• Uncategorized

    Stories with Puzzles

    Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard. I’m writing a surreal and puzzle text adventure game. How would I go about writing a plot and making it engaging and enjoyable?” I’m not really sure what kind of book this might be? I mean, I’m familiar with choose-your-own-adventure books and I’ve read some novels that are a little on the experimental side that involve things like puzzles, but I’m not really sure what you’re looking for.  Because of that, I’m going to make this an excuse to talk about this book that I absolutely love called The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. This is the first book I’d ever read that had no joke puzzles in…

  • Uncategorized

    Have Plot, Need Characters

    Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard, I came across your Have Characters, Need Plot post and it was great! My problem is the opposite though, I have a story I have a plot, but I somehow don’t have the main character!” So, this is actually something I’ve been struggling with a little myself lately. I showed someone a chapter of my novel and they said that while it wasn’t a bad start, the protagonist is boring, especially in relation to all of the other characters.  I didn’t think I had a problem with character until that moment – trust me, for about 30 seconds I was in complete existential crisis – but after that…

  • Uncategorized

    A Conversation with @MCubed35

    @Mcubed35, if you don’t know her, is the anonymous blogger behind the amazing Writeblr Connects community. She’s been a huge influence on the Tumblr writing community and has also become a great friend to me over the last few months. She is currently working on a novel, Rose of the Fae, which we’re going to talk a little bit more about today along with some of her other in-the-works projects.   Q: What led you to decide to start writing?   Honestly, I can’t say that any one thing led to it. I’ve just always written–since I was really young. My “first” story was a fan fiction I started in elementary school with…

  • Uncategorized

    A Conversation with Chelsea Bartlett

    Recently, I met Chelsea Bartlett. I wish that I could say I’ve known her for years, because she’s just that cool, but I know her now and that will have to be good enough. Chelsea is a short story writer, currently working on a novel, (you can already see how much we’ve got in common!) and she runs a blog, Princesses, Pirates, and the Pen (which all of you should definitely go follow).  Q: What led you to decide to start writing? Writing is something I’ve always done.  Even before I could do the writing itself, I would dictate stories to my mother and she wrote them down for me.…

  • Uncategorized

    Writing the Climax & Resolution

    Anonymous asked: “Lately I noticed that I’ve been having trouble with the scenes leading up to a climatic moment. They just don’t feel climatic enough. Do you have any tips?” I want to preface this by saying this is not going to be an end-all-be-all on endings or anything remotely like that. It is a few thoughts here and now specifically for this question. Now, let’s get to it.  What I’ve realized is that a lot of new writers think that the climax is actually the moment where everything get’s resolved but that’s not in my experience true. It’s right before that. It’s the moment where the central conflict that has been…

  • Uncategorized

    Not Quite ‘The Chosen One’

    Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I’m having a problem with motivations. I want my villain to take notice of my protagonist but it feels like he has no reason to, and I absolutely hate ‘The Chosen One’ or ‘the I’m SO special and powerful’ tropes which kinda feels like my only options… Do you have any advice for me?” To be honest, “The Chosen One” isn’t something that bothers me as a reader, though, I read a big mix of things and perhaps if I was strictly a fan of fantasy, maybe it would get old fast.  But with that said, there’s some examples that come to mind where I’ve seen a bit…

  • Uncategorized

    A Conversation with Katelynn Kazemzadeh

    It was a quiet September Saturday when I connected with Canadian author, Katelynn Kazemzadeh, over Skype to discuss writing process. It was early still and we both grabbed respectively mugs of Earl Gray. Kate is currently on her way to finishing her first novel, I’ll Keep Your Secret Safe and I was eager to learn more about it. Kate and I first met months ago through the online writing group, Writeblr Connects, while we all get to know each other and chat often about the act of writing and our processes, often what we’re writing remains pretty mysterious. So when we sat down to talk, I had to ask, “What…

  • Uncategorized

    Join Writer Conversation Series

    Anonymous asked: “I’m curious – how I could possibly partake in your author interview?” Easy. Contact me. I’ll have more on just how to do that later in the post but I first want to say that I have been so excited about this series of writer interviews where I’m given sit down and really talk to a writer intensively about their writing, their process, inspiration, and craft.  I could not have been more honored to have had the chance to interview the few writers I’ve been able to chat with so far and that this series will become a way to really help connect and bring together the community of writers I already…

  • Uncategorized

    A Conversation with Tara of @DancingDarklingWrites

    Today, as part of a new series, I’m going to be doing something a little different. I’m conducting an interview – or really a series of interviews – with writers in the thick of their novels, asking what inspires them, how do they choose the topic they are going to write about, and what makes writing so important.  Today, we’re catching up with Tara of @dancingdarklingwrites. Tara and I first connected through the writing group, WriteblrConnects, and I’ve come to know her as a great writer and friend.  Q: What led you to decide to start writing? I’ve honestly always written.  I remember being 6 or 7 years old and…

  • Uncategorized

    No More Excuses, Writers

    Anonymous asked: “I can’t seem to fall in love with my story. I have reworked it and tweaked it 100 times over, but every time I finally think I’m happy with it it starts to fall apart because I start to hate one little problem in it. I’m in love with the characters, which makes me want to stick through it, but I’m at a loss for what to do. Maybe no plot or world will ever be good enough for me…” It’s okay to feel this way from time to time about your novel, but don’t let yourself bask in this feeling for too long, because it’s going to wear…