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 […]Read more "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."
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 […]Read more "Ticking Away the Moments that Make Up a Dull Day (Or: I Want to be a Writer, But I Don’t Have the Time)"
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 […]Read more "The First Draft of Anything is . . . (another questionable writing quote from Hemingway)"
I know, I’ve bragged about publishing 800 posts and over a million words on WordPress, mostly reviews and undisciplined rants about nerd-centric topics. Lots of Star Trek and Star Wars, as well as vanity projects that appeal mainly to an audience of one—the author himself. During that same time—since December 2015—I’ve written a lot of […]Read more "Writer’s Block Party: writing your way through the Wall"
For me, science fiction—as a fiction genre—is speculative fiction about the possible. By comparison, fantasy—which is science fiction’s close cousin—is speculative fiction about the impossible. A proverbial fine line exists between the two genres, a line which often gets crossed. So often, in fact, that we see both genres lumped together under the SFF banner, […]Read more "Escape (Not the Piña Colada Song): musings on escapist fiction and people who don’t like the taste of chocolate"
I hold to the belief that most entertaining fiction, whether found as television, cinema, stage plays, comic books, video games or print media, is highly predicated by two main requirements. The first of these is competent worldbuilding. A story’s settings must be realistic within the fictional milieu. The back story, the reasons why the story […]Read more "Firefly: Cast Personae (how to create character-driven science fiction)"
I recently watched all of the Joss Whedon series Firefly. Again. The first time I watched it was still years after it was born, and died, on FOX. The series had only one season, and yet it was burned into the collective unconscious of the nerdgeist. The Whedon connection helped, of course. It was my […]Read more "Firefly: a Master Class of Science-Fiction Worldbuilding"
“Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.” ~ Stephen King That’s what King says, anyway. He should know, right? The man has written a few million words of fiction. Mostly, it seems, without outlining. This story may be apocryphal, but I remember reading, or […]Read more "Plotters Vs. Pantsers Vs. Stephen King"
“Where do you get your ideas?” That’s just asking for a smartass answer, isn’t it? An Al Jaffee’s Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions response. Harlan Ellison had flippant answers to this question. An idea service in Schenectady that sent him x number of ideas for each x dollars he sent in. Neil Gaiman belongs to […]Read more "Too Many Ideas? (some of you can relate to this)"
This post is another in a series based upon Elmore Leonard’s advice to refrain from writing the parts that readers tend to skip. In previous posts, I talked about excessive and/or unnecessary description, pointless transitions and bathroom breaks, and dialogue. Initially, I couldn’t believe that some readers skipped dialogue, but it seems to be true. […]Read more "The Parts Readers Skip: Unnecessary Scenes & Info Dumps"