Perfection’s Just a State of Mind

With my son passed out on the couch, my wife and I spent an evening watching a TV show called Breaking the Band. While illuminating, it tends to tell the same three-act story: Band forms,  Band excels, Band dies. There are all sorts of reasons for this. Pressures leading to drug and alcohol abuse. Tragic accidents. But the seemingly number …

What is Writing Well?

After seeing a comment on my recent post from friend and prolific writer, Harvey Stanbrough, I realized that I didn’t do a very good job of defining what “writing well” actually means. Ironic, considering how Adler and Van Doren felt one of the keys to “reading well” was to come to terms with an author–in other words, what do certain …

Forming the Habit of Writing Well

Knowing the rules of an art is not the same as having the habit. Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book In my scheduled reading time (because it needs to be scheduled–spare time doesn’t exist in my current incarnation 🙂 ), I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite books: How to Read a Book by …

Quiet the Critical Voice

I’ve mentioned my friend and author, Harvey Stanbrough, to you all before, but I wanted to let you know that he’s published a helpful, practical book to help writers get out of their own way: Quiet the Critical Voice You can get it through Smashwords for $8.99 or save 11% and purchase directly from him for $8 even (using PayPal). …

Going Off the Rails

They say that teachers teach in order to learn. It makes sense. It also applies to changing habits. When writing fiction, I, and several others (each word is a separate link you must visit), are constantly preaching the gospel of letting the subconscious creative voice do its thing and tell the story it wants to tell. The critical voice, on …

Listening to Your Characters

He wasn’t a smart guy, but he thought he was. And that was the crux. I believed him and tried to make him do things a smart guy would do. And then I got stuck. Many times. What had started out as a fun, simple short story that I figured I’d wrap up in a couple of days wound up …

A Great Resource for Writers

Friends, I’ve been remiss in sharing one of my secret weapons for writing inspiration. It took some amazingly kind words about me in Harvey Stanbrough’s journal (Dec 30th) to realize I’d been more then a little selfish, so now I’m sharing. 🙂 It’s not enough that Harvey is a prolific writer (though it really should be enough), but like Dean …

Writing/Publishing Mentor Opportunity

Writers: Dean Wesley Smith, a name you’ve heard me mention multiple times on this blog as an excellent writing resource and inspiration, is offering a one-year (at least–see his post linked below for details) mentorship opportunity for $3,000. If you have the money to invest, this seems like a Willy Wonka golden ticket chance. I mention both writing and publishing …

Know My Place

It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned from my first in-person WMG workshop in Las Vegas and my noodle is still rattling around my skull, trying desperately to make sense of the information flood. I learned about podcasting, audiobooks, gaming rights, merchandise licensing, Hollywood contracts, discoverability, marketing, branding, social media, and ohmyGodsomuchmore… It. was. a. lot. But there was …