Writing for Life

Mondays

What You Can Do When the World Is Plotting Against You

discouraged

Today’s guest post is by David Villalva:

Hair was never a good look for me.

Photographic evidence recently surfaced when I showed my kids a high school yearbook image. My daughter giggled as my son proclaimed, “Maybe you do look better bald.” While that may be true, I still went into shock when I began losing my hair at nineteen years old.

Hair loss was not part of the plan. So I obsessed about how it would impact my life. Work? Goals? Relationships? I mean, I was never a ladies’ man but . . . 

I decided to take action.

First, I planned to save hairs by shampooing less often. And no more styling gel. Then I grew it out to look thicker. Next, I wore a hat to conceal it.

I eventually asked my parents for Rogaine as a birthday gift (because I was too self-conscious to buy it myself). Once I received the gift, its packaging claimed to strictly help the bald spot on heads. Wait, I was losing it everywhere!

Boo genetics. Continue Reading…

The Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing

Wednesdays

Telling the Whole Story: Fiction and the Problem of Underwriting

FatalFlaw_9

This month our editors are going to tackle Fatal Flaw #9—Underwriting. We looked at the perils of overwriting early in the year, but “underwriting” is another problematic area for novelists. Too often necessary information is left out of a scene, leaving readers scratching their heads. This may pertain to narrative, dialog, setting—every and any component found in fiction. Today editor Rachel Scott Thomson kicks off our look at underwriting by exploring the problems with sketchy writing.

Modern writers have been heavily influenced by the movies. On the one hand this is good—the best of visual media will teach us pacing, plotting, great dialog, and hopefully the mechanics of a good setting.

But books are not movies, they are not TV, and getting our training from them can sometimes lead us to forget something:

Our stories are invisible. Continue Reading…

Grammar, Punctuation & Confusables

Fridays

Don’t Assume Too Much

Say What new

I’m sure you know what happens when you assume too much. But if you understand the distinction between assume and presume, you can avoid the resulting embarrassment.

Both assume and presume mean to believe something is true or will happen before it does. The distinction between these two words is in the degree of certainty. To assume something is to have only an instinct or gut feeling, not necessarily any fact or proof on which to base your assumption.

When I find a new scratch on my ninety-year-old neighbor’s vehicle, I might assume someone sideswiped him. Or he got a little too close to a wall. Continue Reading…

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