World building is typically associated with genre fiction like fantasy or sci-fi, but I’d argue that it’s just as important for stories set in the real world.
Why? Check out my full article on Pop Culture Uncovered!
World building is a key element of story craft in which an author creates and defines the universe in which he or she will write. Good world building is consistent above all else—and also gives the story meaning. A Google search of “world building” pulls up almost 150 million results, almost all of them relating […]
Recently I was asked to speak to a group of undergraduate students about my freelancing job as a writer and editor, answering the usual “How did you get your first project?” and “When did you know you wanted to write?” sort of questions. Those are easy to answer–my first project was for a friend, and I figured out I wanted to write as a career in 2014–but harder to do was create an actionable piece of advice. In the audience were students of diverse backgrounds and work experience. Some were in their 30’s; others were not long out of high school. Some wanted to work in creative fields and others didn’t.
What could I say that might help all of them?
Thanks to alceptress for nominating me for the three-day quote challenge!
In my early teens, I worshiped a manga called The Prince of Tennis. As an avid tennis player myself, I appreciated the characters’ tenacity as well as their humorous twists on regular tennis shots. One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the series’s author and illustrator, Takeshi Konomi:
From the beginning of the ninth book — my favorite quote of all!
“What’s worthwhile is never easy.”
This applies to anything — from sports to writing to whatever your passion may be. There are no shortcuts; we have to put in the work.
Today I’m nominating Blooming Laura and anotetohuguette. The rules: post three quotes across three different days, link to my blog, and nominate two new bloggers, if you choose to do so 🙂
Missed part one? Check it out here. Stay turned for part three!
[2018 edit: As of May 2018, WordPress has–unfortunately–shut down their Community Pool.]
I love Mondays.
Not only because I recently quit my job to focus on writing and had two recent journal publications. And it’s not only because I have exciting projects lined up, both with others and by myself. All of these rock, but there’s more to it than that.
The best thing about Monday is WordPress’s Community Pool.
Creative Commons. Image courtesy of Clintus.
[2018 update: Unfortunately this journal is no longer available online. Thank you everyone for your support!]
Flashback: In 2014, I was finishing my undergraduate studies, feeling pretty unsure about my future. My university’s literature magazine had rejected every piece I sent. Should I bother pursuing writing further? Did I need to go to grad school to succeed? Should I get a day job and write on the side? Up until this point, my life had been decided for me: go to school, do some homework, repeat. I had no idea what to do now that I could make my own decisions. Continue reading
An employee grinding away at the same menial tasks day after day. An author struggling with writer’s block. A professional athlete in a slump. A self-employed entrepreneur exhausted from constantly marketing their brand/product. A blogger whose posts garner only a few views.
Sometimes, no matter how much you love something, you need a break.
Recently, I took a double hiatus, from writing and my full-time job. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading
At the beginning of last summer, I started a new job at a local university. With the professors and students on break, the first three months were quiet, and I’m not the type of person who can sit at a desk and twiddle my thumbs for forty hours a week. Writing occupied me until I sent my novel to an editor-friend; after that, I read until fellow author Bernice L. Rocque recommended Goodreads.
I spent the next month shelving and reviewing books to kill time. I like thinking critically about what I read; this made me a perfect candidate for English major-ship in college. Goodreads was a fun past time, but I didn’t expect anything more. I never thought reviewing books would help my own writing.
What my Goodreads stacks would look like in real life! Photo Credit: Ginny
“Write what you know” is standard advice in creative writing programs. While earning my B.A. in English, I experimented by writing about ballroom dancing and piano (things I knew) as well as pregnancy and war (things I didn’t). My most successful stories featured what I knew: I described ballroom dance competitions with more plausibility than a helivac scene in Eastern Europe.
So what I’m about to say might sound counterintuitive: forget about writing what you know. Continue reading