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
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”
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
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
When it comes to the putative title of “Master of the Constructed Language,” Mark Rosenfelder’s claim to it has some serious merit. He has quite literally written the book—four, in fact—dedicated to conlangs and helping readers with crafting their own. The most recent of these, The Syntax Construction Kit (SCK), was released in November. Mr. Rosenfelder has graciously agreed to be interviewed. A New Book … Continue reading Deconstructing the Constructor: An Interview with Mark Rosenfelder
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
So you want to be a published author? These past few months, I went to a few aspiring author workshops at my local library and historical center. Two brilliant writers with endless wisdom, Cinda Williams Chima and Vivien Chien, were there to discuss tips and tricks. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned through the years, heard on podcasts, and gleaned from these … Continue reading Five Tips For Aspiring Professional Writers
You did it! Or maybe you didn’t do it, didn’t quite hit your word count, didn’t end up with the story you imagined. That’s okay. You have words! And those words are twisting together and stacking high to make a wonderful story. Even if you can’t see it yet, whether you have fifty thousand words or just five thousand, there’s potential in the pages of … Continue reading So NaNoWriMo Is Over… Now What?