Part 2: The 40 Best Tips from Successful Authors & When to Ignore Them

Here’s Part 2 of my massive article on writer’s tips on writing. You can read Part 1 here. 21. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov, playwright and short story writer Chekhov is widely accepted as one of the greatest writers in history. If…

Part 1: The 40 Best Tips from Successful Authors & When to Ignore Them

Due to the length of this post, it’s being presented in 2 parts. Part 2 (numbers 21-40) is presented here. For longer than I have been writing, I have been reading quotes from writers on writing. Some are clever, some schmaltzy, a few invaluable, and quite a few utter bollocks. I’ve decided to spend part…

The Stubborn-Ass Birth of Jesse Ed McKinney

This is the opening  of a novelette entitled “The Stubborn-Ass Ghost of Jesse Ed McKinney.” It’s the first draft, to the extent that one can assign a ordinal number to my draft. I’ve read plenty of advice that says one should never edit while one is attempting to write. That is absolute nonsense. I firmly…

How to Write Gud, by me and George Orwell

I wrote this back in early 2013, when no one read my blog (or, more accurately, when fewer people pretended to. Since I liked it, I decided to repost it.) George Orwell, in his 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language, provided six simple rules for avoiding what he calls “bad English.” They are: Never…

More Writers on Writing

Just what the title says. There is no best way to write. Find a process that works for you and follow it. Sometimes, as in my case, it’s not about how you write; the inhibitor more revolves around why you write. Once I learned whom I write for and why, my writing began to improve…

This Week’s Essays on Writing

This was the 3rd post I ever did on this blog, back on 28 December 2010. Obviously, no one really watched the videos because almost no one read my blog. I thought it worth reposting for those of you who aspire to be (or already are) writers. Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently Stephen King –…

Life Lessons from a Big Dog

1. Wag more. Bark less. 2. You will live longer in a pack than you will alone. 3. Every pack needs an alpha. See if it’s you. 4. They secretly like it when you lick them. 5. Not all females are bitches. In fact, most are not. 6. Wild dogs cannot be tamed; they can,…

the best words

a quick note to fellow writers as reminder that the best words are those not written but felt the best picture is not the one you take, or paint but the one they imagine within the negative spaces  

A Dream Is Not a Hobby

A dream is not a hobby. Some of you are already nodding your heads; others are, perhaps, confused. Let me explain. Writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, those of us who try the arts hoping to eke out some acclaim and a living, do so because we love it, to be sure. I write books and stories,…

Writers Tip of the Day: Show, Don’t Tell … Is Stupid

We’ve all heard it: writers should “show,” not “tell.” By that, the common wisdom, espoused to novelists and poets alike, means that writers should reveal a scene by allowing it to play out, not by passively sitting back and describing it. Let’s look at one example. First, let’s tell. Jake was heartbroken watching Ann as…

silence

Silence falls like winter snow Cleanse the air of clutter Fallen angels mark the way Touching barely flutter Trees not stark, but frosted white Pointing skyward, twisted Your retreat is from my gaze Snowflakes gently fisted Dancing, twirling drift away Frozen laughter shatters Round the hill and gone again Poem left in tatters ____________________________________________________ This…

The Dirty Little Secret

Caveat: I am not an expert. There is no such thing as expertise.  I have spent much of the last two years reading different writing “rules” from authors, editors, agents, teachers, and readers alike. Sometimes they take the form of complete master works on the writing craft. Other times, they have been interviews, tweets, or…