Archive for the 'Writing' Category

The writing process

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Here is the basic writing process:

Write novel #1
Put novel #1 on shelf, start writing novel #2
Decide novel #1 has been on the shelf long enough and start editing it
Give up editing novel #1, go back to writing novel #2
Finish novel #2, put it on the shelf
Edit novel #1 again
Start writing novel #3
Start editing novel #2
Give […]


Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Take inspiration where you can find it. It’s a common saying, but really, being inspired helps any kind of creative expression. It could be nature–birds singing on a summer’s morning, waves washing away the beach, or the whisper of a breeze through a greening spring forest. Or it could be people–going to hear your favorite […]

Books on my writing shelf

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I keep a number of useful or inspirational books on my shelf for writing.

A dictionary
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
The Enchanted Forest And Its Family by Mavis Tofte
Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show by John Hench and Peggy van Pelt
Fantasy Encyclopedia by […]

Difference between writers and programmers

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

A writer writes something, revises it repeatedly, then ships it.
A programmer writes something, ships it, then revises it repeatedly.

Metaphor in fantasy and science fiction

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Metaphor doesn’t work in the opening of fantasy and science fiction.
Take a traditional work of fiction that opens:
Tom was a rock.
From this sentence, we know two things: Tom is a solid, reliable character, and the writer isn’t very imaginative.
Now that a fantasy novel that opens:
Tom was a rock.
In this case, perhaps Tom is an earth […]

Query letters

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I’ve been practicing my query letters. None of these is quite right for me, but if anyone wants to use them, feel free.

Dear Agent. I want to write a book. Please Help.
Dear Agent. You asked for a sample of my writing. The first word of my novel is “Seven” and […]

Why programmers don’t write novels

Monday, October 1st, 2007

1st edition
Book has three chapters, 255 blank pages, and the words “The End” on the final page.
The book has two new chapters.
The book has six chapters, and the protagonist is female.
Eight chapters, and the protagonist is male.
Chapter 10 is complete, but chapter 4 has been crossed out.
The first twelve chapters are done, except for chapter […]