Antagonists: Mental Illness is an Overdone and Ableist Trope

I recently had a fellow writer comment that Roi, the antagonist for Warrior Tithe, gave them “Ramsay Bolton vibes”. I took it as a compliment. A character readers love to hate. However, I want to say this. Cu Roi mac Daire is a legendary figure from The Ulster Cycle, not someone suffering from mental illness.Continue reading “Antagonists: Mental Illness is an Overdone and Ableist Trope”

On Genre: Where Does My Werewolf Story Belong?

Traditionally, a werewolf in a story earned a book a spot on the shelf of the horror section of a bookstore. However, today there are many genres that include supernatural, potentially monstrous creatures that are not inherently cursed or evil. Categorizing a werewolf story is depends on the plot, not the supernatural creature. For example,Continue reading “On Genre: Where Does My Werewolf Story Belong?”

Back Up Your Work: A Cautionary Tale

Writers like to use different programs to get their work down. Microsoft Word being the most common. I personally switch between Word and Google Docs, but I own Scrivener. I use Scrivener for the planning stages of a book, the notes, the outline, little character cards, etc. It’s a lot better than my wall lookingContinue reading “Back Up Your Work: A Cautionary Tale”

Struggling with Imposter Syndrome? You’re Not Alone

After dickering around writing and doing nothing with it for years, about five years ago, I decided to take writing seriously. I started attending classes and workshops to improve. I had the audacity to assume that I could put out better work than what was out there. I thought I could be like Toni MorrisonContinue reading “Struggling with Imposter Syndrome? You’re Not Alone”

Opening Lines

When I was new to writing, I’d read that an author should make the first line the best. It’s your hook, so make it memorable. Another book said an author should sum up the entirety of their book in the first line. I thought that the second was absurd and you couldn’t possibly do both….thenContinue reading “Opening Lines”

Reflection Sunday

In my Facebook writers’ group Speculative Twist, I ask my fellow fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers to share with me their writerly wins, setbacks, and plans for the following week. I like to do this because as writers, unless we’re working for a magazine, or on a publisher’s deadline, we don’t get the sameContinue reading “Reflection Sunday”

What Does Genre Mean to a Writer?

Anyone old enough to remember card catalogues, remembers learning the Dewy Decimal System–a library’s classification system based on subject. Dewey Decimal Classifications: 000 – Computer science, information & general works 100 – Philosophy & psychology 200 – Religion 300 – Social sciences 400 – Language 500 – Pure Science 600 – Technology 700 – Arts & recreation 800 – Literature 900 – History & geographyContinue reading “What Does Genre Mean to a Writer?”

Speed Writing/One Draft and Done: Why It’s Not for Beginners (Or, Anyone Really)

I attended a conference a year ago where I learned a lot about the indie publishing industry. I loved it because women (and not just cis, heterosexual, white women) were on panels for science fiction and fantasy writing. The speakers were accessible and I did a lot of networking there. I even had a chanceContinue reading “Speed Writing/One Draft and Done: Why It’s Not for Beginners (Or, Anyone Really)”

Point of View (POV): An Important Choice in Story Craft

Ever read something where you’re not sure who’s telling the story? Unless you’re an English professor or have been to a writing workshop with new writers, probably not. Experienced writers know that choosing a POV is an important part of writing a story. But what is “point of view,” besides who is telling the story?Continue reading “Point of View (POV): An Important Choice in Story Craft”

How Do I Write a Novel?

You’re a reader and you’ve got a creative spark. An idea has been brewing in your head. You’ve decided to write a novel. You sit down at your keyboard, or open a notebook and uncap your pen, and then you stare at the page. Why? You’ve read hundreds of books over the span of yourContinue reading “How Do I Write a Novel?”