Grammar Grumble – Apostrophes

The apostrophe is one of the most misunderstood punctuation marks around. Probably because there are three different uses for it, each of which applies under some (but not all) circumstances: -marks omissions in contracted words -marks possession -marks plural form OMISSIONS IN CONTRACTED WORDS Two-word contractions The apostrophe replaces the … READ MORE

Why you need a story hook

The purpose of a story hook is to engage readers and lure them into your story. The basic definition behind a hook is “pose a question the reader wants answered.” That’s a good start, but how do you actually make that question interesting? I mean, it’s not like you necessarily … READ MORE

How to write a story premise

A story premise helps you know what kind of story you’re writing. This may seem like an odd step—after all, if you’re writing the story shouldn’t you know what kind of story you’re writing? The funny thing about stories, especially long-form stories, is that they tend to go off and … READ MORE

How to Begin Crafting Character Arcs

Do you know where your character is right this second? Do you know where he’s going to end up? Do you have a logical, tension-filled, engaging path for him to follow? Character arc, writers, is one of those necessary pre-writing decisions you need to make for your story. The type … READ MORE

How to build a character from scratch

Story is about a character who has to fight harrowing odds to achieve the one thing he wants desperately. This means, in a nutshell, your story is all about a character in conflict. Conflict is what makes your character interesting and readable. We don’t have to like your character but … READ MORE

What are the most common weak words?

Weak words are a story’s nemesis. They are easy to use, serve multiple purposes, and act as quick fillers–but they drag your story down and dim your writing. They crop up like kittens unless we are paying strict attention to each sentence we compose. With care and time, you can … READ MORE

What is Your Writing Process of Choice?

Writing process is the system writers use to begin and finish their projects. Each process will vary from writer to writer. Some writers are overwhelmed by the need to tell a story, caring only about letting the story loose onto the page, wildly spilling forth the characters, setting, and problems, … READ MORE

NaNoWriMo – Halfway Point

Halfway to the finish line of NaNoWriMo. To date, I have written over 35,000 words. I’ve been pretty good at keeping up with my 2,000-word/hour pace. I needed to get down that many words per writing session because my weekends are unpredictable. I never really know if I’ll have uninterrupted … READ MORE

NaNoWriMo – Week 1

How’s everyone doing so far? Week one is usually the most energetic week of NaNoWriMo. Writers are still riding high on the idea of pummeling their notebooks or computer screens with word after word. We’re not really tired yet, and we probably haven’t yet reached a point where we’ve gotten … READ MORE

NaNoWriMo Begins

Today is lift-off for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, and you are a writer, check out the info here. The idea of writing 50,000 words in 30 days can be a bit harrowing. Many writers won’t attempt the feat, while … READ MORE