As the World Burns – Strategies for Creating Through the Chaos

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

How to Maximize Your Critique Partner Experience

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

The Lego Effect: Why It’s Okay to Have the Same Ideas

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

Character Authenticity: How to Nail Shut the Trap Doors in Your Story

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

The Five Pitfalls of Author Interference

Words. Worlds. Characters. We create them, so we should be able to control them, right? But there are consequences to holding the reins too tightly, and carpal tunnel is only one of them. Here are some pitfalls you might want to avoid: 1) “As You Know Bob” Dialog This is when the author makes the characters talk about things which … Continue reading The Five Pitfalls of Author Interference