Wordcraft

Writing

Ten Quick Style 101 Exercises

medieval writing on parchment

Different stories call for different language. You might write a romance with long flourishing sentences and a gritty noir with abrupt phrasing. Genre settings need language that blends in, or the phrasing will call attention to itself and away from the story. If you always … read more »

Writing

Conveying Character Emotion

You know your character inside out, but that isn’t coming across to your readers. They aren’t sure what your character is feeling, and they certainly aren’t feeling it themselves. The scenes you carefully crafted to maximize emotional impact fall flat instead. If that sounds familiar, … read more »

Writing

Pacing Your Dialogue

Dialogue is like music; rhythm flows from its notes and pauses. By shaping the pace of your dialogue, you can make this rhythm more engaging. Plus, those annoying tags become less noticeable when you’re not hitting the same beat every time. Read more »

Writing

Labeling Your Dialogue

Argument at the Council of Elrond

Writers use labels, known as dialogue tags, to tell their readers which character is speaking. Many writers think dialogue tags are part of their story’s narration. That’s a mistake. Tags aren’t narration; they’re a technical necessity like punctuation, font, and quotes. We don’t want readers … read more »

Writing

How Do You Describe a Character?

When we use description, we have to prioritize carefully. Too little description leaves the story without flavor, too much gets boring fast. The more effectively we use it, the more we can surf that sweet spot between short description and strong impact. Read more »

Writing

Ten Ways to Inspire Your Description

Good description is meaningful and imaginative, but it can be difficult to conjure an exciting rendition of every tree and shrub in your story. If you’re struggling against another bland paragraph, here are ten ways to give it some interest. Read more »

Writing

Should You Show or Tell?

“Show; don’t tell” is one of the most popular adages in writing circles. For many writers, it’s tried and true advice. However, the real rules behind showing and telling are more complex than this simple statement suggests. There is a smooth gradient between showing and … read more »

Writing

Six Tips for Doing More With Less

Speculative fiction readers are interested in different things. Some of them are passionate about characters, some want to explore new worlds, and others look for a riveting plot. It’s easy to make any of these elements memorable if you throw enough words at them. While … read more »