I’ve been a novel-writer for as along as I can remember. I devoured fantasy books as a kid, even in kindergarten. It wasn’t an uncommon weekend where I’d knock off a 300-page book. (Took slightly longer when Robert Jordan reinvented the genre as doorstops.) So when I made the leap from reader to writer, from … More The compression of time.
The question caught me off-guard. I’d been practicing the craft of writing for nearly thirty years at that point. I’d started thirteen manuscripts. Finished ten. Had approached nearly a million words committed to page. And yet: no one had asked that question of me before. Least of all, me. What kind of writer do you … More What kind of writer do you want to be?
In my years as a writer, I’ve written stories and novels on: Construction paper Notebook paper Post-it notes and index cards X386 spreadsheets DOS word processing programs Notepad and Wordpad Raw HTML (see Notepad) Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, Apple Pages But my Twitter feed remains agog with tools like Scrivener and similar — programs designed for … More I’d prefer not to. (The Scrivening.)
I’m a little late in putting this together. 2017 has been Interesting Times (as it has been for everyone). Still, I’m taking a moment in between literary marathons to take a look back at the landscape. Figure out what I did, how it turned out, and a rough sketch of where I’m going. (Some of … More 2016 (The Year in Writing)
After doing National Novel Writing Month as many times1 as I have to date, one starts to pick up on a few similarities and tricks from year to year that help with the goals. Not the word-count goal; that’s the easy part. If you really want to ensure that you validate at fifty thousand words, … More NaNoWriMo Prep (the All-Plotz Version)
I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month for 14 years now. I find it to be a worthwhile exercise–while 50,000 words isn’t anywhere near a true novel in length, and I don’t wind up with a workable “zero1 draft” every year, it still allows me to infodump a lot of words without second-guessing or fear. … More NaNoWriMo Prep (the ‘No Prep’ edition)
I finished my first novel at the tender age of 14. A fantasy novel parked at 75,000 words. And the question naturally became, “Well, what do I do with this thing?” I’d shown it to family and friends, who either read enthusiastically or kindly, and it seemed to be reasonable enough to see what would … More The Quarter-Century Bandage.
The internet had seemed to convey such possibility, from an artistic perspective. Bear in mind that I came of age in the 1990s, when the internet was a half-formed thing. Blogging platforms didn’t exist; instead, we had to carve out virtual homesteads by hand with crude HTML and ‘Under Construction’ GIFs. It was a big … More The Infinite Canvas
Sentence fragments. Periods floating facedown in rivulets of black brackish water. World without sunlight without semicolons without quotation marks or crows or trout. The last raft just out of reach. Somewhere along the ashen side of every hill. Babies spitted on spikes roasted for their flesh and gnawed upon for lifegiving sustenance and what happened … More ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy
“The Growing Mist.” A poem which, on the surface, speaks of days Gone by, of lives and deaths and all the ways The shades of writers work their ethereal Art; now, a classic poem with classic feel. The commentary wrapped around the text Like Russian dolls; opening the next Layer was an act of murder … More ‘Pale Fire’ by Vladimir Nabokov