I know that when you're reading a really good book, it can seem like the story came together effortlessly. Like the author just sat at their computer one day (or typewriter, if it's an old book) and magically tapped the whole thing out by hand in one setting. Indeed, there are probably a bunch of … Continue reading Writing is Difficult, and the Many New Drafts of Book 3
Anyone who's been on my blog probably already knows that I'm a novelist. The vast, vast majority of my finished works are novel-length or almost there, even if they haven't been published yet. There is a very simple reason for this: My ideas are complicated. The world of Pandemonium can not be compressed into less than … Continue reading Flash Fiction, Short Fiction, & Contests
Today's book: Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge Let's get straight to the point: This book has uprooted The Great Gatsby as my all-time favorite book. I am not exaggerating. Which is odd, because I usually don't react that much to books. I worry that I'm being too generous with my praise, but when I like … Continue reading Book Review: Cuckoo Song
Well, the literary world, at least. Think about it: what can we do that writers tied up with big-name publishers can't? We can write what we want. I'll give you an example I'm very familiar with. What happened to (arguably) some of the best sci-fi shows ever? They were cancelled. Seriously. They cancelled the original Star … Continue reading Self-Employed Writers Can Save the World
Here's something all writers are familiar with. Other artists too, now that I think of it. When you look at the title, what do you think? First Draft Syndrome (FDS) is now an official medical diagnosis, because I say it is! Reading an affected First Draft can cause the following symptoms: In the writer Feelings … Continue reading First Draft Syndrome: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments
Many people have probably run into this well-meaning piece of advice during their lifetime, writers or not. It was in all of my creative writing classes in school. On the surface, it's a good idea. It avoids any messy misconceptions or mistakes when writing people from a different background, and it still allows for wide … Continue reading Write What You Know?
For anyone who doesn't know: A 'setting' is basically when and where a story takes place. Modern-day New York for the Avengers, 18th-century Japan for the 47 Ronin, Outer space sometime in the future for Star Trek and Star Wars... you get the idea. Every story has a setting, and it's one of -- if not … Continue reading Real vs. Fictional Setting: Pros and Cons
I'm willing to bet that pretty much anyone who's ever picked up a how-to-write-fiction book in their life has stumbled across that famous "act, don't react" bit of advice. For writers, it's pretty clear: no one likes a reactive character. You know the reactive character. He or she (though I tend to see more female … Continue reading Action Vs. Reaction: In Fiction And In Life
Everyone loves the idea of immortality, right? Never having to worry about getting sick or deteriorating like everyone else does. You'll look young and pretty forever. Sure, you might still be able to be killed via violence, depending on the type of immortality we're talking about, but it's still a pretty sweet deal. Of course, … Continue reading Immortal Characters: Better to Live Forever than Die Young?
People, I'm here to let you in on a little secret. Ok, a big secret. You may read the title and think to yourself "well, how long does writing a book take?" If you're thinking "Oh, how hard could it be?" and have never tried to write even a short story before, stop right … Continue reading Writing a Book ALWAYS Takes Longer Than You Think