On My Shelf: Girl, Nearly 16, Absolute Torture

Girl, Nearly 16, Absolute Torture, by Sue Limb, is my favorite book of all time. Yes, it’s a bit dated—it takes place during a primitive time when you had to get out of bed to access the Internet. Yes, it’s a silly teen comedy, and not a masterpiece of modern literature. And, yes, Jess Jordan wouldn’t […]

6 Tips for Naming Your Characters

Who else LOVES naming characters? That’s right. We all do. I can spend hours just browsing baby name websites. Google thinks that I’m pregnant and keeps trying to sell me baby booties. Which, you know, are adorable, but what I’m actually after is the perfect name for New Character #847. It’s only natural to want […]

5 Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School

Some writing tricks are great for essays, but terrible for novels. These school writing skills should stay in the classroom.

We’ve all been to school, right? (I hope we’ve all been to school.) And, likely as not, that’s where we all got the majority of our writing practice. From our first sentences to our final papers, we learned about everything from grammar to punctuation to structure to form. And those skills are, like, 97% transferable […]

How Depression Made Me A Writer

Depression sucks. But it also helped to make me a writer. (But it also sucks, so, you know, don't try this at home.)

I have chronic depression. (Starting on a happy note, right?) It started in my freshman year of high school, receded about halfway through college, stayed away for several years, and has recently made a reappearance. Suddenly, I remember why I hated high school so much. It wasn’t just because of the petty drama, or the […]

How to Motivate Yourself to Write (And/Or Edit)

Some surefire strategies that'll get you writing...even when you really, really, really don't want to.

No matter how much you love writing, there’s going to come a point when it just. Sucks. Maybe you’ve been working a lot of overtime and you have no energy left. Maybe your creative muse has decided to drop everything and go to the Bahamas for a three-week vacation. Maybe you’ve been editing nonstop and […]