That One Little Detail

It is possible to make a character lose her mind (or maybe just think she’s losing her mind) without having to resort to nasty magic or Lovecraftian abominations attempting to eat her soul. Really.
Yes, there are things that people must not see that will reduce them to gibbering madness merely from seeing them anyway and [...]

Criticism: The Intent and the Details

There’s a certain expectation, even among people who like criticism, that the creator and the critic will end up in conflict, or at the very least misunderstanding each other. Someone steps away from an artform after receiving what should have been a compliment, goes all icy after a critique that she did ask for, and [...]

Words Fail Me (and Isn’t That Awesome?)

Yesterday, I talked about situations in which one person just wouldn’t understand what another was explaining because they just didn’t have the mindset for it. But as UZ pointed out in a comment to that post, sometimes, it’s not the mindset that gets in the way: instead, it’s the vocabulary. Here, language barrier plays a [...]

Can’t Tell Them Everything… Can We?

Most of the tips on writing are very clear about the best way to handle background information for a story: feel free to have it, but file most of it. People don’t need to know every little detail, and are probably better off not knowing most of what we come up with. And if people [...]