My First Novel

I wrote my first novel when I was in high school. I wrote in longhand back in those days. In pencil, and in thick spiral-bound notebooks, preferably college ruled. My pencil of choice was, of course, the Faber Castell Velvet No. 2. I don’t remember how I came around to fetishizing this particular brand of […]

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A Grim Dystopian Future (Or, a brief digression about WordPress categories, three-act story structure, and the reasons why so many of our stories have such bleak settings)

Not long ago I created a new category on my WordPress account and included a lot of my old posts in it. The category is, of course, A Grim Dystopian Future. Full disclosure: I included the article “A” so that the category would land near the top of my list, just under the category 10 […]

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Cinematic Perspective (Or, a brief digression about sensory engagement in movies, writing dialogue and narrative POV)

You like movies? I like movies. Some movies, anyway. Stories told through the medium of motion pictures tend to be memorable because they engage the senses of the person watching them. Sight and sound, certainly. These are the two obvious senses engaged. But, I think I can make a case for the other senses as […]

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A Story is Born (or: a brief digression about fiction writing, idea generation, and Gilmore Girls)

During the last six months of 2021, I managed to get 10,000 words written of a novel-length story idea that’s been percolating in the back of my head for more than twenty years. Since I average 250 words per printed page (double-spaced, 12-point type), that’s forty pages. Not a bad start. These forty pages are […]

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But, I Digress . . .: a brief digression about the massive size of the internet and why you shouldn’t feel bad for calling yourself a writer.

There’s a scene in an episode of Seinfeld in which a woman cheers on hundreds of marathon runners by shouting, “You’re all winners!” A few years ago, I wrote a rather short essay that still managed to wander off-topic in spite of its brevity entitled “Everyone is a Writer.” No exclamation point, but it might […]

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Ticking Away the Moments that Make Up a Dull Day (Or: I Want to be a Writer, But I Don’t Have the Time)

I’m no stranger to rationalization. It’s easy to make excuses for not doing something. I was sidetracked by work, or by other things I need to take care of at home, family obligations, or the last half of Season 5 of Lucifer that dropped on Netflix and which I feel compelled to binge-watch. There’s only […]

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The First Draft of Anything is . . . (another questionable writing quote from Hemingway)

This post is about first drafts, certainly. It’s also about the reliability of long-accepted quotes from dead people. A while back, I wrote a post titled Write Drunk, Edit Sober (good bad advice on how to tap your creativity like a keg). The “write drunk, edit sober” quote has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway for […]

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