Wordcraft

Podcast

120 – Long vs Short Sentences

The Mythcreant Podcast

Sometimes a sentence is very long, and it keeps going and going with commas in places that a period could be and extra clauses that don’t necessarily need to be there. Other times a sentence is short. Which is better? As is so often the … read more »

Podcast

119 – Bad Writing Habits

The Mythcreant Podcast

Some writers start every sentence with “there are,” others can’t stop italicizing, and still others write sentences that never end. We’ve all got bad habits in our writing, and this week Ariel returns to discuss them with Chris and Wes. Our hosts are all editors, … read more »

Podcast

118 – Emphasis in Writing

The Mythcreant Podcast

What’s this? Ariel has returned from the wilderness of freelance editing to grace our podcast yet again. She joins Chris and Wes for an in-depth discussion of emphasis in writing. How should writers make key passages stand out? How much is too much? Is bolding … read more »

Writing

Ten Ways to Switch Up Your Sentences

Fiction is made of people doing things, and the standard “protagonist verb object” is a strong way to write that. But if you structure all your sentences that way, you’ll have a monotonous mess on your hands. When that happens, it can be a struggle to inject some life into stale phrasing. To keep your head from hitting the desk, I have some quick ideas you can use. Read more »

Writing

Five Exercises for Stronger Narrative Personality

Speculative fiction calls for a vast array of narrative personalities. A spec fic writer could be called on to write in the voice of a clockwork golem, a garter snake, or an otherworldly alien. But instead of flavoring your wordcraft with these perspectives, it’s all too … read more »

Writing

Lessons From the Sloppy Writing of The Tommyknockers

Shadow of person in green glowing woods

It’s time to tear apart The Tommyknockers, written by the venerable Stephen King and published in 1987. In his long and prolific history of writing, King has both gems and duds. Even within a work, his improvised storytelling technique tends to turn out both brilliant moments … read more »

Writing

Choosing Your Story’s Perspective

A large sculpture mimicking a scene with distance

The choice of perspective has important ramifications for a story. The best perspective will be the one that reinforces the goals of the story, matches the writer’s skill set, and feels invisible to the audience. I’ll describe the different factors involved in a story’s perspective and how they are likely to … read more »

Writing

Mastering Evocative Telling

close up of an ent

The old adage “show; don’t tell” is great advice for new writers. But with practice, writers can master many creative techniques that depart from standard showing. Evocative telling is one of those techniques, and it can add a lot to a story. Read more »

Writing

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 »

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