Writing

Seven Rules of Effective Prose

Refining your prose is a long process requiring practice and patience. This learning curve is even harder when you don’t know what needs to improve. These seven pillars of good prose can help you evaluate your work at the sentence level and give you something to strive for. Read more »

Lessons From the Fantastic Writing of The Martian

Person in Space Suit in Red Haze - Cover of The Martian by Andy Weir

So far I’ve written six critiques of best selling books that I think are bad. Needless to say, I am not easily impressed. Then my commenters had the gall to ask for something positive. What do you think I am, a magical praise-emitting unicorn? Well, it took some doing, … read more »

Narrating Layout & Position

Skeksis Ceremony from The Dark Crystal

Some writing techniques seem so simple that we take them for granted. That is, until we have to use them ourselves. So I sympathized with Jo when she asked: I am a bit confused about describing spatial relationships in fiction. How close or how far away … read more »

Six Ways to Make Your Writing More Cinematic

If you are currently alive, there’s little doubt you’ve at some point heard a prose story referred to as “cinematic.” This means the story is in some way like a movie or television show, and it is the highest of compliments. Motion pictures, be they … read more »

Narrating Dreams & Visions

Deanna Troi in a cloudy dream

Writers receive lots of advice on making their scenes feel real. But what if a scene isn’t real in your story? Even stranger, your protagonist might not know this. They could think the carnivorous, striped umbrella chasing them down an alley is genuine. Dreams like … read more »

66 – Show and Tell

The Mythcreant Podcast

Ariel, Chris, and Oren describe the difference between showing elaborate spectacle and simply telling what happens. They discuss how showing can invoke deep emotions and contemplate when telling is warranted. Listen to hear how writers enhance storytelling with showing and telling. Read more »

Choosing Viewpoint Characters

Hands holding binoculars

Using the right viewpoint character can give your story a big boost. But all too often, writers choose viewpoint characters that turn their narration into an uphill battle. Whether you’d like to supplement your hero’s viewpoint with visits from side characters, or you’re unsure of … read more »