Sometimes the words get stuck. They tangle themselves up in our neural pathways. They catch on our rib cages, or sink into our lungs. They burrow into our spines and make nests in the cozy little nooks between our vertebrae. We know they’re in there. We can feel them inside us. But they just won’t … Continue reading The Possible Life
There are a lot of writing absolutes floating around the internet. “You must write every day to be a real writer.” (Yeah, no.) “True artists use pen and paper.” (Nope. Nope. Nope.) “Showing is better than telling.” (Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.) We crave these absolutes. We live in the gray area between Definitely-Yes and Definitely-No, … Continue reading Showing vs. Telling: The Whole Story Approach
Pitches are hard. I could just end the post there and you’d all feel super validated, right? And I am all about validation. That dry eyeball feeling you get from staring at the screen too long? Totally normal. The way your fingers curl in on themselves and you’re not sure if it’s because your body … Continue reading Pitch Writing 101: What’s at Stake?
My province is on fire. That’s not a metaphor. British Columbia is literally on fire, with blazes that experts from various countries have described as “apocalyptic” and “like nothing I’ve ever seen.” Our neighbourhood was evacuated. Two houses on our street burned down. Our oldest daughter’s mental health has been . . . not great. … Continue reading As the World Burns – Strategies for Creating Through the Chaos
If there’s anything I’m an expert on in the literary world, it’s how to luck into amazing critique partners. They are encouraging and supportive, and they kick my metaphorical butt when I need it. Like the time my friend Charlie threatened to have a box of live crickets delivered to me if I didn’t meet … Continue reading How to Maximize Your Critique Partner Experience
Life is like Lego, and so is writing. We all have our own bin, full of everything we’ve experienced on a sensory, intellectual, and emotional level. Yes, there are probably more levels than that, but I'm trying to be brief here. Some of the pieces in our tub? They match the pieces in other people’s … Continue reading The Lego Effect: Why It’s Okay to Have the Same Ideas
Lack of character authenticity is the trap door of the literary world. Readers can be skipping along, humming cheerfully to themselves as they explore a lovely story and then whoosh! Down they go. Because a character did something inauthentic. Because suddenly, NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE. You can have the most FLAWLESSLY crafted plotline in the whole history of bloody … Continue reading Character Authenticity: How to Nail Shut the Trap Doors in Your Story