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>>]

Is Your Book A Priority?


Face it, books don't write themselves. You may have the book as a nebulous idea floating around in your head and it probably sounds really exciting rolling around in there. But just thinking about it isn't enough. Staring at a blank page won't help you. Making sure the house is spotless before you start won't help either. Using the kids and the day job as an excuse will keep pushing you backwards. Like anything else, a finished book is a goal. To accomplish a goal you need a plan. Not just any plan, one you know you'll be able to follow. You can't make it too big or too small. It has to be … [Read More>>]

SOS: Sorting Out Story


Without fail, there comes a point while you're writing your first draft where you sit back, shake your head and wonder what the hell it is you're doing. You were rolling along at a breakneck pace, cranking out thousands of words a day, completing one chapter after the next, words flowing like water over Niagara Falls, casting a myriad of prismatic verbal color all around you. Glorious phrases drip from your fingertips, witty dialogue abounds, characters mesh, sweet, sweet conflict arises and gives way to wicked plot twists. You're swept up in a writer's high...oh, is that the end of the book … [Read More>>]

Change the Rules and Change Your Writing


We read a lot about writing rules. Plenty of pros have all kinds of lists for things you should or shouldn't do, some of them technically founded, others not so much.When writing fiction, all the rules pretty much get tossed out the window. But what about the rules we make for ourselves? Tell me if any of these sound familiar to you: I can't write because I'm depressed I can't write because I'm not depressed I can't write because my house is always a mess I can't write because my family takes up too much time I can't write because none of my characters will speak to me I can't … [Read More>>]

Are You Being a Wimp?


Hi. Welcome to my blog. Would you like to read it? If not, that's okay. I know you're busy. I wouldn't want to interrupt. What I have to say isn't all that important. But if you'd like to read, or buy my services, then that's okay too. I wouldn't want to be an imposition or anything— *insert … [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 … [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 … [Read More>>]