Wordcraft

Writing

Forty Four Words to Seek and Destroy

Words are the buildings blocks of prose, but not all of them are load-bearing. Some words clutter the page and make our writing sound wishy-washy, dry, or awkward. To strengthen your work, search for these 44 suspects and ask yourself: are they doing more harm … read more »

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 »