Writerlicious

By Kristina Elyse Butke | A scrumptious sampling of the writing life.

The Hate U Give Is a Bestselling YA Novel About Police Brutality. It’s Brilliant.

Angie Thomas’ debut Young Adult novel, <i>The Hate U Give</i>, has been at the top of the YA bestseller lists for six weeks. It’s a poignant story told from …

Black Lives Matter

Spectacle and Impostor

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo America loves ambition. Our national fairy tale stars the bootstrapping dreamer rocketed to prosperity on his …

Literature

Write What You Want to Know | creative writing blog

The other day, during my weekly call with my dear writing guru, Andreea, I bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t started planning for NaNoWriMo yet, and …

Writing

How to Copyright a Book Series | Goldman & Minton, P.C.

There is no question about it — we are in the era of binge reading books written by our favorite writers as much as we are in the era of binge …

Publishing

Deconstruction for Writers | creative writing blog

Literary theory (and deconstruction in particular) was one of the most eye-opening and exciting subjects that I studied at university, but I know …

How to Grow As a Writer | creative writing blog

Writing often feels like taking two steps forward and one step back (or worse, one forward and two back). As if that weren’t hard enough, naysayers …

Writing

The Peril of Being Disbelieved: Horror and the Intuition of Women

There is a woman in a forest. Or maybe on a highway by a cornfield. At the doorway of a condemned building.<p>And she knows that something is wrong.<p>She …

Bad Things

Four Writers Tell All About Titles

The title of a book, along with maybe the cover, is most often what’s going to lead a potential reader to pick up your baby book. Which isn’t to say …

Publishing

How not to title a novel

Marketing departments seem to have homogenised the business of christening novels. It's enough to give reading a bad name<p>Apparently book titles can't be copyrighted – I was going to call my first tome Confessions of an English Opium Eater, before my advisers counselled against it – which might …

Why Some Novels Say “A Novel” on the Cover, and If Yours Should Too

Ever notice how some novels have “A Novel” written right on the cover, under the title? Maybe you have but haven’t thought about it. Or maybe it …

Catch FIYAH: Notes on Building a Black Speculative Fiction Revolution

<i>FIYAH,</i> a literary magazine dedicated to Black Speculative Fiction, seemed to come out of nowhere earlier this year with its premiere issue. But <i>FIYAH</i> …

Black History

The SFF Equine: Troublesome Tropes About Horses

Just about everybody knows what a horse is. <i>Equus caballus</i>. Odd-toed ungulate. Large herd animal. Prey animal. War machine. Transportation. Companion …

Liability Insurance

My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction

Here’s an activity I highly recommend for science fiction writers (or anyone, really): watch your favorite funny YouTube video with someone from …

Science Fiction

How to Create a Rational Magic System

Magic systems vary from colorful bears with tummy badges to ritual blood sacrifices. Magic isn’t real, so it can be anything we want. But that …

Harry Potter

Crafting points of view: Examples of strong POV from famous novels

When you want to skillfully show or change points of view examples by accomplished authors help. Read 5 examples of skillful POV that show how to …

Fiction Writing

Finding a Successful Story Premise: 6 Sources

Every bestselling or critically acclaimed book began as a story premise. First came the idea the author wouldn’t let go. How do you find a compelling …

Storytelling

Five Exercises for Stronger Narrative Personality

Speculative fiction calls for a vast array of narrative personalities. A spec fic writer could be called on to write in the voice of a clockwork …

Writing

The Seven Worldbuilding Sins of Storytellers

Last week, I described how avid worldbuilders often sideline the stories they’re telling in favor of parading the setting around. Now I’m pointing at …

Storytelling

Five Worldbuilding Mistakes Even Enthusiasts Make

Most worldbuilding mistakes we see over and over again come from lazy storytellers who create worlds as an afterthought. But a few mistakes persist …

Science Fiction

Five Bad Tropes to Drop

Sometimes a trope starts off fine but is overused until it eventually becomes a cliche. That is not what we’re talking about today. Instead, we’ll …

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Five Redundant Characters in Spec Fic

Some characters are good, some are bad, and some are completely redundant. You may have guessed that we’re focusing on the third category today. …

Storytelling

Unreliable vs Omniscient Narrator

‘Narration’ means ‘the action or process of telling a story’ (<i>OED</i>). There are many choices for how you narrate a story. For example, whose viewpoint …

Storytelling

How to create a satisfying story arc: 5 steps

How do you write a novel that has satisfying structure? The story arc or narrative arc of a novel is something you can consciously develop in your …

Storytelling

Let’s Talk About Marvel Comics, the “Diversity Doesn’t Sell” Myth, and What Diversity Really Means

A few days ago a discussion and subsequent interview with David Gabriel, Marvel Comics’ Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, at their retailer summit …

Comic Books

Better Mystery Plots: 7 Clues to Writing Mysteries

What are essential components of mystery plots besides suspicion and secrets? What can Arthur Conan Doyle and cult classic TV mystery series teach us …

Fiction Writing

Why Your Hero Should Eavesdrop and Make a Bad Assumption (in 4 steps)

If every story had perfect communication between characters, Romeo and Juliet would have lived happily ever after.<p>Alas, the messenger never reached …

Harry Potter

The Hero vs. The Secret Good Guy (or How to Chase Your Hero Up a Tree and Pelt Stones at Him in 9 Steps)

You may have heard this old writing advice about how to structure a story:<p>Act One, chase your hero up a tree; Act Two, pelt stones at him; Act Three, …

Harry Potter

How We Got 10 Million Teens to Read Fiction on Their Phones

The story of Hooked<p>Three years ago, I was living in a small surf town in Costa Rica and writing my first novel, when I had a panic attack.<p>The novel …

Storytelling

'She's a thief who steals others' hard-won words' - Eilis O'Hanlon on the plagiarist who stole her novel

She was neat, polite and friendly. "On meeting her, she feels like a really nice, hard-working person," he told me. She didn't mix much with the …