Is “said” worthless?

In college writing classes, we sit in a tight circle, facing each other. Sometimes, we critique our own works; other times we discuss writing. But one time — and only once — everyone raised their voices against what I suggested. I disagreed with the author using the word "said" for every single dialogue tag. I … Continue reading Is “said” worthless?

One big tip for knowing how you’ve gotten a good editor

Editing is essential. As writers, we all need some type of editing. Even me, who is trained in editing, is not the best editor for my own work. There are mistakes that our brains cannot find in our stories, our children. So, editors become our biggest helpers. What's great is that some editors will give … Continue reading One big tip for knowing how you’ve gotten a good editor

Can you stop writing – take a break – for “too long”?

On the first day of class, eighteen students sat in a circle, facing each other as awkward as can be. We didn't really look at each other, and most of us had no idea what we were doing there. Our teacher leaned forward and turned to look at each of us. She asked how long … Continue reading Can you stop writing – take a break – for “too long”?

Book review – To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (Spoiler Free)

“This was a really amazing part of your adventure, Hamlet. You’re sure that, should you ever one day write a book about this story or perhaps a stage production, you’d DEFINITELY include this scene. Why, you’d have to be literally crazy to write a story where you journey to England, get attacked by pirates — … Continue reading Book review – To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (Spoiler Free)

Getting rid of Shakespeare

As an English major, I have joined the clubs of I-have-read-too-many-Shakespeare-plays-to-count and when-can-I-stop-reading-Hamlet-even-though-it's-my-favorite. It seems that I can't spend a semester without Shakespeare. But one of my professors, who is also an English advisor, discussed making Shakespeare not a requirement with my senior class. Both sides explained their opinions. Some students felt Shakespeared out and some … Continue reading Getting rid of Shakespeare

A writer habit

I always end up listening to people's words and writing them down. It's worse when I'm in class. I'll be writing notes or a blog down when I hear a great line to write down. My margins get filled with other people's words. They're diagonal and lopsided. I can't even remember where some come from. … Continue reading A writer habit

What writing classes are like

I'm not sure anyone talks about college writing classes. Movies say we have our classes in auditoriums. Writing classes, also known as workshops, never have over eighteen people. I have one with twelve people right now. One time only six people showed up. On the first day, we introduce ourselves for almost seven minutes each. … Continue reading What writing classes are like

What book saved me?

I stopped reading when I was about six. That’s strange to say, right? Here I am: a storyteller, a writer. But I also have a tough past with reading. Around first grade, I got tired of those reading tests. I hated reading something just to get asked hard comprehension questions. I didn’t understand any of … Continue reading What book saved me?

Interpreting stories

In English classes everywhere, writers’ works get interpreted. They will even “find symbolism” that writers never meant. It's like they have an itch to find some deeper meaning. I don’t want people interpreting my stories wrong. I’d rather a fan come up to me or email me, asking me about it. I may address some … Continue reading Interpreting stories

Journey to publish

The last day of class was usually the day everyone bolts out the door when possible, but us writers stayed in our seats instead. “I’m just gonna talk about some publishing things for people who are interested,” our teacher repeated. I always called him Turtle, because he’s old, wise, and talks so slow. “You're not … Continue reading Journey to publish