Category Blog

Write What You Know

I’ve seen this bit of advice before, in creative writing classes, seminars, online forums and writer groups. I believe it’s meant to encourage writers to play to their strengths, rather than the cursory limitation it could be interpreted as. How does one grow as a writer without working on flaws or expand knowledge / technique without learning new methods?

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I’m often asked when some project or other is going to be finished or why I haven’t written anything in weeks or months (or years? Yikes!). Some reasons are personal, some aren’t, but it usually boils down to exhaustion. Writing is hard. Sure, stories and words come more naturally than other talents, but that doesn’t make the craft of writing an easy task. Writing is exhausting, even more so than reading Tolkien or Martin. Yes, they’re beautifully written and I’ll never stop reading them, but damn they make me tired.

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Project Updates, Part II

I’m currently working on a few projects, the largest being book three of The Ascension trilogy. Here is a breakdown of each piece, in order of priority at this time. This is Part II- last week i posted the first few projects…

The D...

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Project Update, Part I

I’m currently working on a few projects, the largest being book three of The Ascension trilogy. Here is a breakdown of each piece, in order of priority at this time.

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Suspension of Disbelief

From my experience, as an avid fantasy reader and sometimes writer, the fastest way to pull a reader out of a story is with inconsistency. Word choice and pacing play a big role in keeping things moving along smoothly, but nothing jars the eyes quite like a bafflingly uncharacteristic action / response, contradicting established premises or flat out breaking the rules of physics and reality set forth from the beginning. It’s perfectly fine to elaborate upon an idea, twisting it in unexpected ways to arrive at something totally new but still within the confines of the story’s canon. In fact, I’d encourage it and really enjoy seeing such occurrences.

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Managing Plots

I haven’t spoken with other authors about their method for tracking and maintaining plotlines, so I have no idea if what I do is similar. Before I start working on an outline, I begin with an idea, which first sees the light of day in a text file oddly enough called Ideas. I tend to have a dozen or so at any given time, some just a sentence, some a full page. There’s no rhyme or reason to their order, as I tend to not have any control over what I write next anyway. It just starts writing itself in my head at some point.

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Changing Plot Midstream

I hope this never happens to me, though I can see how it might. I go to great lengths to have my plot and subplots thought out and planned long before I start chapter one. Having to change the main plot halfway through a manuscript means I either didn’t plan as well as I thought I did, or an idea struck me that was so profound it warranted changing (or even rewriting) the entire book. I could definitely see this happening to someone who sits down to write and lets their muse take lead.

But what if?

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What Makes an Antagonist?

So if you were unaware, these blog posts are actually ideas passed on by publisher Bob Nelson. I’m sure they stem from questions he’s been asked or conjured from some dark pit in his brain, but my question this week was of no use. Not only have I not received a strange fan mail, I’ve yet to receive any. I know, I’m unapproachable. Or maybe it was unreachable? In any case, I thought I’d steal someone else’s blog assignment and put a little twist on it.

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