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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.