Writing

Why English Needs Singular They

A portrait of William Shakespeare.

Despite the growing recognition of gender-neutral pronouns, many people – particularly in the writing industry – reject singular they. These traditionalists usually complain that singular they will make English worse. But English itself has something to say about that. Read more »

Lessons From the Hyped Writing of Dawn of Wonder

Art showing man holding sword, with a fortress in the background

As soon as I spotted the cover for Jonathan Renshaw’s Dawn of Wonder, The Wakening, I knew this was the book to critique. “Dawn of Wonder” is already dramatic sounding, and adding “The Wakening” pushes it into melodrama. It doesn’t help that these words border … read more »

A Beginner’s Guide to Epistolary Writing

Old Letter and Photos

Many writers have a pet narrative technique they think is underused and underappreciated. For me, it’s epistolary writing. While this framing premise has its challenges, it can also be wonderfully creative and powerful. For those who haven’t tried it, allow me to give you a … read more »

Giving Your Hero Sympathetic Problems

Frodo stares at the one ring in the glow of mount doom

Making your protagonist a relatable underdog is a great way to encourage your audience to bond with them. Unfortunately, it’s easy for this effort to go wrong. Instead of feeling sympathy for your hero, the audience might think your character is whiny and unpleasant. The narration … read more »