The Illusion of Creative Freedom


The part I like most about writing fiction is the freedom it gives me to tell a story. I can create my own worlds  and the people who inhabit it. I can make up whole societies with their own traditions and histories. I can make cities and landscapes where the imagination roams freely time and time again. Before I started taking writing seriously, I let my imagination loose with creative writing on role playing forums. These games were great because the story went on forever and the possibilities for interaction with other writers and their characters were endless. Each scenario was an … [Read More>>]

Combing The Tangles Out Of Your Story


Epic stories require epic casts of characters. Each one of those characters is going to have a story of their own, even if they all don't get a piece of the spotlight. When you write a series of three or more books, you'll have the Uber Story, the one thread that winds its way throughout the whole series, and then under that, you'll have the specific plot for each book. Those plots are the ones that require resolution at the end. But wait, there's may have several little sub-plots below that too. All of it has the potential to get tangled beyond all recognition and drift away … [Read More>>]

Doing Your Best to be Bad


  A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Salt Lake City's inaugural convention, FantasyCon. I hadn't been to a Con in years and when I had attended, it was either as a vendor or helping out with the live action role playing (LARPs). This time it was purely as a spectator (sort of, I was also scoping out the venue as a possibility for selling the Bonds of Blood & Spirit Saga next year).  I had three whole days packed with all kinds of interesting panels with guest speakers. Among these panels was one called What Makes a Great Villain? Wendi and I know what makes a … [Read More>>]

The Secret to Collaboration: Never Assume


When we finished the Bonds of Blood & Spirit Saga, Packmates (the BBS fans) all raised a glass with us to celebrate the good news. Now we've started breaking ground on the next series, The Color of Storms. We're well aware that when inspiration hits, we'll be off and running like a freight train without breaks. But for now, we have ten chapters that kind of fit. How can that be? Either it fits or it doesn't, right? Honestly, we started work on Storms last summer while Wendi was on family vacation. We were deep into Legacies edits and were stalled out because it was hard for her to … [Read More>>]

You’re Not Alone: Creativity and Depression


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Nassir Ghaemi Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive Have you ever had a day when you just didn't want to get out of bed? Sure, lots of folks … [Read More>>]

Plotholes and Dubious Superpowers


"I call bullshit!" "Why?" "That would never happen. It's totally ridiculous." Conversations like this are the norm whenever my friend Pete and I watch movies. We're very critical of plots, characters and actions. Pete's threshold when it comes to suspension of disbelief is very low compared … [Read More>>]

Why Aren’t You Writing?


Every November, thousands of writers are deep into NaNoWriMo.  And now in July there's Camp NaNoWriMo. All of these writers have been spurred into action by the call of writing a whole novel in one month. They've made a firm decision to set aside the excuses and meet the challenge head on. What I … [Read More>>]