I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games for two decades. As a storyteller, I’ve found that role-playing a character or running a session has a lot in common with running a string of writing exercises, with immediate, sometimes in-your-face, feedback.
I don’t think this category needs a lot of explanation.
I am a writer, and I like to write about writing. Posts can be about something I noticed, or learned.
If you don’t write yourself, this category might not be for you, but who doesn’t write at least ocassionally in their work? Not all of my blog posts apply to e-mails or reports, but some definitely do.
Also, knowing more about writing can help you better appreciate novels, or — be warned — ruin them for you.
In previous posts I’ve identified writing smells, places in your writing that reek of problems. If you can identify these smells you can improve your writing.
Because my list of smells keeps growing, I’ve decided to start gathering them in a separate page, a writing smell catalogue, which is easier to peruse than a bunch of blog posts.
One of the more famous writing smells, or at least one that’s old enough to have a latin name: deus ex machina. Actually, this latin name is derived from an ancient Greek name, so it’s even older.
As a Kindle owner, I regularly have to convert epub files to mobi files. There’s an application called Kindlegen for that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work, because some epub files have settings that Kindlegen doesn’t understand, or the file ends up having a strange title.
With some knowledge of epubs you can fix these errors yourself. I’ll look at two problems I ran into:
- The author name or book title is not correct.
- The language isn’t set.
Whenever you write a story, you have to choose who you’re writing as, how the story will be narrated, and in what tense. I’d like to focus on narrative voice in this one: first, second, and third person. Of course, narrative tense is also important, as is which character you choose as a viewpoint, but in this post I’m focusing on the voice.