Welcome to my little scratch of virtual land. Here you'll find essays about the writing craft; writing exercises, tips, games, and lessons; word-nerd humor; and other writer-oriented content.

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Writerly Humor: What Writers Do

I’m sure you remember the phase everyone went through on Facebook where every third post was an image of “What [group] thinks [profession] does.” It’s been long enough for me that I’m not rolling my eyes at this anymore, and I quite like the image.

What Writers Do

[Click the image for a larger version.]

Have some hilarious writerly humor to share with us? Link it in the comments, below.

Write on,


Green Eggs & Ham: A Novelization – Part 3 & 4

My “9 Tricks for Organic Dialogue” used a spoof novelization of a scene from Green Eggs & Ham. One thing led to another, and now I’m writing a dramatic novelization of this Seuss classic. This post contains part three and four. You can check the first two parts here.

Green Eggs and Ham: A novelization.

Part Three

If you give a stray scraps of meat, it’ll keep coming back. Eventually, it’ll make pitiful yowling noises outside your door. That’s the short version of how I wound up adopting Fiona Rebecca Alberti the Third, the unofficial mascot of the Alpha Tau fraternity house.

She was a collective secret. No animals were allowed, but all of everyone helped me tuck her away. Her nickname amongst the Alphas was “frat cat,” but I told her—told Fiona, that is—that she was too much of a princess for a name like that. I scratched her behind the ears and told her “FRAT” was just an abbreviation. Fiona Rebecca Alberti the Third. Feline royalty.

Read more.

Writerly Humor: Show, Don’t Tell

Hey there writers,

This week’s writer’s comic is about that famous authorial adage “Show, don’t tell.” If you’re having trouble reading the text, click on the image for a larger version.

Show, don't tell.

Image courtesy of Nedroid

If you know of a writer’s comic that should be covered in upcoming entries, please let me know in the comments of via the my contact form.

Write on,


UPDATE: Thanks, Jamie, for providing the appropriate attribution for this comic.

Green Eggs & Ham: A Novelization – Part 1 & 2

I used a spoof-novelization of a scene from Green Eggs & Ham in a December article of mine. One surprisingly popular comment was: “Now I really want to read a dramatic novelization of Green Eggs and Ham.” My response was, “Challenge accepted.” I’ll talk more about this challenge in another post. For now, let’s leap into my novelized version.

Green Eggs and Ham: A novelization.

Part One

If you want to know more about me, you’re reading the wrong story. Maybe after I die some out-of-work biographer will stumble across my obituary and decide I need to a proper burial of words. Who will this biography say I am? I have no idea

How does anyone answer the question of “who” they are? Are we what we like? What we do? Where we go? The people we care about or the memories we make? It’s all too complex for me, and God knows this world has its fill of people—of philosophers and songwriters—trying to answer that question already. I won’t chime in. But if you really need to know who’s telling you this story, here goes:

I am Sam.

Read more.

ICftW: Oxford Commas – Now part of a Nutritious Breakfast

Hey there writers,

Today, I have yet another contribution in my obsessive war-waging for the Oxford comma. This time it’s a wonderful comic demonstrating the eternal rightness and goodness of the Oxford comma (now part of a balanced breakfast). Check it out:

Oxford comma comic - eggs, toast and orange juice

Image courtesy of Shortee


We’ve already explored how politicians and strippers can get mixed up if you don’t use the Oxford comma. My Reddit post on the topic exploded with comments from both Team Oxford Comma and our dreaded opposition. Things are getting pretty intense in this battle. I’m actually considering making some Team Oxford Comma pins, emblazoned with the tag line “Give me clarity or give me death.” What do you think? Worth making? Let me know.

Write on,


ICftW: Written Kitten

For those of you looking for a way to motivate yourselves to write, this week’s ICFTW is a true boon. Check out WrittenKitten.net. The concept is simple. You write, and once every set number of words (e.g., 100, 500, etc.), you will be rewarded with …

Stalwart Kitten

an awesome kitten picture. So, for those of you who are motivated by all things soft and cuddly, this tool can help you get out from writer’s block and into “awww” mode.

Enjoy, and as always, write on,

Rob D Young

ICFTW: The Strippers, JFK and Stalin

If you’re on my blog, chances are you already know about my obsession with the Oxford comma. As such, I’m very excited to share an Oxfordian comic for the weekly writer’s comic series. Check it out:

Oxford Comma: The Strippers, JFK and Stalin

This image is pulled from The Moosebody, and reminds us that even humor from academic minds can contain picture of communists in thongs. Thanks for that, Moose. He doesn’t seem to be the original creator, though, and while I followed the rabbit hole about 8 steps down, I could find the origin of the meme. If anyone knows, drop the info in the comments and I’ll update ASAP.

I also want to point out that in the original post presenting this cartoon on “The Gloss,” ~90% of respondents said they thought the Oxford comma was “so hot.” Hear hear!

Write on,