Endless Cups of Tea

Kameron Hurley has a great new post, “The Madhatter Teaparty: Rescuing Your Characters from Endless Cups of Tea,” about the problem of novels becoming too talky. Plot kicks my ass. It kicks my ass up one end of a story and down another, because honestly, all my characters want to do is snark at each other […]

Writing Fiction Ate My Nonfiction Brain

(So I only waited nine months to write my first post of the year — long story for another time.) I was writing an article for KCET.org recently when I realized that my brain doesn’t work quite the way it used to. This should have been a return to familiar ground, since the article was […]

Sleep On Your Manuscript

No, don’t tuck your laptop under your pillow. Or print out your novel and sprinkle the pages between the sheets. And certainly don’t sleep on a typewriter, like the young woman at right. (Ouch, my neck hurts just looking at that.) But if you’re a writer short on time for writing, and especially if you’re participating […]

One Writer’s Distractions

Today’s distraction chain: Sit down to make notes for next project Turn on Pandora to drown out distracting radio Pandora not working because of Flash issue Research Flash issue — my Chromebook not affected but need to turn off auto-play videos Go to Facebook to do that Notice a confederate flag profile pic liking one […]

Hacking the Pluperfect

I’ve noticed an increasing allergy to the pluperfect among some writers lately. One writing advice columnist even suggested doing away with the verb “had.” This is a serious condition, folks, and it can lead to some seriously confusing writing. We need to stomp it out before it’s too late. What’s the pluperfect, you ask? Good […]

Jailed for Fiction

    Update 9/3: And the other shoe has dropped. I should have known better than to trust a story based on reporting from local TV stations. Thanks, WBOC, “Delmarva’s Fake News Leader”! Turns out McLaw’s dismissal had little or nothing to do with his books, and more to do with a letter he wrote with […]

Skyrim and the Possibility of Peace in a Violent World

Warning: this post contains spoilers for both the game of Skyrim and my novelization of that game, The Song of Deirdre. Also, it’s probably a lot of abstract drivel. To avoid that, just go read the novel. It’s free, after all, and several people tell me it’s not drivel. One of the great things about Skyrim is the impressive number of ways you […]

A Little Break

I’m taking a short break from posting chapters in The Song of Deirdre as I wrestle over some condensing and cutting. Meanwhile, check out this hilarious video about women’s specific armor design. As Lydia tells Deirdre in Chapter 24, referring to Skyrim’s body-hugging women’s steel plate armor, “This is cunning metalwork, and very becoming, no […]

Why I Love – and Hate – Game of Thrones*

Because it’s about the real world, despite the dragons and the magic. Because it’s a meditation on the uses and abuses of power. Because it reminds that there is little hope, and terrible things always about to happen. Because, like the real world, we’re never sure who the good guys are (no, not even the […]

Wisdom from Ryan Brooks

I thought publishing a book would change my life. And it did, in some ways. It opened a few doors for me. But it’s as Ryan Brooks says: there is always only the work you have in front of you, today, in this moment. Or as Ryan puts it: And I say this next part […]

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