Writing

Five Things to Know When You Get Content Editing

A silver pen on a page of marked up text.

Content editing, also known as developmental editing, looks at big-picture issues. It means examining a story to see if there’s enough conflict, if the throughline is strong, if the character arcs are satisfying, etc. Ideally, it’s the first type of editing a manuscript gets, well … read more »

Five Signs Your Narration Is Sexist

Sexism in stories can be quite egregious. Heroes may outright state that women don’t belong on the battlefield, rape is often treated like a cutesy and forgivable mistake, and supposedly likable characters act in blatantly misogynist ways. Although these cases remain distressingly prevalent in popular … read more »

Six Common Forms of Bad Writing Advice

A Medieval painting of a university lecture.

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a lot of writing advice out there. Everyone seems to have their own take on this endeavor we call storytelling. That’s to be expected, but it’s often hard to tell the good tips from the bad. Without the … read more »

How to Avoid Melodrama in Your Writing

On the cover of The calculating stars, a group of women walk in front of a night sky overlaid with a start chart.

Melodramatic writing is a common mistake for writers. Most of us want our stories to have emotional impact, but if we don’t understand how that’s accomplished on a technical level, it’s easy to end up with purple prose instead. Let’s have a look at what … read more »

Lessons From the Writing of The Name of the Wind

man wearing black cloak in the woods

You asked me to critique The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, so here we are. What will win: this award-winning, best-selling, critically acclaimed book, or my dislike of practically everything? Read on to see! While I usually record my first reactions to a … read more »

227 – Voice

The Mythcreant Podcast

An author’s voice is generally considered to be important; sometimes it’s even said to be the most important element of writing. But what is voice, exactly? Is it really that important? Does it change from book to book, and how is it different from character … read more »

Seven Ways Writers Sabotage Beta Reading

A woman dressed in a fancy steam punk outfit reads book through her monocle

Beta reading is a critical part of the writing process. It’s a preview of how real-life human beings will respond to your work, something every author should get before their book hits primetime. And yet, I keep seeing authors mishandle the beta reading process. Over … read more »

How Do I Communicate My Character Is Black?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello! I love this site and really appreciate the depth of thought you put into the articles here and how you approach difficult topics. I was hoping for a little help with introducing a physical description of a character. I am aware of the clichés … read more »