art, film, literature, writing

How to Start Worldbuilding for Writers

I plan to do a whole series on this topic. Today is just an overview. We'll get into cooler topics like culture or conlangs later. I'm not copying the Writing Excuses podcast. I drafted this first post far before I knew they were devoting this year to the topic. It's something I care deeply about,… Continue reading How to Start Worldbuilding for Writers

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art, literature, writing

Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

I've noticed this strange trend in the prose style of novels, and I've wondered why it's happening. I finally realized that the prevalence of social media is almost certainly the culprit. I won't try to write a whole thesis on the history of this type of thing, but I think it's pretty commonly accepted that… Continue reading Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

art, literature, writing

Found Clunkers, Part 1

I often find some really bad sentences in books I read. I wanted to start a series in which we look at why they are bad and how to fix them. Unfortunately, I'm a bit stuck on how to proceed. I really want this blog to lift up excellent books and art. I don't want… Continue reading Found Clunkers, Part 1

literature, writing

Are the Self-Publishing Gurus Out of Touch?

Let me start by saying that I appreciate all the free content people in the self-publishing world put out. It's quite generous and high quality. There must be ten or more hours of podcasts each week that come to my phone, not to mention blog posts and youtube and e-mails. That's just me, meaning it's… Continue reading Are the Self-Publishing Gurus Out of Touch?

literature, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 8: The Last Place

Woops. I just realized the title of this series changed from "Year of Mystery Novels" to "Year of Mysteries" at Part 5. Sorry. I try to keep this consistent for searching purposes. The main point of this series was to examine the mystery novel genre. There are people that read a few a week. There's… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 8: The Last Place

art, literature, writing

The Character/Caricature Balance

One of the most important things we can do as writers is to acknowledge our weaknesses and then work on them. I think too often we get comfortable with "our thing" and then try to hide our weaknesses by going all in on our strength. I've spent an enormous amount of time over the past… Continue reading The Character/Caricature Balance

art, literature, math, other, writing

New Site and Future Plans

We're closing in on September, and since my brain still thinks of Sept-Sept as "the proper year" from all that time in academia, I got to thinking about my plans for this upcoming year. I decided it no longer made sense to have my internet presence so spread out. I originally created "matthewwardbooks.com" as the… Continue reading New Site and Future Plans