Speed Writing: E-Publishing Demands Prolific Writers

As some of you may have heard by now, Carlos Fuentes (pictured above), Latin American literary giant, passed away yesterday of an apparent heart attack.  If there is one legacy that Fuentes leaves behind is his prolific writing career.  The man was a machine.  He would finish a novel and then start on another writingContinue reading “Speed Writing: E-Publishing Demands Prolific Writers”

Tolkien’s 5 Tips for Creating Complex Heroes

Tolkien’s letters are rich with information about J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing process.  I wrote a post last week about Aragorn being Tolkien’s example of an epic hero, and someone posted: “But Frodo Baggins is the hero of the LOTR trilogy, right?”  I would argue that he is not, but only one of three or four characters who togetherContinue reading “Tolkien’s 5 Tips for Creating Complex Heroes”

Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Creating Epic Heroes

One of my most popular posts is Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Writers, in which I glean from J.R.R. Tolkien’s letters of his wisdom about writing.  Today I will delve into his letters again, but will focus on the epic character Aragorn and ask Professor Tolkien how he created great characters. 1.  Motivational Mirrors – TolkienContinue reading “Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Creating Epic Heroes”

Youthful Dreams: A Writer’s Journey Over 25 Years

I started writing short stories and poetry in 10th grade.  The reason, in the beginning, was simple: wooing women.  Of course, none of the poems I wrote ever ended up in the hands of any girls, but I soldiered on, and my sophomore year began with a creative writing class where we were not reallyContinue reading “Youthful Dreams: A Writer’s Journey Over 25 Years”

5 Reasons Why Writing Is Hard Work

Today is the day we write about something beginning with the letter “W” as part of the grueling race that is the “A to Z Blogging Challenge”.  When I think of today’s chosen letter, I can think of nothing else but the thing I love most: writing. There is a current boon of self-published writersContinue reading “5 Reasons Why Writing Is Hard Work”

Vade Mecum: 6 Reference Books All Writers Need

Vade Mecum, Latin for “go with me” has come to mean any book kept constantly on hand.  I posted an article a few days ago about science fiction novels that every writer must read, but today I thought I would list five reference books absolutely necessary for success in the craft of writing.  These booksContinue reading “Vade Mecum: 6 Reference Books All Writers Need”

5 Authors With Style Worth Studying

Style is defined as the characteristic manner of expression in prose or verse or how a particular writer phrases things.  If we are to become better writers, we must develop our own sense of style.  According to the Dictionary of Literary Terms & Theory, “the analysis of style involves examination of a writer’s choice of words,Continue reading “5 Authors With Style Worth Studying”

How to Write Descriptively With Metaphors

Metaphors are one of the most used literary devices in the English language second only to similes. The problem with using similes is that they often cause your writing to become a mine field of quantifiers. (i.e. His breath was like the foul smell of a garbage heap and his face was like a pockContinue reading “How to Write Descriptively With Metaphors”

Lazy Writing and How to Avoid It

I’ve been teaching writing for almost 14 years and have been writing fiction for 25.  It has been my experience that anyone can write well if given the proper tools and education.  Usually someone tip-toes into my classroom with their short story or poem or random work of fiction under their arm.  They hold itContinue reading “Lazy Writing and How to Avoid It”

Hubris: How to Write Great Villains Into Your Novel

Why do my students love the Joker so much?  The guy has absolutely no redeeming qualities.  He is completely mad, is an agent of chaos, loves to torture the innocent, has brought Gotham City to its knees on countless occasions, yet all the kids seem to love him.  It is because he has what theContinue reading “Hubris: How to Write Great Villains Into Your Novel”