Abercrombie. Nickelback. American Idol. Razr. Would you keep reading a book if you encountered these pop culture references in the first chapter? Learn the psychology behind both sides of the argument!
Last night, I hit 11,300 words in my new novel. (Asking yourself what happened to Eleanor? See this post). Writing a first draft is always a weird process for me. On one hand, the first draft is probably my most exhilarating draft. It is raw ideas splashed across a page. It is something created from … Continue reading Why do writers dislike their own writing?
Criss Cross, a Newberry Medal winner from Lynn Rae Perkins, begins with the sentence, "She wished something would happen." This sentence is followed up with a meandering story, told from the perspective of six different adolescents across the span of one summer. Nothing dramatic happens to any of them. None of them end up dating each other. … Continue reading Criss Cross: Do Books Really Need Plots?
If you've ever taken a course in creative writing, you'll know that being on this list is a compliment! A writer's main goal is to manipulate his reader's emotions. The writers on this list manipulated my emotions so effectively that they bypassed all secondary and tertiary emotions and tapped into one of my primary emotions, … Continue reading 6 Sickening Moments in Classic Literature
As I read a novel, I like to collect some of its most evocative phrases and store them in my journal. Leafing through that journal, I've noticed that analogies (metaphors, similes, and the like) far outweigh all other types of phrases, which has led me to ponder the allure of the gems that make up … Continue reading Let’s Get Meta: a look at analogies and why we use them
When You Reach Me has A Wrinkle in Time. Fifty Shades of Grey has Tess of d'Urbervilles. You've Got Mail has Pride and Prejudice. No matter what genre you examine, you will find books that are continually winging their characters back to the pages of other books. What is the meaning of these books within a book? Are authors trying to send us … Continue reading Metabooks!
I've been toying with a theory about the formation of a preference for writing vs. speaking (and vice versa). Most people I know do have some preference. They either feel more comfortable communicating through the written word or the spoken one. The impetus of my theory was myself, washing dishes one night. As I was washing the … Continue reading Writers and Their Inner Voices