Category: Craft Discussion

Here’s the Beef on Stakes

“What’s at stake here?” Sooner or later every fiction writer fields this question. Often the challenge appears as a single word – STAKES? – scrawled on a novel chapter or short story draft, plus or minus a coffee cup ring,…

That Name Rings a Bell

Like a lot of writers, I have a little notebook where I jot down stuff that pops into my head. Sometimes it’s an idea or phrase. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a single word. For instance, the last note I…

Don’t Show OR Tell: Evoke

“Show, don’t tell.” It’s likely the most common writing advice out there and with good reason. Readers want to experience the world of your story, not have it dictated to them. But it’s worth pushing this advice a little further,…

Read and Reread

“For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” Eudora Welty, On Writing I just did something I haven’t done in years. I read two novels in the span of two weeks. Joy! I fussed and…

10 Ways to Paint a Portrait With Words

I often struggle with describing my characters. Right now, I’m banging my head against a wall trying to describe a teenage boy who has visions as more than a blond hunk. This is all the more frustrating because my mother…