This post, at its heart, is an essay about developing ideas for writing projects. I’m no stranger to having ideas. Ideas are cheap. The implication that a good idea is all you need to write any work of fiction, from a short story to a multi-volumed series of books, is somewhat insulting. Especially to […]Read more "Idea Building (creative writing tips from Pencil Sketches, Modeling Clay and Fred Saberhagen)"
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash When I was a young man, I was confused about what was meant by a “writer’s voice.” I was committing words to paper, not recording an outgoing message on an answering machine. How does “voice” figure into that? Over the years, I’ve come to recognize the authorial voice. You […]Read more "Finding Your Writer’s Voice"
Okay. Maybe the word “essential” is overused. But, this is a more efficient title than “Firewater’s Personal Recommendations of Books for Writers, Limited to 10 of His Nonfictional Favorites.” As with any list of things, your personal mileage may vary. Although I haven’t read every book about writing or every reference book ever published, I […]Read more "10-List: Essential Books for Writers"
I have no fewer than twelve posts that I’ve been planning to write (not counting all of the Star Trek: TOS episodes I’ve already watched and not written about yet), so I can’t blame lack of ideas for my sudden writer’s block. Or lack of time, really. I have as much time as I ever […]Read more "Hitting a Wall (finding excuses to not write)"
In speculative fiction, I’m usually drawn to time travel stories. Such stories spark my imagination, whether in movies, books, comics or television. Who hasn’t wished, at least idly, that they could go back and do something differently, or, alternately, go forward to see what lies ahead? I recently watched the Star Trek: TNG two-parter “Time’s […]Read more "Time Travel Stories (a couple of quibbles)"
The subtitle of this post came from one of Ellison’s many quotes: “I usually say I write for the smartest, cleverest, wittiest audience I know, and that’s me.” A lot of things could be said about Harlan Ellison, and I said a few of them in an earlier post. But, whether he’s hated or revered, […]Read more "Harlan Ellison (1934-2018): The Smartest, Cleverest, Wittiest Audience He Knew"
For me it’s all about character. Give me characters I love, loathe, or otherwise identify with and I’ll read about whatever they decide to do. Long after I’ve forgotten individual storylines, I’ll remember certain characters. If they’re memorable, that is. Stu Redman and Frannie Goldsmith. Bigwig and Fiver. Frodo and Sam. Richie and Fonzie. […]Read more "A Matter of Character (Fiction Writing Techniques)"