Writing Tips and Prompts

Kill Your Darlings (But Don’t Bury Them)

It's the oldest piece of writing advice: Kill your darlings. But don't bury them just yet.

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 […]

10 Fandoms That I Didn’t Expect to Join

This is part of The Broke and the Bookish’s “Top Ten Tuesdays” meme. When it comes to fandoms, I definitely have a “type.” I like what I like, and I like to know what I’m going to get. I tend to not jump headfirst into new fandoms on purpose because I’m a little too aware of how […]

Why You Should Write Fanfiction

I got my start writing Twilight fanfiction. And I'm not ashamed of that. In fact, I think you should write fanfiction, too. (But it doesn't have to be Twilight.)

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 […]

The Writer’s Guide to Themes and Motifs

Writers need a decent grasp on English literature, but in case you haven't been in a classroom for years, here's a quick crash course on themes, motifs, and other literary terms you may have forgotten.

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 […]

Stop Worrying About Being Original

Want to write something original? Worried that you'll never write anything unique? Here's why you shouldn't worry about not writing original work.

Writers stress endlessly over being original enough. Beyond the fact that plagiarization is a crime (and a very expensive crime, at that), we all suffer from this idea that if we aren’t 1000% original at all times, our ideas aren’t good enough. We think that if someone else thought of it first, they’ve essentially called […]