to minimize those issues with my characters, the problem still rankles me.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Can We Track Our Improvements in Writing Quality?

May 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Can We Track Our Improvements in Writing Quality?

The learning curve we face when deciding to become a writer is always longer than we think because we don’t know what all we don’t know. So how can we track our progress? How can we tell whether we’re improving? How can we feel good about our writing?

Pin It
Click here to read more

Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

May 26, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Character Development Is a Two-Edged Sword

As writers, we do everything we can to make readers invested in our characters in some way. An invested reader is a happy reader, right?
Well, maybe not. Let’s take a look at the other side of character development.

Pin It
Click here to read more

What’s Your Validation?

May 19, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for What’s Your Validation?

Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Plot Obstacles & Character Agency

May 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Plot Obstacles & Character Agency

Ashley asked a question in the comments last week that gets at the heart of strong, proactive characters. Even in literary fiction, characters are usually faced with making choices, and whatever triggers those choices is where we’ll find plot and character agency.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Plot Obstacles: Too Easy, Too Difficult, or Just Right?

May 12, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Plot Obstacles: Too Easy, Too Difficult, or Just Right?

Our characters have to overcome many problems throughout our plot, but changing the obstacles doesn’t always fix story problems. Sure, sometimes an obstacle doesn’t fit the story, but too often, the obstacle itself isn’t broken—but the storytelling around the obstacle.

Pin It
Click here to read more

Writing Feedback: Reaching Our Potential

May 10, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Writing Feedback: Reaching Our Potential

Whenever we send our work out into the world for feedback, we’re taking a risk. Depending on our levels of self-doubt, the feedback might roll off our back, inspire us to work harder and fix issues, or convince us that we should quit writing. How can we avoid destructive feedback and the temptation to quit?

Pin It
Click here to read more

Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

March 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
Thumbnail image for Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

Reader complaints about editing quality usually focus on grammar and word choice and usage. That potential of being called out in reviews is just one reason why copyediting is so important. Sometimes the wrong usage of a word or punctuation mark can even change the meaning of our writing, as Misti Wolanski is here to show us today.

Pin It
Click here to read more