A Good Group

As writers, we spend a lot of time working alone. However, we can't work in complete isolation, so at some point you'll need to seek out other writers. A good writing group can help you…

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…

Where to Start

I'm a member of the Facebook group Science Fiction Writing Fanatics. It's a fun group with a decent amount of activity - not so much it's overwhelming but enough to keep me thinking. If you're…

The What-If Game

Write long enough and eventually you'll hit a story block. By this I mean you're going along, the story has been working, and suddenly - BAM! You hit a brick wall and feel like you're…

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…

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 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…

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…

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…

Man in front of sign that reads "Sorry"

Story Anti-Patterns – And How to Fix Them

In programming we have a concept called an anti-pattern. This is a flawed approach at fixing a problem that causes more problems than the original issue it attempted to fix. Because of their ubiquitous nature,…

Nobody Can Do It But You

When I first started to understand how to use Twitter, I set up a tweet library for myself. These were things I could reach into and schedule through HootSuite, so I didn't have to spend…

The Night Will End

It's the thick of the holiday season where I live. In the northern hemisphere it's winter, and the sun has retreated leaving us with shorter days and really long nights. It got me thinking about…

Is Intent Enough?

I meet people in all walks of life who are just taking the nervous first steps on their artistic journey. They're young. They're old. They're in between. They want to write, they have ideas, but…

The Value of Play

About a year ago, I bought a few odds and ends for my filmmaking hobby. (Yeah, I'd love to call it a business but right now my accountant tells me I have a fun hobby.…

The Story You Save May Be Your Own

I was listening to an I Should Be Writing podcast today and Mur had a listener send in a comment. The poor guy was working, left the computer to do something, and a Windows Update…

The Multitasking Fallacy

Writing is a process. We spend hours, months, days or sometimes years working on our art. It takes effort, it takes energy, and above all, it takes time. It's not easy, it's work. Many find…

Empty theater seats

Creating Scenes

We as writers have a very important job as we work - we create scenes. Think about that for a minute. Whether you read a book or you watch a movie, someone had to write…

The Strong and Immediate Bond

I'm getting old. I've read a lot of scripts and I've seen a lot of movies, and after watching a couple I need to bring up a topic that I don't see people write about…

I Hate Outlines

I've said before that I really don't like outlining. I think part of my trauma comes from grade school where we were first being taught how to do it. The teacher at the time had…