Journal

Listen to the Voices

On Twitter, this question caught my attention in a big way. It summed up how I felt, too. What I expected to feel embarrassing and cringy turned out to be … kind of relaxing. Fun. And so, so many errors that I’d skimmed past without a second thought came jumping up out of the page…

Model of a Modern Major Enemy

I’ve been taking some time to reconsider how my mentor figure enters the scene, so (as usual) I’m looking to the real world for inspiration. But I’m not focusing on mentors today: I’m talking about the world they live in, and what makes them answer the call. In the area where I grew up, we…

Motivation: Don’t do it anyway.

So I sat down and tried option one, but doing it anyway didn’t do it for me. Next! Option 2: Don’t do it anyway. If the muses aren’t showing up tonight – I think that’s okay. Some nights it’s all I can do to let the story flutter around in my head until something catches…

Motivation: Do it anyway.

Sitting down to write is easy when I’m excited. The words just pour out… until they don’t. It’s like a switch is thrown. Suddenly, the idea isn’t so shiny anymore. It has pimples and stray hairs, and its eyes have started to follow me around the room. I need to get reconnected to that story,…

Just write, right?

There are a few bits of advice you’ve probably heard over and over. One of those is probably: you should Write Every Day. To do it right, aim for 1,000 words (or whatever arbitrary number your hero of choice advocates). Sorry, not sorry. I don’t have a set time of day, or duration, or target…

Plot farming.

I’m sure it’s no great shocker by now that I like structure. In the past, I’ve tried several structures, but three always seem to float to the top. There’s the traditional “One Monomyth To Rule Them All” (in 8- and 12- part harmonies). The Snowflake has been kind to me. I’m also quite fond of…

Building a fake real world.

The three act structure has become ubiquitous. We enter with the character into a normal world, get our footing just in time for the second act to blow it away, and then bring the two world back together in the finale. In Ready Player One, this progression is very clear. We begin in the stacks,…

Keeping it real.

“Writing is telling the truth in lies.” When I heard those words, it changed how I view storytelling – because, on a fundamental level, it’s true. When stories hold to that, we can feel those layers that separate a story from the truth beneath, and it resonates with us. In Aether, I’ve been staring at…