My Current Events
Ask me anything
"Too many books?" I believe the phrase you’re looking for is "not enough bookshelves".
Force kids in school to read crappy, overrated books that are “the best books ever written” solely because they’re “classics” and then call those kids idiots because those aren’t the kind of books they like to read and sit back and wonder why we have a nation full of multiple generations worth of people who willfully and proudly refuse to read.
This is everything that’s wrong with the literature part of public education.
Some links I have found in various Tumblr Posts that I have saved on my computer. I do not take credit for collecting all these links. Unfortunately, I did not have the mind to save/note where these various links come from. Thank you to whoever compiled these links together.
General Writing Tips, Guides and Advice
How to be Confident in Your Writing
Start Your Novel Already!
Why First Chapters Matter
How to Outline a Novel
Word Building 101
Common Mistakes in Writing
Tips on Getting Started
What Not to Do
7 Tips to Become a Better Writer from Stephen King
How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer
Why Writers Must Read
How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers
31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing
10 Tips to Write Fanfiction
Writing a Blurb
10 Writing Tips
Point of View
Speed Up Your Writing
Recieving Bad News
Useful Writing Apps
Plot and Conflict
What is Conflict?
Where’s Your Conflict?
Adding Conflict to Your Scenes
Guides for Using Inner Conflict That Makes Sense
Plotting Your Novel
Internal and External Conflict
The Top Ten Plotting Problems
The Elements of Plot Development
Writing a Plot Your Own Way
Develop a Plot
Tension and Conflict
Your Plot, Step by Step
Plot vs. Exposition
Plot and Conflict
Character DevelopmentHow to Describe the Body Shape of Female CharactersCharacter Apperance Help
Words to Describe Voice
Body Language Cheat Sheet
Character Development Exercises
101 Character Development Questions
Art of Character Development
Characters You Need to Reinvent
Making Characters Likeable
Heros and Villains
Understanding Body Language
100 Positive Traits
Mental Illness in Writing
Conflicts and Characters
Indifferent, Distant Characters
Being a Bitch
Writing Nice Characters
Writing Characters with Mental Illness
Writing Male Characters
Playing Male Characters
Characters with Glasses
Writing Female Characters
Writing Intriuging Male and Female Characters
Spelling, Punctuation and GrammarPlacement of Speech TagsGrammar and Spelling
American vs. British Grammar
How to Use the Semicolon
Introduction to the Basic Rules of Punctuation
All About Dialouge
11 Grammar Tips
Correct Use of Apostrophe
40+ Tips to Improve your Grammar and Punctuation
Better Writing: Grammar & Spelling
Semicolons and Colons
Underlining and Italicizing
Dashes and Parentheses
List of 1000+ Adjectives
All About Names
Genre Based20 Tips to Writing Love ScenesOn Love And Sex
All That Sex!Writing “Real” Men in Romance Fiction
How to Write a Kissing Scene: Valentine Edition
How to Write a Kiss? And Should You Write Sex?
The Keys to Conflict
Writing Gender-Specific Dialouge
Things Smut Writers Should Know
How to Write a Sex Scene
3 Secrets to Writing Sex
Writing Love Scenes
Why You Should Write Love Stories
How to Write Horror
Horror Plot Cliches
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Horror
Plot and Character in Horror Fiction
7 Laws of Comedy
5 Secrets for Improving Comedy Writing
How to Break into Comedy
How to Be Funny
Mystery Writing Lessons
10 Rules for Mystery
5 Books on Writing That Every Writer Should Read
To be a better writer, there are really only things that you need to do: Read, and write. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t read about being a writer, and that having a well-rounded understanding of how writing “works” isn’t beneficial.
These 5 books were all assigned to me as a creative writing undergrad, and all have pieces of wisdom in them that have etched themselves so thoroughly into my brain that I feel like they’re all floating over my head while I’m writing.
I specifically chose these because they aren’t all just saying “here’s how I write, you should do it too”—the topics of these books are very diverse!
1. Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose: Like I said, the best thing you can do to be a better writer is read. But what does that mean? What should you read? Francine Prose (yes, that is her real last name, if you can even believe it!) helps you answer those questions, and shows how looking for certain things while you read and reread can strengthen your own writing. Check it!
2. On Writing by Stephen King: This is the one book on my list that is saying “here’s how I write, you should too”. But Stephen King is basically the most prolific writer ever, so I was happy to listen to his advice. Two points of his really stuck with me: 1. Adverbs are lazy and 2. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a story is put it down for a long time—like, 6 months or a year—and come back to it with eyes so fresh that it’s like you’re editing someone else’s story. I’d be interested to know what points of his sticks with you guys!
