1st Draft Complete

I am pleased to relate that I’ve completed the first draft of my 11th book, an epic science fiction novel. This book evolved to be sort of a sequel to my novelette The Farr Road, since it takes place in  the same universe and even features one of the critical characters. I used the word…

Excerpt from My Current Work In Progress

Here’s this morning’s excerpt from my current work-in-progress, an epic science fiction novel. I’ll keep the name to myself, for now. I’m not sure how long this will be here, but here goes. For the first time since leaving the alley, she had and chance to bend over and catch her breath. “Are you okay,…

How to Paint Layers into Your Writing

After watching my wife work on a couple of her oil paintings, I’ve  come to realize that producing a work of fiction is very similar to creating a painting. Too many new writers have unrealistically low expectations about how good a first draft can be due to an overabundance of writerly advice that suggests fixing…

Plot Outline Template

As a novelist, I’m firmly in the plotter camp. For some of my shorter stories, and, oddly, most of my novelettes, I tend to let the story unfold organically, thinking no more than a page or two ahead. But for novels, there are too many intricacies and loose ends that need tying together to just…

I’m Writing Six Books at Once

It’s stupid, I know, but I have a bunch of sequel and new book ideas and I’ve been struggling to decide which one I like the most. They all have working titles, but I’m not revealing them yet. It’s actually seven books, but that’s more a collection of stories, which is a distinctly different process….

Dirty Writer’s Secrets #1

I am a writer. As such, I’m expected to be slightly nerdy and do all of the things writers do. Granted, the specifics of those things change over time. Writers are no longer expected to be alcoholics (most of those died) nor are they expected to chain smoke (likewise). It is still acceptable, though no…

On Being a Writer: 1 – In It to Win It

Success in writing, as with any other vocation or avocation, is restricted less by “talent” than by focus. Now, I know that probably differs from conventional wisdom and may be quite a different philosophy than is taught in literature class. After all, we are taught artistic hero worship. We are given the catechism of the…

Whence Ideas Come and Whither They Go

Those who’ve followed my blog for some time know that I think writer’s block is an (ironically) imagined disorder. There is no such thing as a lack of ideas. However, writers can make finding those ideas difficult, often by falling into inflexible routines. Let’s assume, for instance, a writer has always found their story ideas…

Roxx Reduxx

In the coming months, I will be re-releasing all of my old novels, starting with my Sci-Fi adventure, Hard as Roxx. All of them have been revised. Roxx, like the others, have had their prose tightened, with the opening retooled substantially. Unlike the other older books, Roxx’s story is slightly longer, rather than shorter, as…

The McKinney Women

I’ve begun editing my novela-turned-novel, The Stubborn Life of Jesse Ed McKinney III. Part of that effort is deciding where the chapter breaks go, since I originally wrote it as a single piece of “short” fiction (47,000 words long). Editing is both a daunting process and my favorite step, at least this, the substantive editing…