Five Tips for Giving Developmental Feedback

A painting of monks working on illuminated manuscripts.

Developmental editing is big-picture editing. Dev editors rarely look at grammar, punctuation, or even awkward sentence structure.* Instead, dev editors look at issues like plot structure, character consistency, and whether the climax fulfills all the promises the author made earlier in the story. While test readers … read more »

82 – Working With Feedback

The Mythcreant Podcast

Getting feedback is always a perilous experience. This week the hosts share some of the experiences they’ve had over the years, from Oren learning that he included too much WWII fighter jargon in his story, to Mike’s plan for getting feedback on his campaign, to Chris making revision after revision so … read more »

Lessons From the Vivid Writing of Lovecraft’s Dagon

Engraving of an Assyrian Cylinder, with Dagon, or the Fish-god

Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a major influence on the cosmic horror genre, to the point that it’s often called Lovecraftian horror. The man had many flaws, including racism and anti-semitism, but his work remains popular for a reason: he had a way with words. Dagon is … read more »

Seven Common Causes of Reader Confusion

Confusion makes it impossible for readers to enjoy a story, and the unique elements of speculative fiction make it especially prone to confusion. Not only that, but because stories always make sense to their writers, head-scratching moments are difficult to eliminate without outside help. But don’t give up … read more »

Lessons From the Inconclusive Writing of The Doorway

Since Chris is critiquing short stories on Mythcreants now, I figured I would copy pay homage to her posts and do a critique of my very own. So I searched the internet for the finest short story with which to dazzle you. Instead, I found The Doorway* … read more »

Seven Rules of Effective Prose

Refining your prose is a long process requiring practice and patience. This learning curve is even harder when you don’t know what needs to improve. These seven pillars of good prose can help you evaluate your work at the sentence level and give you something to strive for. Read more »

Lessons From the Fantastic Writing of The Martian

Person in Space Suit in Red Haze - Cover of The Martian by Andy Weir

So far I’ve written six critiques of best selling books that I think are bad. Needless to say, I am not easily impressed. Then my commenters had the gall to ask for something positive. What do you think I am, a magical praise-emitting unicorn? Well, it took some doing, … read more »

Narrating Layout & Position

Skeksis Ceremony from The Dark Crystal

Some writing techniques seem so simple that we take them for granted. That is, until we have to use them ourselves. So I sympathized with Jo when she asked: I am a bit confused about describing spatial relationships in fiction. How close or how far away … read more »

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