Martin Stellinga Posts

August 7, 2015 / Smells


When we write we want to be precise. However, using a lot of adverbs does not make your writing precise, it makes it weak. This is important to be aware of, even if you only write e-mails to friends. So, today, in the series of writing smells, adverb fever.

July 31, 2015 / Reviews


It’s been a while since I did reviews, and I’ve already spammed too much writing advice. So, some reviews of what I’ve read, seen, and played.

July 24, 2015 / Writing


Using the right tools is essential to any profession. Writing doesn’t require much in that area, you can use a stick to write on an empty stretch of beach if you like. However, there’s not enough beach around to write that epic Fantasy novel, so you’ll probably want to use more convenient writing tools. Let’s have a look at what is out there.

July 17, 2015 / Smells


Did you know that Sauron in the Lord of the Rings is actually only a lieutenant of the dark god Morgoth? No? The Lord of the Rings could have started with an explanation of this and of the history of all the races of Middle Earth. It didn’t, because Tolkien constrained himself. His writing didn’t smell of info dumps, even though he had a lot of world to build and info to dump. He started with a short segment on Hobbits instead.

Let’s have a look at what ‘info dumps’ are and how to avoid them.

July 10, 2015 / Writing


To set up a good story, you want all the elements of your story to work together to form a coherent whole. All the different plot twists and character arcs should line up to form a shape. I say, the best shape for that structure is the octahedron, and I’ll explain why.