Which Character Are You?

Pretty much any time you write something, the question which character are you is bound to come up. I think it comes up most often when you talk about your writing to people who don't…

Five Books

Usually I write about stuff I see in a Facebook group. This post is a reaction to some stuff I saw over in a LinkedIn post. A friend of mine has stuck out on her…

The Rules

When you write in genre - especially Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal, it's exciting because we get to create limitless worlds. The only limits are those in your own imagination, and you're free to explore pretty much anything you…

Mason laying bricks on a walkway

Have Pride in Your Work

A while back I used to teach college level English classes. Several were introductory level courses - how to write a college research paper. Every class had a few people who would ask "does spelling…

Delivering on Story Promises

When you write something creative - anything creative - you have a contract with your audience. In the crucial first pages you're setting the stage for everything to come. You need to deliver on the…

The Value of the Crazy-Ass Plans

I saw a post over on Quora that resonated with me. This person was talking about a girl they had a crush on and how they could get over this. I posted my advice to…

The Power of Music

Back when I was in college, we'd occasionally have a professor come in and play classical music while we were studying. They would tell us this helped us concentrate. These little interludes never lasted long,…

The Value of Community

I'm heading for a writing conference this weekend, and I'm really excited about it. If you've never been to a conference or a writing group, let's explore the topic in this post. I'm Not Ready…

Silhouette of a person's head with gears turning inside

That Which Is Not Explained

Watch enough movies and read enough books, and you're bound to run into some ambiguous themes - where something is important to the story, quickly touched upon, and then that's it. Audiences will go along…

The Secret Adaptation Formula

Every so often I meet other writers who hear I write novels, comics and screenplays. They're interested in taking their work from one format and adapting it to another. This is a great exercise and…

The Open Minds

It's almost Oscar time as I'm working on this post, and a recent episode of The Creative Penn got me thinking about my journey into animation. I think the lessons would benefit some of you…

The Energy Bucket

This post started as yet another rant about how you need to work to achieve artistic success. I thought about the other version of this post most of the day and decided I'm going to…

How Much Description?

I don't see people talk often about how much you need to describe your characters, to this time around let's talk about it. The rules are different across screenplays and prose - if you don't…

The Hard Road

A friend of mine is working on a horror story. In it he has a female protagonist and he questioned whether the trials he was putting her through were too tough...so let's explore what we…

Silent Characters

Back in Talking the Talk I started a discussion about dialog. This time around I'd like to give you some food for thought - there are some memorable characters that don't talk. Done right these…

Chappie: Robot Scifi Done Well

I was a huge fan of DISTRICT 9, and when I saw Neill Blomkamp was directing another scifi feature I hoped it would deliver on the high quality of his previous film. I was not…

Group Dynamics in Fiction

Most stories will revolve around more than one character. Sure, you'll have one character who's central to the story and who basically owns it - but you need more people for this character to interact…

How Long Will This Take?

I was conversing with another indie lamenting about his sales figures (which aren't much different from mine - depressingly low). It got me thinking... Back when I was in high school there was a show…

Your Soapbox and Your Filter

Back in You'll Never Get to Yes I touched briefly on the sensibilities of the audience. I think it's time to touch on the subject since I don't think I've spoken about it before. The…

In Their Own Eyes

I'm a big fan of Linda Seger's books. If you're a writer, Creating Unforgettable Characters must be on your bookshelf. If it's not you're really missing out. One of the bits Seger shares in Creating…

Embrace the Absurdity

2015 saw me work on my first animated film, In the Dark (Full video at end of post). It was my first animation and (as of the time I'm writing this) it's been the most…