3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: I posted about this the other day, but this book is like my writing Bible. In fact, a friend of mine who doesn’t even write got to reading it, and he loved it, too. Basically if you’re a human with a goal, this book will help you. And Anne Lamott writes kinda like this wise, kind mother who isn’t afraid to also tell you what’s up. Whereas a lot of other books on writing are about the actual storytelling, I like this book because it’s more about the writer’s “lifestyle”. Go get it now so that we can gush together!
4. The Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe: This is actually just an essay, but considering that Poe is often credited with being the inventor of the modern short story, I had to include it on this list. It’s in this essay that Poe famously defined a short story as one that can be told in one sitting. Whereas King’s On Writing is really “zoomed in” on topics like word choice, this essay is a high level, theoretical piece on what a story actually is. You can get it for 99 cents on Kindle, or, even better, read it as part of a collection of all of his stories… ugh, they’re SO good!!!
5. Elements of Style by Strunk & White: I cannot tell you how often I’ve received this little book as a gift—for high school graduation, for college graduation, and for many Christmases and birthdays. But it’s all good because it is kinda essential for a writer to have. Elements of Style is all about—gasp!—grammar. (I should probably give it a read-through again so that I can re-center and remember my grammatical skillz, actually!) Also, there are some cute versions out now that make it seem less snore-fest-y—I really want this illustrated copy!
If you read any of these books and post quotes from them on your Tumblr, tag them #yeahwritebooks and I’ll reblog you!
Using Myths for Writing PromptsWriting prompts are an excellent way to stay in good writing shape. We post a daily writing prompt on our Facebook page. It is also available on our Creative Blog.If you’re looking for some inspiration, you may enjoy an article I wrote last year about using Lyrics as Writing Prompts. I am always looking for new writing exercises, and I wanted to explore the concept of myths as prompts. I think this could be a great exercise for your writing group.What is a myth?A myth is a traditional, usually ancient story involving supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes. It is used to explain aspects of the natural world or to show the psychology, customs, or ideals of a society. Myths exist in every culture across the globe. Examples include Eros and Psyche, the Myth of Creation, Daedalus and Iccarus,Noah and the Great Flood, the myth of Arthur and Camelot, and The Rain Queen.Why don’t you write a myth using one of these ideas as inspiration?
How can I help people by writing stories?
People tell you up front: there’s no money in this gig. Really, honest and true, there’s not, even if you’re a lucky son of a gun and write a best-seller, because you can’t count on it every time. One of the first big decisions you make as a writer is that you aren’t doing it for the fame, or even the moola.
You have other reasons, and you find some along the way.
You say, “I want to give people what other people gave me.” You want to give someone something they can work with, and turn into another marvellous thing they can pass on, and make a life a smidgen better, even for one day.
If that’s the magic formula you seek … I got nothing for you.
Jk. I love you, c’mere and let me show this.
1. Find a Truth: the old advice we hear came from someone who really, really wanted other people to know what they did. Live for today, count your blessings, start now, eat your vegetables, don’t worry about it so much- these all meant something to somebody and are passed down in one way or another because they had meaning in someone’s life. Find a piece of advice you want to give, something that’s really true to you, and make it true to one of your characters. Let them learn that lesson as they make mistakes and grow in your story. Let it resonate with them, because that’s how it resonates with the reader.
2. Get Inspiration-Support: does it have to make you sob and thank somebody above? Naw, dawg. Just read. Watch movies, and tv shows. Go for walks outside. Learn junk about the world and stuff like that. Go do something with people you love, or appreciate the quiet somewhere special to you. Be free, and open-minded, and a little crazier than you normally are. You inspired = readers inspired. But, you know that one, don’t you, you bunch of smarties?
3. Accuracy & Creativity: what really gets me as a reader is when someone can put something into words that shouldn’t be. Y’know? Feelings aren’t words, they’re feelings, you psycho. That mountain ain’t in my living room, get it out of there. This is a hard one, I know. This kind of takes experience, keen observation, and well, a talent for it- but a talent that can come with time. I’m way better at describing … well, everything, than I was when I started. Give it time.
4. Originality: … well, duh, you say. But, duh yourself, this is important. Take me somewhere new. Lower my defences when I read by flipping my expectations on their snotty little heads. Won’t I feel the fool for thinking I knew everything? … Wow, I mean, you opened my eyes, there, I totally didn’t know about that. I am an inspired reader
hear me roar.
5. Give Them Something to Do: Sometimes, it pays to be vague. The reason fandoms are born is because readers/viewers really love the heck out of what they read/see, and they want more. The writer (or whoever) has somehow promised awesomeness is happening in the background of this already awesome story, but hasn’t gone into it. A backstory, perhaps? A side-character or two that aren’t explained as thoroughly as the rest? A whole new world with an ever-expanding mythology? People want to be a part of that. People want to show their appreciation by making things. I know fan-created content sometimes gets a bad rap for being amateurish, or whatever else, but my god. It’s awesome that an entire group of people can love something so much that they create all new things for it. That’s awesome.
And so are you, rough copy kitties. Write on.