Tag Archives: writing styles

Writing the Down Ending

This week on Hide and Create, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar and Joshua Essoe appropriately talk about writing downer endings on this, Diana’s last episode.

It’s controversial. While it’s true that life is just as much about sadness, pain, and the loss of hope as it is about wonder, beauty, and happiness, a lot of people don’t like down endings. Writing one is a risk. You risk upsetting your reader and turning them away from you and your work. Who likes feeling bad — even if that kind of ending is appropriate to your story?

Sad stories don’t have to be depressing stories, though.  The most powerful ones can be devastating, but they leave you with a ray of hope. I think that is the truest power of a sad story — great hope, enlightenment, and a change or broadening of viewpoint.

As readers, we remember whatever stories evoke the most powerful emotional responses the best. As long as those responses aren’t disgust at how awful the book is! That’s not what you want to be remembered for.

We’d love to hear from our listeners about what you think of down endings. Do you hate them? Do you like them? Why do they work for you? Do you remember the sad stories better, and longer, than the happy ones. . . . let us know in the comments!

Defending Our Writing Paths

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Jaye Wells, and Moses Siregar talk about why the path they took into publishing is the best.

When you decide to get become writer you should definitely start with tie-in writing. Or when you hit the path toward a  professional writing career, the best way to begin is to go through a traditional publisher with your original novel. Perhaps, what I mean to say is, if you want to make a living as a pro-author you have to go indie, cause it’s the best. Well, actually, what most don’t know is if you really want to break into the publishing industry the absolute best way is to first become an editor and get your chops working on both your own and others’ work.

There, the secret is out.

Developing a Unique Writing Voice

This week on Hide and Create Joshua Essoe, Jaye Wells, Moses Siregar, and Jordan Ellinger talk about creating your voice.

It’s interesting to me how a writer can have a strong voice and be a very good storyteller, but fall down when it comes to the line-by-line writing. Everyone has gifts and genius, and some can do things that others just can’t duplicate no matter how much they learn or practice. But I don’t think that should bother you, because you have your strengths as well. Everybody does. Don’t discount them. Figure out what they are, and take advantage of them. If you kick ass at writing battle scenes, then you should have battle scenes in your book. If you write amazing dialogue, then you should have a lot of dialogue in your book. If you’re genius at pacing, then you take advantage of that and make sure that your readers a glued to your pages for the whole ride. If you’re really good at dissecting ideas and creating compelling, thoughtful arguments, then emphasize your themes.

And if you get an MS back from me or another editor, and it’s absolutely filled with red ink, that doesn’t mean you suck and you shouldn’t write. If I include in my critique that I really liked the story and think it has huge promise, I’m not lying, and all that red ink isn’t the proof of that. What that means is that you have an awesome voice, you’re a good storyteller and you need to work on your technical skills.

Writing the Hero’s Journey Part 2

This week on Hide and Create Moses Siregar, Jaye Wells, Jordan Ellinger and Joshua Essoe continue last week’s discussion on the monomyth.

Actually, we argue for a bit to finish up as we examine the trope of the Chosen One.

Writing the Hero’s Journey Part 1

This week on Hide and Create Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar and Jaye Wells start talking about the Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey is a skeletal framework that should be fleshed out with the details and surprises of the individual story. The structure should not call attention to itself, nor should it be followed too precisely. The order of the stages given here is only one of many possible variations. The stages can be deleted, added to, and drastically shuffled without losing any of their power.

The Hero’s Journey is infinitely flexible, capable of endless variation without sacrificing any of its magic, and it will outlive us all.

Writing Opposite-Sex Characters

This week on Hide and Create Jordan Ellinger, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland, and Moses Siregar discuss writing a character of the opposite sex. Jordan talks about the “man with boobs” cliché, while Diana discusses how her background in law enforcement prepared her for writing male characters. Moses shares his thoughts on how he developed the female protagonist of his novel The Black God’s War. Finally, Joshua offers pointers on how to avoid mistakes he sometimes spots in his clients’ work.

Settings and More Dirty Little Secrets! Oh My!

This week on Hide and Create, Moses Siregar, Jordan Ellinger, Diana Rowland and Joshua Essoe discuss a new take and offer more insight on our previous subjects: writing methods, dirty little writing secrets, writing environments, self-promotion, and settings.

If you loved our previous shows, you’ll love this one even more because in part one we talk about a couple previous episode topics, allowing Moses to get his two-cents in. Or three or four cents in.


Writing Short Stories vs. Novels

This week on Hide and Create Moses Siregar, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger and Joshua Essoe discuss the differences between writing a short story and writing a novel.

The old advice was to train yourself writing short fiction, then graduate to novel-length works. The short fiction market was an easier sell, you could cut your teeth in publishing doing that while you worked up to your magnum opus.

That’s no so true anymore. Short story markets have decline greatly in the last couple decades, and the ones that are left are overwhelmed with submissions for their limited space. Just like novel publishers.

So what’s the advantage of writing short? Why not just write long? There’s more money in it and it’s no more difficult, right?

I advise all writers to learn how to write short. It will teach you brevity and will teach you power. You can practice technique, voice, theme and genre, try them all out and find what’s right for you. You can finish, submit, get feedback, sell, and do it rapidly, and start building up deposits in the “Maybe I Can Do This” bank. It is wonderful training, not for writing novels, but for being a writer.

Writing Environments

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger, and David Dalglish discuss writing environments and tools.

Lives outside of writing — we’ve all got them. Well most of us.  How do you combat the evil and powerful monster of laziness? And when you are writing, what are the best tools to have on hand? Are you on team Scriviner or team Word? How in the world do you schedule writing time around family obligations, especially during the holidays?

It’s not all cuddle breaks, date nights, and Mine Craft addictions.

Dirty Little Writing Secrets

In today’s writing podcast — deep, dark writing and editing secrets. We’ve all got them. What are yours?

Honestly we could probably fill more than one episode with these little guys. Rowland, Ellinger, Dalglish and Essoe divulge their secrets about writing every day, how and when to use spare moments to write, degrees, fall back careers . . . and being pretty.

Go on. Give a listen. You know you want to know.