Uncategorized, writing life, writing process

Steering the Craft, Part 2: PUNCTUATION

Ursula K. Le Guin says, resoundingly, "Wrong!" The second chapter of her book on writing, Steering the Craft, is all about punctuation. (Check out my post about the first chapter here!) She writes, "...punctuation tells the reader how to hear your writing." It is a crucial tool, and not to be overlooked. My experience with… Continue reading Steering the Craft, Part 2: PUNCTUATION

writing process

Steering the Craft, Part 1: SOUND

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the best and most important contemporary writers of science fiction. Her prose is immaculate, whether she was focusing on gender politics in The Left Hand of Darkness, consumer culture in The Dispossessed, creating sci-fi tech that others will use for decades (the ansible: a communication device that relays… Continue reading Steering the Craft, Part 1: SOUND

writing life

Stop Writing, Please

I've been largely absent here for 2019. Sorry about that. I've been putting my writing energy and time into my novel. The concept for it has been rattling around in my head since 2014. I only just found an ending in November 2018, and, in May 2019, finished a first, full draft of the whole… Continue reading Stop Writing, Please

writing life, writing process

The Problem with the Hero’s Journey

There are two kinds of writers. Plotters, those who plan out the events of their stories before they write, and pantsers, those who write without knowing where they're going. I have been (and probably always will be) a pantser. This is fun for me while I'm writing, but hell when trying to put together a… Continue reading The Problem with the Hero’s Journey

writing life, writing process

Novel Writing, Consumerism, and the Skill of Waiting

We belong to an impatient culture. We don't wait for anything if we can help it, and if we have to wait, we tap our feet, sigh, and complain.  Sitting and thinking that doesn't lead to immediate action is "wasting time" or "naval gazing" or "daydreaming." We have lost sight of the value in waiting.… Continue reading Novel Writing, Consumerism, and the Skill of Waiting

reading lists, writing life

2017 in Books

Ya'll have seen that Weight Watchers commercial, right? *clears throat* *activates Oprah voice* I. Love. Books. I inhale them the same way I do bags of potato chips: whole, and in as few sittings as possible. If I get ahold of a really great book, and it's 400+ pages, there's a good chance I'll get… Continue reading 2017 in Books

writing life, writing process

Why is Writing So Hard?

You've set aside a couple of hours to write, and you've been looking forward to it all day. You finally get home. You get your snacks, your tea or coffee, settle down to write, and...  You can't find the mental energy to begin the process of writing, or stay in the groove long enough to… Continue reading Why is Writing So Hard?

process, writing life, writing process

when to give up on a story

I'm reading the novel 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (totally recommend, though I'm starting to take issue with 800+ page novels; they're EXHAUSTING). There's a character in it who's an aspiring fiction writer named Tengo. He has a revelation part-way through the book. He realizes he's never really been passionate about anything. He's performed well in… Continue reading when to give up on a story

writing life

the value of story

Confession: I've been dealing with some artistic jealousy lately. I started watching the Netflix series Chef's Table, which provides documentary-like looks into the lives and philosophies of the world's most successful chefs. The culinary arts are fascinating to me. They're also always in high demand. Because, well, we all have to eat. Between jobs, I've… Continue reading the value of story

writing life, writing process

the novel as multiverse

One of Flannery O’Connor’s most popular statements goes, "I have to write to discover what I am doing. …I don’t know so well what I think until I see what I say." The more popular paraphrase is a little easier to parse. "I don’t know what I think until I read what I say." Novel writing… Continue reading the novel as multiverse