Advice · Writing

Show vs. Tell: The Definitive Run-Down

“More showing, less telling” is the battle cry of the the beta reader. But what does it actually mean? First of all, let’s start by saying that showing and telling are both okay techniques when used properly. There’s nothing inherently wrong with either. What’s wrong is using them exclusively. A book entirely told is boring.… Continue reading Show vs. Tell: The Definitive Run-Down

Novels

Gender Ratios in Novels: Check Your Biases

Recently I was reading a few studies about how even when women speak less than men, they are perceived to be noisier. In fact, in one study, conducted by Australian researcher Dale Spender, when women spoke only 15% of the time, they were perceived as having spoken an equal amount to men. And when they… Continue reading Gender Ratios in Novels: Check Your Biases

Current Events · Publishing · Saint Flaherty Series · What Boys Are Made Of · Writing

Announcing the Publication of What Boys Are Made Of

More than four years ago—was it five, was it six?—I wrote a short story late one night. There was nothing of consequence about it, except the voice. It was urgent, and close. It spoke in words you’d hear any day of the week, using grammar that was less than standard. Its metaphors were colloquial, whispers intimate.… Continue reading Announcing the Publication of What Boys Are Made Of

Advice · Opinion · Words · Writing

The Ten Commandments of Writing

Most of writing is pretty subjective. What styles we use, adjectives we choose, the rhythms and phrasing—they all depend on the author’s voice. That said, there are a few things we can all agree are pretty awful no matter who writes them. Not with characterization or plotting or world-building, but with the building blocks we all use:… Continue reading The Ten Commandments of Writing

Saint Flaherty Series · Writing

Am I Making You Tense? In Defense of First-Present

Think of a book, your favorite book. Quick, what tense is it written in? Past or present? You probably had to think for a moment. Nothing wrong with that. Any book that’s written well will be remembered for its content, not its perspective. Nevertheless, persist. What was it written in? Now what was the perspective,… Continue reading Am I Making You Tense? In Defense of First-Present

Comedy · Why I'm a Ridiculous Person · Writing

Things We Do In Books (that no one actually does)

Does anyone actually call their kid “child?” Or refer to their son, to his face, as “son?” How about calling their daughter in conversation “daughter?” If books were to be believed, we do this constantly, but I’ll swear to you I’ve only once, and ever once, heard one person in the world say, “Here you are,… Continue reading Things We Do In Books (that no one actually does)