All posts by

Dave Kavanaugh

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Flashback to the second grade. You’re learning about the parts of a sentence. How does the teacher define ‘verbs’? Why, they’re action words, of course! And that’s actually a pretty good description. The verb makes the subject of the sentence do something. When “the cat jumps”, ‘jump’ is your verb. So without verbs, nothing can…

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

In school, you probably learned how to construct the classic, academic paragraph. The O.G. paragraph, if you will. You’ve got your topic sentence, your supporting sentences, and then your concluding sentence. A nice snug package of information. Also, a total bore. In fiction, paragraphs never have to be this structured. Indeed, paragraphing is an author’s…

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash Unless you’re working on microfiction, flash fiction, or very short stories, your plots will almost always require you to write multiple scenes. When I say ‘scene’, I’m talking about a specific segment of a larger story that contains its own miniature story arc. Scenes can flow one into the other or be…

Collaboration: No one Writes in a Vacuum

Collaboration: No one Writes in a Vacuum

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash Maybe you live alone in a log cabin atop the Bighorn Mountains in snowy Montana. You use an old Smith-Corona Classic 12 typewriter to bang out the great American novel, slip your pages into an envelope, and saddle up the horse for the forty-mile trek to the nearest post office to send…

Sentence Differentiation

Sentence Differentiation

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash I live in the heart of a medieval Dutch city and everything in my neighborhood is made of bricks: the cathedrals and cafes, the old houses and the new houses, the streets, parking lots, bike paths, garden walls. Everything. But if you’re picturing some red-brown dystopia of uniform cubic edifices—like a city…

Tools, Habits, & Motivation

Tools, Habits, & Motivation

Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash Your writing space is set up. You’ve got your fluffy socks on. Your mug is full of steamy tea. You’re ready to go. Now what? What software tools will you use to get started? Which habits should you try to form to keep up with your writing goals? How will you motivate…