Through many years of school, researching, editing, and writing, I’ve learned a lot about the world of writing. Here are 15 of the most common mistakes I see writers make. (Also 15 examples of a book or author I think exemplifies the correct way to do these.)
1. Telling, Not Showing.
People read because they want to fall into a new world, be distracted by their own, experience something they haven’t, or learn something new. If they wanted a straight forward list of facts, they would go to Wikipedia. Whether you’re writing nonfiction or fiction, you need to pull the readers into the story. They should be completely enveloped by your world. Continue reading →
More so than any of my other children, Peter and I enjoy each other. We laugh and cook and clean and I even teach him some of my potions, though to truly work they need a bit of my magic. He helps me through grieving when Lionel, Abigail, and Theodosia leave. He becomes close with Abram, who is only a few months older than him, and helps me with the two girls I save a few months apart a year after he came home with me. Peter and I explore The Wood and meet all the creatures that loan me their gifts and strengths. He listens to my teachings and even comes with me once when I go to save a child. That one ended up refusing me, though. That doesn’t happen often, but enough to make me question everything I do. Continue reading →
I can’t take it anymore. I need it to end. Please.
I sit up in bed, the cry from two towns over echoing in my dreams. It’s a young boy, about nine years old, sitting on the floor of his tiny bedroom. He’s crying and bleeding, listening to screaming in the next room. Usually, I would wait a week and assess the situation and get my current children prepared before leaving, but today is different. If I don’t save this child, he will take matters into his own hands. I can feel it. Continue reading →
My house has already tripled in size since Nissa saved me that day ten years ago. She returned to her own woods the following day, after teaching me how to build my new home, but I saw her a few more times before she passed. Her home now houses hundreds of Woodland creatures and floral life. The magic that still resides there keeps them safe, happy, and healthy. It also acts as a home for roaming witches. For those who have not found their place, their Wood or their clearing, Nissa’s gives them safety for as long as they need it. Continue reading →
The air is stale, Sam wrote in her notebook. She looked up, took another step, and shook her head. She touched the tip of her pen to the page again and crossed out the sentence.
Fear is more alive in the air than the actual people breathing it. I can’t tell if it is a fear of where they live, of the prison itself, or of what exists outside of the building. Maybe it’s fear of how they will continue life after they leave the stone walls of their own guilt or maybe it’s the fear that they’ll never escape it.
My throat burns and my cheeks are wet. With blood? With sweat? With tears? I close my eyes and push my hands against my face, shaking my head quickly so the strands of dirty hair fly wildly. I want to scream again but I can’t take a breath and without air, there’s not much you can do. I want to run but without space, there’s not very many places you can go.
I want it all to end but with so much love, you can’t justify ending anything at all.
The other day my class had the honor of hosting for a visiting writer, Domingo Martinez. We had the pleasure of listening to him talk, give us advice, and answer any questions we could throw his way. I haven’t read all of his book yet but I have flown through a couple of chapters and let me tell you, this guys has lived quite the life.
Or, as he puts it, he’s taken the crooked path.
First off, I do suggest his books to anyone interested in memoirs. I can tell he’s spent years honing his voice and perfecting his craft, so now his novels have a unique tone and language. He’s worked hard over the years and never let his past or struggles stop him from being heard. Continue reading →
In order to continue discovering how other writers see our crazy writing world, I’ve talked with a long time writer peer of mine, Jack Kardiac.
This interview was another over email. I met Jack online (goodreads.com). We met when I posted a need for a beta reader for my short story collection, Perspectives, and he responded with a proposal: I’ll read yours if you read mine. Therefore, I read his second short story collection, Squint, to be available for purchase soon. We worked really well together and have continued to ever sense. I look forward to working with J more in the future. Below is a short biography about Jack and a blurb for his available book, Squint.Continue reading →
My words alone only carry so much meaning alone. While I like to say that my words make worlds, other people’s words have just as much power.
Therefore, I’ve interviewed a few different writers. This one was an email Interview with Lewis Ben Smith.
Lewis was my 8th grade History teacher and it’s still taken some getting used to calling him “Lewis” rather than “Mr. Smith”. Recently, however, Lewis has been more of a peer of mine, as we sometimes edit each other’s work and promote one another. I know him well and have read, in full, two of his four published novels. Continue reading →
For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.
There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading →