Beat by Beat Editing: The End of Days, Part One

Beat by Beat Editing: The End of Days, Part One

The chapter we’re about to edit comes from a story by Mackenzie Lusby, who won the short story contest I ran last year. If you like, you can see the full chapter, along with my edits and suggestions, here. Here’s how the story opens: “In here! Quickly!” Artemis Hoxley...
Designing Characters: Desires, Goals, and Motivations

Designing Characters: Desires, Goals, and Motivations

You want your characters to jump out of the pages of your book, to feel like real people, to make readers believe in them and their story. Forget then physical appearance, background, beliefs, and all other small items on your typical characterization checklist. Start...
Write It Like You Mean It and Never Apologize

Write It Like You Mean It and Never Apologize

Self-conscious arguments, apologetic language, and self-censorship are in vogue recently. It’s as if there’s an invisible panel of judges standing over your shoulder as you write, and not even the privacy of your journal can protect you from them. You could say social...
Why People Justify Being Wrong?

Why People Justify Being Wrong?

Have you ever heard anyone on the radio, TV, or in real life say, “You know what, after a short reflection, I don’t think I meant what I said a moment ago. I was looking for a different phrasing, and it sort of got jumbled up, and—Well, you know how it is.”? No....
You Choose Your Readers Long Before They Choose You

You Choose Your Readers Long Before They Choose You

If you struggle to find your readers, it’s because you haven’t decided what to stand for yet. It is a real, practical marketing problem faced by all kinds of creatives. Let me explain, using the example of this blog. My motivational, self-help, and rough-but-true...