Oh, what was it?

On the having and losing of notions… Read More...

The serialist's dilemma

About sequels and knowing when to stop… Read More...

The Idea of Ideas, part 3

It which I explain the true importance of ideas in writing. Read More...

The Idea of Ideas, part 2

More misconceptions about the importance of ideas in fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction. Read More...

The Idea of Ideas, part 1

Many aspiring writers have the wrong idea about ideas… Read More...

A good day to die

Deciding when to end a character... Read More...

Not all reasons are reasonable

How we reach a conclusion... Read More...

Head spaces, part 2

Sometimes it’s a matter of context... Read More...

Head spaces, part 1

I revisit the notion of symbolism. Read More...

Literary Crimes

In which I stopped writing something for the wrong reason... Read More...

(Un)real characters

Pixels or people? Read More...

Confessions of a creative fool

In which we discuss the true meaning of passion in art. Read More...

I am the king of typos

How classic touch-typing teaching methods led to me being the champion of the wrong word... Read More...

Summer Camp!

Another excursion to Camp NaNoWriMo Read More...

...is just a red herring

A figure or speech and an important element of writing, particularly mysteries. Read More...

Time to go camping!

In which I prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. Read More...

"Some of my favorite books have maps..."

In which I discover a prejudice I didn’t know I had. Read More...

When something's wrong (with your story)

How to fix your story (and also how not to). Read More...

Deadlines motivate me

Another lesson from NaNoWriMo. Read More...

Write it or lose it

Why I have so many unfinished stories at any time. Read More...

Putting the perfect into the flashback

Past perfect tense as a tool for transition. Read More...

History is longer than you think

Taking real history into account. Read More...

Misdirect, don't lie or withhold

Don’t be so mysterious that you annoy the reader. Read More...

Told in flashback

Don’t misuse the flashback. Read More...

The dust of daily life

Art isn’t about delivering a message, though messages will be there. Read More...

What's it about?

Can you sum it up in a simple sentence? Read More...

Time doesn't work that way

History and perception aren’t always in agreement. Read More...

Poultry, domestic fowl, or chicken?

The dangers of synonyms. Read More...

Swan (songs) a swimming

Getting the endings right for each character. Read More...

One problem with prequels

The flip side of “what’s it mean?” Read More...

Getting unstuck

How I got a long stalled story moving again. Read More...

Semi-autobiographical, part 2

A myth about writers and writing. Read More...

An elf, a shapeshifter, and a knight walk into a bar...

Why elves? Or talking animals? Or ? Read More...

...and a cast of thousands!

The more the merrier! Read More...

"Maybe it was the heavy syrup?"

Originality is a myth. Read More...

Sometimes you just need to scrap it

Knowing what to cut is underrated. Read More...

Predictable

A good mystery isn’t simply about surprise... Read More...

Remembering Bradbury

In which I confess about my fear of Ray Bradbury’s writing... Read More...

United we muddle

Unity is rarer than we like to admit. Read More...

Thematically speaking

In which I explore what literary critics mean by "theme." Read More...

It's been done

They say there's nothing new under the sun. So? Read More...

Best known for…

In which a bad headline prompts the question: can you really call anything about an unknown, "best known?" Read More...

Didn't need to know…

Gleaning writing lessons from a stranger's poor behavior. Read More...

With a capital 'I'

Giving brains a bad name. (34CPP49H9WUP) Read More...

The writer's job

It's not the words, it's the ideas. Read More...

Details, details…

Description isn't exactly a science... Read More...

Cut and paste

Editing the narrative isn't just for fiction... Read More...

Can or cannot be measured

The easiest things to measure are seldom the most important. Read More...

Welcome to Sherwood

Sometimes the original isn’t really the original. Read More...

Bitter pills

Mockery is seldom as persuasive as the mocker expects. Read More...

(D)readful

Dreading some things, reading others. Read More...

In the dark

When waiting for an answer isn’t a good strategy. Read More...

Finishing

You have to know to stop revising. Read More...

Blankety-blank

Strong language, strong meaning, or both? Read More...

What's it mean?

Ancient petroglyphs can tell us about modern creativity. Read More...

Worthwhile?

Good work takes time and effort. Read More...

Know how

Thinking you know how to do something, and actually being able to do it are not the same thing. Read More...

Up to the job?

You need to know what’s required. Read More...

Oppression or…?

Signposts in the creative process. Read More...

Paper packrat

The right tool for the job. Read More...

A spark of…

You need more than substance. Read More...

Contextually speaking

In which I worry about too little disagreement, or is it agreement? Read More...

Happenstance, coincidence, or...

Sometimes the enemy isn’t external. Read More...

Insert title here

The importance of titles. Read More...

Exercising

Stretching the metaphorical muscles. Read More...

My idea of fun

Reading and writing doesn’t seem to do it for some people. Read More...

Evoking

Creativity isn’t what most people think. Read More...

Entitled

There’s no such thing as free. Read More...

Relativity

There can be a wide gap between “must” and “ought.” Read More...

A pair of…

Examining characterization in a series of books leads to epiphany about real people. Read More...

Sometimes a cigar…

Being offended on another’s behalf. Read More...

Weasel Words

The dangers of being overly specific. Read More...

Worlds of Wonder

Remembering the work of author, Andre Norton. Read More...

When I see it

What is art? Read More...

What matters

Picking your battles. Read More...

Outsight

Being an outsider isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, take two. Read More...

Simple words

Reacting to gratitude and other things. Read More...

It's all about context

If we don’t know the context of someone’s life, can we understand them? Read More...

Proliferation

Stories, like living things, need nurturing and room to grow. Read More...

Not finished

The difference between a destination and a goal. Read More...

The Fellowship of the Red Pen

Copy editing is not the only kind of editing... Read More...

Cue violins

Happy endings aren’t a sign of shallowness. Read More...

Good intentions and elbow grease

It takes more than effort and intent. Read More...

What's it called?

The importance of good titles, and the dangers of... Read More...

Misadventures

Reflections on the life and work of author, Keith Robertson. Read More...

I used to care, but...

When someone plays the guilt card. Read More...

Risky business

How being brave in front of an audience is not as great a feat as some think. Read More...

Another man's poison...

Writing lessons technology teaches. Read More...

The Secret of Success

I reveal the secret. Really, I do. Read More...

Running with the Herd

A review that says bad things isn’t necessarily a bad review. Read More...

Points of View

I am not my characters. Read More...

Ask the next question...

A reflection on author Theodore Sturgeon. Read More...