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
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
I’ve met a lot of penguin lovers in my day. They all have one thing in common—the persistent delusion that all penguins are cutesy-wutesy like this: Or elegant, dashing creatures (the James Bonds of the ornithological world) like this: Personally, I’m not a fan. With their ominous waddling, and their “claim” that they can’t fly—not … Continue reading How to Write with Penguins