Con season is almost over, so that tells me it’s a most excellent time to write a post about con season! Right? Right? Fellas? Where you goin’, fellas? WHATEVER FINE JUST LEAVE. Anyway. I figured that writers go to conventions and conferences year-round, so it’s a good idea to talk to you penmonkeys about what to do there, what to expect, where to find me drunk at 3AM (hint: parking garage inside a duffel bag). If you’re looking for more general “con etiquette” stuff, I might recommend this wise post... Read The Rest →
Sometimes, writers get out of the groove. They lose their voodoo. This isn’t just writer’s block — hell, you might even still be writing. But it feels hollow, unrewarding, like it’s not just giving back what you put in. You need your creative mojo back. Which means, another list of 25, comin’ right up. (Some of these, I figure, also work toward writer’s block, if that’s a thing you believe in.) 1. Read Outside Your Comfort Zone By “comfort zone,” I mean that room inside your head where it’s all... Read The Rest →
I’m about to tackle a new novel (The Blue Blazes, coming in something-something 2013!), and also, I see the green flash on the horizon that indicates the coming reality storm that is “National Novel Writing Month,” so this seems like a good time for a post like this one, yeah? Do you actually need to do all these things? No, of course not. This is merely a potential checklist. Scan it. Pick and choose what works, ditch the rest. End of story. 1. Get Your Expectations Firmly In Check Writing... Read The Rest →
Okay, what follows are really just mottos or sayings or made-up platitudes that I happen to live by, and for all I know I’ll only live by them for a couple weeks until I realize they comprise a fetid heap of horseshit. But, I thought I’d like to write them down just the same. Some of this is “greatest hits” stuff, no doubt — you’ve heard a good bit of this before. But a lot of it is also an evolution of my thoughts on writing and storytelling (and one’s... Read The Rest →
1. Comparing Two Unlike Things A metaphor is a little bit of writing magic that allows you, the writer, to draw an unexpected line between two unlike things. You are comparing and connecting things that have no business being compared or connected. How is a wasp like an auto mechanic? A banana like a storm cloud? How do you talk about a nuclear winter while evoking a beautiful symphony? The metaphor is the writer holding up one thing (“a double-headed dildo”) and asking — nay, demanding — that the reader... Read The Rest →
Creativity does not live in a cave inside your head. That shit's gotta come out and play. It has to splash in rain puddles. It has to climb trees. It has to build a ground-to-air star-exploding laser out of Duplo blocks and a repurposed iPhone. You need to give yourself the time every day to do the thing that you want to do.