Why I Don’t Do NaNoWriMo

Well, tomorrow it begins. All over the nation, nay, the world, word processors will fire up as literary aspirants everywhere prepare to do battle with themselves during NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – the solitaire sporting event in which folks try to complete a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. And [...]

It’s All Right To Feel A Little Fear

So I have hooked and crooked my way into ownership of a new computer, one that isn’t a collection of interconnected old parts cobbled together into a semblance of semi-functionality. Because of that, I now have a number of projects going. First, I am starting to scan my novels into HTML format (thanks to some [...]

Size Matters

In a conversation via some comments on this post, Weirdwriter asked me if I wrote many short stories before diving into the novel form. Um, not exactly. I know there’s this conventional wisdom that you start small and work your way up to the big stuff, right? In fact, every creative writing class I ever [...]

Dark Secrets of the Writer’s Heart

Does anyone else out there in the writing racket do this – when I get an idea for a new project that I think shows a lot of promise, I want to run out and buy a new pen and a new notebook or pad of paper and start writing immediately. Usually I calm down [...]

The Fudge Factor, or,”How Much Can I Get Away With Before My Audience Deserts Me?”

An interesting exchange of e-mails with my old college buddy Scoob has given me fodder for not one but two posts. This is the first, and the second will straggle in at some point in the future. Scoob started the ball rolling when he sent me this link to a blog wherein a physicist nitpicks [...]

The Chapter Chapter

Yesterday an e-mail came from a friend who is making her way through writing her first novel. She told me that while checking up on her chapter lengths, she found the following numbers: Chapter 1 – 5200Chapter 2 – 3600Chapter 3 – 3600Chapter 4 – 1870Chapter 5 – 2200 She said she was torn between [...]

Almost Accurate

GRIERSON(to the GALLAGHERS)Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher, this is a court of law. It is governed by laws and by rights. I swore an oath to follow the law, and sometimes, following the law isn’t the right thing to do, but it is the legal thing to do. Right and wrong is to be judged in [...]

Dirty Little Secrets

A conversation between myself and a reader calling himself Network Geek in the comment section of my post about J.K. Rowling’s spending habits reminds me that I’ve been meaning to post on this topic for a long, long time and just haven’t. Shame on me. See, there are two dirty little secrets about the writing [...]

What’s in a Name?

A colleague of mine has decided to write a novel. He’s got a dandy plot lined up, he’s working on outlining it, but he’s hit a stopping spot. I recently got an e-mail from him asking, “what is a good way to come up with names for characters?” What a great question. Oft times we [...]

Fooling Yourself

Back in the old typewriter days, there was nothing more satisfying to me than to watch the finished pages pile up on my desktop. It was a great motivator for me. Now that it’s all on screen and I have to squint to find the page count, I, like many other writers, have to find [...]


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