Thanks to my hometown library's vast collection of eBooks, I've finally started reading books that were written in the twenty-first century! They sound strikingly different from the eighteenth century PDFs that I've been subsisting on since I moved to Brazil and left behind bookstores with books written in English. Part of that, I know, is stylistic, … Continue reading When Habits of Speech Attack!
The year 2016 gave us our first feature film written by Artificial Intelligence, and it was...ridiculous. While AI clearly isn't ready to join writers behind the big screen or on the library shelf, the bots are capable of extracting insight from pre-written content. In fact, you can learn a lot about your writing by subjecting it to computer analysis. … Continue reading What will these 6 robots say about your writing?
Back when I worked in a cancer research lab, I had a coworker named Andy. He was a big, baby-faced guy with a mop of orange hair and a terrific personality; he was, at once, the most efficient and easy-going person in our lab. But what I enjoyed most about Andy was his vocabulary. He … Continue reading One for the NY Times
Last night, I received the final feedback about Eleanor from my editor! To commemorate the experience, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned from editing (and being edited!) with you all... Clarify time transitions at the beginning of the chapter. Pacing was one of my top concerns when I submitted the manuscript of Eleanor to … Continue reading Lessons I’ve Learned from Editing (and being edited!)
The friends who read our books after we release them are great, but the friends who read our books before we release them are priceless. Their input helps us mold our books into the shapely works of art that the rest of the world gets to see. Without these friends, our books would be very different. They might even … Continue reading The 3 Friends Who Need to Read Your Book Before You Release It
Confession: I am not a poet. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate poetry. I do! Poetry, to me, is like a cherry tree. I admire the delicate coloring and the profusion of the blossoms. I pluck and eat all the fruit I can reach. And yet, no matter how many cherries I consume, … Continue reading Dress Up Your Prose with Poetry
Cutting to the chase here (because I got a little overexcited with my samples below): Saying "I love you" for the first time is one of the most vulnerable and universal experiences known to man. As a writer, "I love you" moments are pivotal. What better opportunity do you have to engage your reader's sympathy than to draw them into … Continue reading 6 Profound Ways to Write “I Love You”
I am fascinated by creative writing. And by that, I don't just mean that I am fascinated by creative stories, stories with fresh plots, quirky characters, and imaginative settings. I mean that I am fascinated with creative ways of writing those stories. Here are 5 of the most creative ways to tell a story that I have come … Continue reading 5 Unique Narrative Forms (Experiment Away!)
It's Halloween night, and I am sitting on the edge of a pub stool in Dingle, Ireland, warming my hands with a mug of (appropriately) orange-colored soup. The deftest voice I've ever heard is crooning through a ballad, inspired by a 13th century insane asylum . . . My staff has murdered giants, my bag a … Continue reading How to Capture a Setting in 4 Days: Ireland Edition
The taxonomy of books is similar to the taxonomy of animals. Most of us can recognize the higher level divisions; we know what makes plants different than animals, fiction different than non-fiction. Many of us understand the mid range divisions too. We know what makes a mammal a mammal, a reptile a reptile, a horror … Continue reading 5 Genres You May Have Read Without Knowing It