My Writing

Kill Your Darlings (But Don’t Bury Them)

Kill your darlings.

As writers, we’re very accustomed to two kinds of murder: the murder of characters, and the murder of amazing sentences and scenes that don’t advance the plot—aka “kill your darlings.” “Kill your darlings” means that you need to put quality over sentimentality. We’ve all written brilliant sentences that wound up not really helping our story, or […] Read more…

Why You Should Write Fanfiction

A while back, I mentioned that I got my fiction-writing start via Twilight fanfiction. Which is, okay, a little embarrassing for two reasons: one, it’s Twilight, and two…it’s Twilight. I went back and tried to re-read the first one last year and I just…ugh…gah. What I remembered as being a moody, dreamy, slightly dumb love […] Read more…

How I Knew I Was a Writer

Being a writer is a funny thing. We wait and wait for some kind of outside validation—someone to tell us that we’re real writers now, not just hobbyists. Unfortunately, there’s no standard metric for when you become a writer, instead of just someone who likes to write. We have to figure it out all on […] Read more…

The Writer’s Guide to Themes and Motifs

ruby rumsey writer's guide to themes and motifs theme motif literary terms allusion allegory metaphor simile symbol theme

I was writing along the other day, as you do, when Calliope & Co. blessed me with insight. All of my characters make horrible decisions fueled by good intentions. That sounds so h*cking fancy. What a great theme. Or is it a motif? It’s been a really long time since I was in an English class. Even […] Read more…

My First Story

Everyone’s first story is bad, and it can be pretty embarrassing to cast our minds back to that first awful attempt at fiction. But we all have to start somewhere…so, in the interest of solidarity and mutually assured humiliation, I’m going to tell you about mine. Like most people, I wrote my first story when […] Read more…