Category: On Writing


Research Can be a Fun Part of Writing Fiction

Most books require research to make them accurate, even if you are writing science fiction or fantasy; these story worlds still need to feel believable and logical to the readers. Most works include at least one or two aspects outside of the author’s personal experiences or knowledge. This information—these details—help to get the readers wrapped up in the story.


Writing Villains into a Story

I like reading advice on writing from other authors. Many times I find really great ideas that help improve my own writing abilities. For example, in On Writing, Stephen King (2001) recommends listening to music to help a writer block out the world and focus on the work […]


Bursts of Creativity

One of my favorite stories about J.R.R. Tolkien centers around the first time he wrote the following line: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Tolkien scribbled this on an exam he was grading for one of his students at Oxford. These small notations can eventually develop into short stories, or into one of the most enduring fantasy epics of our time, which is why getting these ideas down on paper (or on the computer/tablet screen) remains important.


On Writing: Good Things

Saturday was the first day I had a few minutes to sit outside and relax in the sunlight. After a long, cold winter in the Midwest, the first warm spring day is something very special. But the first warm spring day that a person can spend time outside […]


On Writing: Proofreading

These are the types of headlines that some people enjoy finding in newspapers or online articles. Many of those errors are caused by mistaken intent—i.e. a reader inferred a meaning that the writer did not intend. Some, of course, are proofreading errors. Proofreading and editing your work is […]

Image from Dreamstime by Sherrie Smith

On Writing: Parkinson’s Law

          Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? It originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 254 other followers