Category Archives: writing

Why We Need Better Representation in Publishing

I recently gave an interview to Alaina Leary at Bustle on the topic of disability representation within the publishing industry. Alaina’s final published piece is well worth a read. Check it out! My full responses to the questions Alaina sent … Continue reading

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Good Characters: Who Are They?

Everyone who reads (or watches films) can remember characters that stuck with them: characters we loved, characters we were in love with, characters we wanted to be, characters who terrified us. But what makes them memorable? What makes them good? … Continue reading

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What Freelancing Taught Me About Fiction Writing (and Vice Versa)

If you’ve been reading my writing advice, you may wonder: why is my “writing advice” section a mishmash of notes on “creative” writing (fiction, poetry, etc.) and notes on “commercial” writing (copy)? Here’s why: It’s all the same thing. When … Continue reading

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How to (Almost But Not Quite) Write a Successful Query Letter

As an established blogger in a relatively niche community, I get the occasional query email from folks who are looking for platforms to publish their writing. Occasionally, these are targeted, thoughtful, and demonstrate that the writer actually read my blog. … Continue reading

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Chekov’s Bear Arms, Or “Does the Gun Have to Go Off in Act Three?”

Author Anton Chekhov gave variations on the following writing advice several times during his life: “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, … Continue reading

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Keeping the Pace: Legal Writing vs Academic Writing

Back at the law firm, we had a “pace” for long-form research-based writing, like recommendation letters and legal briefs: one page per hour.  This was approximately how long producing these pages actually took, from the moment one of the paralegals … Continue reading

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A Quick Guide to Writing Satire

This bit of wisdom appeared on my Tumblr dash recently: (#THAT TAG THO) And, since the topic of “how to write satire effectively” has come up for several of my students in the past few weeks, I thought I’d offer … Continue reading

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