How to Critique Creative Writing: A Comprehensive Guide for Readers

One of the biggest problems facing young writers is a lack of solid constructive criticism. Bad books get self-published because friends and family didn’t want to be mean. People delude themselves that they’re good writers because no one has ever told them otherwise. And it’s hard, giving negative feedback. But it’s necessary. It’s so, so necessary. Even if you know nothing about the formalities of … Continue reading How to Critique Creative Writing: A Comprehensive Guide for Readers

The Best Day Jobs for Writers

There’s no right way to write professionally. The only necessities for the writer’s life are to care about the craft and put in the hard work. Everything else is more of a whatever-works-for-you type of thing. That being said, working on a novel doesn’t pay the bills. Submitting poetry won’t reliably get you groceries. So when it comes time to get that paying nine-to-five, where … Continue reading The Best Day Jobs for Writers

“Because” Is a Coordinating Conjunction. Fight Me.

Let’s go back to middle school English class for a moment. What is a conjunction? Conjunctions are parts of speech that join two words or phrases together. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative. Coordinating conjunctions join two grammatically equal words or phrases. They’re usually remembered by the acronym FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Subordinating conjunctions join a dependent … Continue reading “Because” Is a Coordinating Conjunction. Fight Me.

Grammar Exists to Make You a Better Writer

There are two types of people who talk about grammar on the internet: those who pedantically criticize every real and imagined misuse, and those who rant on Tumblr that they’re gonna write however they want cuz that first type can suck it. Both types have entirely missed the point of grammar. Grammar functions as a tool to make your writing readable. That’s it. It’s not … Continue reading Grammar Exists to Make You a Better Writer

Stop Using the Word "It"

Stop Using the Word “It”

It’s absurd to tell you to stop using a pronoun, especially one that’s so ingrained into our language, most writers don’t even realize when they use it. It is a useful word, standing in for long referents, keeping you from awkwardly repeating yourself, introducing Mario. But it is also a crutch. Nothing will weaken your writing quite as quickly as relying on it.  Whether this … Continue reading Stop Using the Word “It”

The Art of Writing Metaphors

Trends in language are just as real (and often just as cringeworthy) as trends in culture. They fade in and out, they’re remixed and replaced. They’re intensely popular and often very bad ideas. Instead of parachute pants we have superfluous dialogue tags, instead of slap bracelets we have metaphors followed by explanations. It’s a toss up whether explained metaphors started as a misplaced trendy idea … Continue reading The Art of Writing Metaphors

The Most Dangerous Advice Young Writers Believe

You’ve seen them on Tumblr, on Pinterest, in writing groups. You’ve seen them reblogged with the captions “yes!!!!” and “THANK YOU” and “this is really good advice!” You may have even posted one somewhere yourself. Words to use instead of… Said. Very. Great. Feel. Nice. You name it, there’s probably a badly made infographic for it. The people who make these charts and tout their … Continue reading The Most Dangerous Advice Young Writers Believe

The Difference Between INTJ and INTP

Myers-Briggs has become a popular way to categorize people, to generalize and maybe even understand them. Thanks to an overabundance of internet tests and opinionated bloggers, there’s a lot of information floating around out there, much of it misleading or inaccurate. As an imperfect (and often discredited) form of psychology, it’s nearly impossible to have perfectly accurate information on the sixteen Myers-Briggs types, but that … Continue reading The Difference Between INTJ and INTP

How Not to Write a Love Triangle

Love triangles are one of the most overused tropes out there today. In any kind of writing. Novels, movies, television shows, comics—all of them include characters fighting over who gets to love someone. Like any bit of writing, love triangles can be used well. But they can also ruin an otherwise good story. There’s no good way to write a love triangle, because the minute … Continue reading How Not to Write a Love Triangle

Your Enjoyment of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Can Determine Your Outlook on Life

There are two types of millennials in the world: those who love The Little Mermaid and those who think Ariel is the entitled embodiment of bad decision making. Whether or not you’ve actually seen the movie is irrelevant. Even if you just have a passing knowledge of the story and have heard Jodi Benson crooning “Part of Your World,” you probably have an opinion on … Continue reading Your Enjoyment of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Can Determine Your Outlook on Life