Blog

Vocative Commas and the Vocative Case

By Chris Saylor Today’s topic, vocative commas (and, by extension, the vocative case), comes from a request from Marilynn Byerly. Let’s start with a definition of what a vocative comma is and what the vocative case is. The vocative case sounds like something made up, but it’s actually a real thing—and it’s pretty straightforward, too.(…)

Avoiding Pointless Conflict in Our Stories

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) As part of my mini-series on goal, motivation, and conflict, we’ve already talked about the antagonist’s role in building conflict in our story. This week I want to look at good conflict vs. bad conflict. Alongside the antagonist standing in our character’s way, our character is also going to face other(…)

Homophone of the Month: Fair vs. Fare

By Chris Saylor For one of my monthly features, I will be covering homophones. I’m going to explain the different meanings, and whenever I can, I’ll give you little tricks to help you remember the difference between them. If nothing else, you’ll at least realize going forward that these two words might be confused, and(…)

Dialogue, Description, and Point of View Box Set

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) I’d hoped to release my second Busy Writer’s Guides box set months ago, but it’s finally available! I’ve put together Dialogue, Point of View in Fiction, and Description this time. Dialogue, point of view, and description are foundational skills you need to master to create vivid fiction that balances your character’s(…)

Using Contractions in Fiction

By Chris Saylor When you were in school and writing research papers, essays, etc., you were probably taught, like I was, that you shouldn’t use contractions in your writing. We were supposed to avoid them at all costs, as they make our writing too intimate to the reader. Our teachers instead wanted us to create(…)

Commonly Confused Words of the Month: “I Could Care Less”

By Chris Saylor Remember back in my first post, when I told you that I believe you need to know the rules so that you can know when and how to break them? In my Commonly Confused Words of the Month feature, I’m going to be going over words and phrases that you might want(…)

Understanding Goal, Motivation, and Conflict: CONFLICT (PART 1)

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about goal, motivation, and conflict and how they work together to fuel your story. Today we’re moving on to the final of the three. Conflict comes down to who is standing in your character’s way and what your character will have to endure(…)

Using Whom in Fiction

By Chris Saylor Deciding whether to use who or whom is one of those tricky areas of writing. How do you keep track of which word goes where? The answer is actually pretty simple: who is used as a subject, while whom is used as an object. One way to remember when to use these(…)

Creating Single-Author Box Sets: Part One

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) One of the important elements of a successful indie author career is putting out as many products as possible (without sacrificing quality). The more items we have for sale, the better our chances that someone will stumble upon one of them or find one that interests them. Box sets are a(…)

Homophone of the Month: Complement vs. Compliment

By Chris Saylor Most of us learn to speak the language before we learn to read it. As such, it’s no surprise that, when two words sound the same, we sometimes have a difficult time telling them apart. Usually these words are spelled differently but pronounced the same way. We call these homophones. For one(…)