Tag Archives: Creative Writing

Two writers talking about dialogue

5 Ways You’re Writing Your Dialogue Wrong

Good dialogue will punch you in the chest.

It will swing like a fist out of the dark, and when it hits it will make your heart stop.

But when writing dialogue, most writers miss. Even professionals make some major mistakes (I’ll show you a few examples in a minute).

There are five things you need to stop doing when you write dialogue…

Fix these, and you will write dialogue that will smack your readers right in the emotions:

Continue reading 5 Ways You’re Writing Your Dialogue Wrong

Harry Potter and the Irresistible Chapters

How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

Short post, (because I’m kicking NaNoWriMo’s ass).

Let’s say, you just wrote a chapter.

You worked hard on it. You followed the outline. You’re pretty sure it’s the greatest thing anyone has ever written.

Until, a week later, you re-read it …

…it’s a boring, drivel-ly, snot-filled MESS.

When did this Chapter get so boring?

There is a fix. This technique will instantly make all your chapters irresistible page turners, and readers will glue themselves to your book:

Continue reading How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

A Professional Question of Murder – (Flash Fiction)

In this line of work there were few answers, and many questions.

One question, in particular, stuck out like a knife from a dead man’s chest: “Could you ever kill a friend?”

For years, Blay the Assassin thought about it, turning it over and over in the quiet hours of the long, cold nights. The unanswered question never diminished. Blay’s passion for the craft, however, did. He found himself a rich man, and even the luster of “professional power-shifting” had grown tiresome to him.

Blay the Assassin was done.

Or so he thought.

Continue reading A Professional Question of Murder – (Flash Fiction)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outline

Didn’t you know? A bad outline is the death of a good story.

How can you be creative when everything is already planned out for you?

No emotion in the writer, no emotion in the reader.

How can you follow this rule when you already know everything that’s going to happen?

Like an overbearing parent, a detailed outline can suck all the danger and excitement out of your next story. Here’s a post from NY Book Editors that explains all the problems writers, especially newer writers, cause for themselves whenever they outline their work.

So that’s it? All this talk about how dangerous outlines are, let’s just forget about them?

Please. If not for your sake, think of your readers. You gotta outline.

WHY? You’re a creative person, and you’ve got a million ideas, and whenever you sit down to write, you always seem to come up with more. What do YOU need an outline for?

Continue reading How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outline

Forlorn girl

How Can We Sing? (300 Word Fiction)

In such a strange land, they found themselves surrounded by nothing familiar. There was the sun, but it was wrong, and the mountains, those were wrong also.

Here, they could not hear The Song, and so they could not sing. Muhlirim knew they would die.

“But all must die, Muhlirim.”

“Yes, yes,” agreed the others, nodding in unison, with their bodies slumped on an unfamiliar hill under the wrong sun.

Muhlirim thought, bending his ear to one side, still half-listening for the song of familiar stars, though he knew he would not hear it. Not here, not so far away from home.

“All must die,” Muhlirim said, “But until we do, we must try to live. Do any of you want to die?”

“No, no,” again, in unison, the lost people spoke, their voices tired and empty and without a hint of music. Monotone.

“Muhlirim, how can we sing?” One of them asked, and nobody answered.

A wind howled over the unfamiliar hill, and they all shivered and their teeth chattered. Some animal that they could not see loosed a desperate cry, once, twice, and then no more.

A girl began to cry, and her father tried to comfort her, but her father, too, was overcome with grief, and he cried with her. One by one, Muhlirim’s people were overcome with grief, until the whole hill was filled with the discord of voices, mourning themselves.

“How can we sing, how can we sing,” Muhlirim asked himself, over and over, while his people withered under the wrong sun. He mumbled and muttered until all of his words became one, but not a true word, only a vibration.

A moan, in which he put all of his aching and yearning and determination, until it became something else. Until it became more than a cry. Until it was louder than the voices of all his people.

Until they all sang with him.

The End.

Thank you for reading. If you’re interested in more fiction, check out my latest short story, which you can download for free from Smashwords here, or read on my blog here.

Don’t forget to leave a like, follow the blog, and drop a comment on your way out! All criticism and thoughts are very appreciated. Don’t be shy! I want to know what you think. 

Too Many Names? A Tip for Cleaning Up Your Writing

“The Word of Wigaldir calls you!”

“Eternal life in Enga’s arms.”

“Fear not, sinners. Lether the Blessed will bring us to salvation!”

Like the mating calls of jungle birds, voices sailed over our heads, clamoring for our attention. Bristling with energy and humid with sweat, a forest of limbs and bodies slowed our passage through the bazaar. My guide, a woman half-hidden under a shawl, kept one hand tightly wrapped around my wrist as she pulled me through the Tangle. Bodies pressed in around us.

“What does any of this have to do with my stories?” I shouted over the din of people and prophets.

A girl with golden coins covering her eyes singled me out in the Tangle, writhing as she spoke,  “Come, and worship at the altar of Satina with me. The sensual tongue-”

Continue reading Too Many Names? A Tip for Cleaning Up Your Writing

Strike with Lightning – Using Turning Points to Engage Your Readers

Twelve days in the desert, and I did not know how much farther I had to go. My horses were dead, my waterskins were empty, and my legs shook with every step. The string of mountains I had been following were dwindling, but I found refuge from the sun’s gaze in a cluster of sand-worn boulders.

Before me, the land wavered in the heat. Not a soul in sight. No plants, nor birds. I would have killed for any sign of life. Even a snake would’ve been welcome. Instead, I got a dust devil.

Wind swept down from the mountains, tangling itself up in the heat, until the two were locked in a kind of combat, spinning and throwing each other around, picking up dust, until there was a tower of sand rolling and revolving across the empty dance floor of the desert. The dust devil crackled with energy, and electric tongues licked out from the gathering sand.

Wind tugged on the buttons of my shirt and pulled on my hair. If I wasn’t so exhausted, I would’ve stood up. I could hear the energy crackling, I could feel it in my skin as the dust devil whipped closer to my shelter.

Continue reading Strike with Lightning – Using Turning Points to Engage Your Readers