Writing advice often relates to the same two topics: show, don't tell and write in the active voice. So, say you're taking on these two nuggets of wisdom. You're ready to incorporate the advice you keep getting from your critique partner(s) and your writing group! You've learned everything you need to know about how to change passive voice into active voice and how to show rather than tell. Yet, even though you've made certain to use verbs that aren't being verbs and you've incorporated adjectives as descriptors, your writing still feels clunky. It's still getting dinged at your critique group meetings.
This is because oops! in trying to fix one problem, you've introduced a new problem. And that's the use of filter words and filter phrases in your writing.
I've spent the past few weeks working out an ending to the Hopeful Wanderer web series. By ending, I mean a very cool ending that reveals all the little things I've teased about the Wanderer.
Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea winks at the contrast between the perception of agency within the main character of a video game and that of a novel. Bioshock, a 2007 first-person shooter, interrogates the same question of agency through the main character of a video game.
The title of "my favorite video game" has long been held by Beyond Good and Evil, but it's been a month since I finished Outer Wilds, and I think... this might be my new favorite game. At least top three. This article won't be a video game review so much as a wild romp through annotating the parts that interest me. There will be spoilers. Brace for impact.
An exclusive, never-posted tale about our intrepid Hopeful Wanderer graces the pages of Texas High Plains Writers' most recent anthology — With Words We Weave 2022: Hope. A spiritual sequel to one of the web series flash fictions, "Occlusion" pits the Wanderer against an old, vengeful foe as their blood and everyone else's starts draining … Continue reading Book Release — With Words We Weave 2022: Hope
When writers do follow you, why exactly should they care about your announcement? They followed you because you're a writer, not for your writing. You're selling to writers with little personal investment in your work.
Rhythmic, echoing creaking drew me across flat empty plains to a flat, empty house. An untidy row of windows stared out from the house's weathered flanks at the setting suns blazing orange and purple across the sky. My favorite kind. Next to the house stood a tall, tall tree, beneath the branches of which creaked … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Call to Launch
We've all heard the claims. Fanfiction = bad writing. Blah blah blah. Gatekeepers want to keep readers of fanfiction from enjoying fanfiction and writers of fanfiction from enjoying writing it. For some reason. For one, fanfiction = bad writing is a false equivalent. Just like original fiction = good writing is a false equivalent. I've … Continue reading Why Writing Fanfiction Appeals to Me
No path ahead, no path behind. Just four flights of concrete stairs embedded into a hillside invisible beneath a blank blanket of snow. These, for some reason, just damp, not buried along with everything else. Upward, the pale hill sloped into the pale sky. Downward, more snowy hills rolled away into infinity. It felt like … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Open Me
Deep down, or maybe not so deep down, writers know the value of a good opening sentence. Because writers are readers and have read a multitude of first sentences that draw them straight into the story. Even if you don't know how, you know why: the hook. That magical gimmick that entices readers to keep reading, to buy the book, to read to the end, to tell their friends.
So I'm sure you know why you need The Hook. But how to create it? Structure it? Incorporate it into your story?