An essay about why the vocation of writing can sometimes feel shameful, and how to own that shame and then eventually conquer it.
In: Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kellie Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Salman Rushdie, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Word Play
Hemingway, famously, kept it short and sweet. But if you've got the gift of gab, like Nabokov and Marquez, you can stretch out with sentences that gallop, guffaw, and bulge with overstuffed wit.
In: Literary Devices, Narrator, Rosemary's Baby, The Great Gatsby, The Haunting of Hill House, unreliable narrator, Word Play
Chuck Palahniuk talks about the unresolved, and how undecidability is always more scary than simply being told the answer.
In this first of a series of new craft essays, Chuck Palahniuk displays a method for helping your characters cope against dramatic situations. He also delves into the language of singing, mantras and the importance of a good scream.
What does it mean 'to wassail'? Why did King Wenceslas go out on Boxing Day? Why does figgy pudding come with a lighter? Find out the origins of these and other odd Christmas Carol lyrics.
The overuse of adjectives and adverbs can ruin sentences and flatten descriptive passages.
In: Craft, Dialogue, Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Grammar, Linguistics, List, Phrases, Sociolinguistics, Verbs, Voice, Word Play
What's that word doing there? When it comes to spoken language, nothing is accidental. Linguists are working on finding meaning in every 'oh,' 'um,' 'well,' and 'okay.' The results might surprise you.
The baddest of the prose villains, that one word that, when mis-used, can single-handedly wreck an entire page of fiction for me, if not the whole piece: As.
“Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”: Malaprops, Puns, Spoonerisms, Eggcorns, and other hilarity-inducing word mix-ups.
Words are flexible and a writer can have a lot of fun using these devices.