the mark of zorro 1920

The Superhero Project: The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Some of you might be saying, “Erin, you announced this project over a month ago. Why are we just getting our first post now?” Because I spent time watching and researching The Shadow Strikes (1937) only to discover The Mark of Zorro (1920) and, since I’m doing this in chronological order, I had to go …

The Number One to Improve Your Writing (Except Actually Writing)

There are many ways to improve your writing such as practice, starting a writing group, and specific exercises. But there is one way to improve your writing that most people talk about but don’t explain how to properly do. Reading is the best method to improve your writing, but you’re shouldn’t just read passively. By …

The Superhero Project and the Superhero Movie Evolution

When it comes to the superhero movie, it feels a bit like “I know it when I see it.” However, it’s more complicated than it sounds. If you don’t count James Bond, do you count Black Widow? Do you include Star Wars? Do you include all movies based on comic books regardless of content? I …

1 Thing to Think About Before You Kill a Character

One Thing to Think About Before You Kill a Character

So, I’m sitting in the theater watching Deadpool, and it’s just started. It’s pretty good so far. You know, it’s Deadpool. Violence. Hilarity. Inappropriate jokes. Then, (spoiler alert) they suddenly kill Vanessa, Deadpool’s girlfriend, and the movie immediately loses my favor. I just talked about this idea in my Thanos post, but, apparently, we need …

How to Create a Good Villain: Thanos

How to Create a Good Villain: Thanos

Spoilers ahead! You have been warned. I was beyond excited for Avengers: Infinity War, and it is amazing. Part of what makes Infinity War so good is its villain, Thanos. This entire movie is built around Thanos. The ending even says “Thanos will return” which is chilling and unsettling to viewers. So, let’s talk about …

dialogue tags

Who Said That? – On (Not) Using Dialogue Tags

Have you ever seen a post on Tumblr or Pinterest that says something like “75 words to use instead of ‘said?'” Those posts can be helpful because the general premise is correct. Using “said” over and over is both boring and repetitive. It looks strange on paper. Also, some posts, like this one, can have some really helpful words that indicate emotion like “bellowed.” However, as writers, we should not be afraid of using standard words like “said,” “asked,” and “replied.” There is a reason why those words are the standard. They’re simple, and you can avoid clumsy verbs. You don’t want your work to read like a thesaurus. So, how do we avoid using “said” too much without using awkward words?

10 Creative Writing Prompts

10 Creative Writing Prompts to Get Your Group Started

This article is part five of a series about starting your own creative writing group/club. Part one is here.  Topics will include giving constructive criticism, running a workshop, and writing games/prompts. Writing prompts are both fun and a great club icebreaker. There are several types of writing prompts. My favorites are story prompts and first-line prompts. …