Always Write with a Dictionary Open

Let it begin: everyone clamoring to explain why they don’t need to use a dictionary. They know how to spell. They know the meaning of words (or can figure them out based on context). They have spellcheck or Grammarly. Yes — I’ve heard it all, and I still think everyone who writes should write with a dictionary open.

Being Professional vs. Being Interesting: Why I Changed and Am Changing My Persona

Back before I had to have a professional persona, I used to think personality was king when it came to blogging. That's not entirely true. Content was king. But content is only interesting in one of two ways: (1) you're saying something relevant and informative and ideally it's new information and/or clearly stated, or (2) you're saying something old but with such personality and flair that people want to read you just for the fun of it.

When To Kill a Character

Let's talk about writing and story craft

In early 2016, I was ask to participate alongside other small press editors as a panelist in the day long event "Get Published! 2016" at the Herrick District Library in Holland, Michigan, hosted by MiFiWriters. The programming mainly focused on the mechanics of publication, so that's what I'd prepped for. But there were a couple … Continue reading When To Kill a Character

Writing What You Know and Researching What You Don’t

"Clips" photo by Dan Wiedbrauk of via Flickr

Beginning writers are often given the advice "write what you know." It's not a rule, not by a long shot. It's advice. And it's not even advice that applies  long-term. It's training wheels. When you're starting to write, you have a lot of brand new considerations to make. You're learning to balance craft -- storytelling, grammar, … Continue reading Writing What You Know and Researching What You Don’t