Too many periods? Too few? If you feel like it, you can use periods only now and then, and in doing so come up with long and articulate paragraphs brimming with all the other punctuation marks — you know what I mean — the usual suspects: the run-of-the-mill comma, the snooty semicolon, the perennially over-excited exclamation point, and the dubious question mark, just to name a few; I mean... Why on earth should one ever repeatedly resort to the period, when she could instead rely on such an abundance of perfectly satisfactory alternatives? Stop staring at the above one-sentence … [Read more...] about How to Use Punctuation Marks — the Period (Full Stop)
Creative Writing Tips
When my wife, who is my most important beta reader, ends reading the first draft -- or the second -- of one of my works, well… that's always a delicate moment. In fact -- no matter how hard I try to keep my composure -- at times one remark of hers is all it takes for me to answer back -- to defend and explain all the reasons I've written what I've written.This is an understandable reaction. The same reaction of a proud father against anyone telling him his child is a bit too wild and banshee-like. However, about the editing process and the comments you may get from family members, … [Read more...] about How To Make the Most of Your Beta Readers’ Feedback
The two dimensions of time In life we tend to classify everything into difficult or easy things. However, we'd better bear in mind this classification is fluid. For example, many things we consider difficult when we are young become second nature as we grow up, and the opposite is also true. For example, I remember quite clearly that as a child I could easily bite my own toes. Now instead it's something I can only dream of. Of course, I'm not exactly missing the toe biting thing, but the flexibility such feat entailed. Moreover, in some not so rare cases, aging we start again to find … [Read more...] about On the Inescapable Indeterminacy of Writing
Before a genre hopping writer I was a genre hopping reader. When I was six I bought my first manga book. Its pages were large but the book itself was thin in terms of pages. Besides, on each page it showed large drawings and only one meager column of text. As a result, in an hour or so I read it from cover to cover. Then for a lack of better options I started over reading the book, and by the day after I had reread it many times. I knew the story by heart and was eager to read something new. According to familiar folklore, it was out of exasperation for my insistent nagging that my … [Read more...] about Is Genre Hopping Really Bad for Beginning Writers?
Today I present a list of some of those bogus writing rules that more often than not end up thwarting the development of beginner writers. Rules will be rules Rules are unbreakable... Sure, like the one about the split infinitive. The truth is you can happily split as many infinitives as you wish, provided the meaning of what you write is clear. By the same token, if you know what you're doing and why, you can break, vanquish, pulverize as many rules as you want. Rules are useless rubbish. Well… Ever tried to drive on the wrong side of the road? Maybe at night, with your lights off … [Read more...] about Important Rules for Writing — Or Not?
1 - A good habit Read a lot. If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. This comes from Mr Stephen King, a guy who should know a thing or two about writing... 2 - Omnivorous reading habits are better Read books pertaining to many different genres. And if you think it's a waste of time, go read Range by David Epstein. It's a very well-written book. Above all, it can be an eyeopener. However for those who are in a time crunch, the book is about the importance that knowing a bit from many different domains can have. In fact, this … [Read more...] about 12 Good Habits for Writers to Enormously Improve the Quality of Their Books