As writers, we’ve all been there. Staring at a blank page, an idea humming in the back of your mind. You write a sentence. Read it. Delete it. Rinse and repeat. You know what you want to write. You have ideas and characters and a general idea of the setting or aesthetics. But the words won’t come. The story won’t spark. What do you do? … Continue reading How to Spark Your Writing with Mood Boards
There’s a rampant hatred of the five-paragraph essay among academics and writing instructors, and I’ve heard many a teacher express the desire to do away with it completely. The arguments for its destruction usually revolve around students’ stunted writing abilities, especially in terms of writing for a specific audience, but every criticism I’ve found is a criticism of general writing instruction rather than the specific … Continue reading The 5-Paragraph Essay Will Be Your Best Friend in College
This is not about body language. It has nothing to do with tone of voice or eye contact or facial expressions. This is about the unconscious linguistic associations that people will make while reading your writing, and why ignoring things like etymology and prosody makes you a really bad writer. But first, What is prosody? Prosody, for the purpose of this article1, is the musical … Continue reading You’re Saying More Than You Think You Are
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
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
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.
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