One hundred and nine times, the word “Leviathan” appears in the book Moby Dick. This is a particularly long and dramatic approach to the word “whale,” but you will find Moby Dick is a particularly long and dramatic approach to a story that at its core is pretty damn simple. And the skeleton of said … Continue reading Moby Dick
You’ve just written a bangin’ chapter for your novel. You’ve looked over it for typos and grammatical errors. You even waited, sleeping on it before reading again in the morning. Everything seems to be in order, so you put yourself out there.
And putting yourself out there feels a lot like walking naked into a busy city street, all your goods exposed to the speculative eyes of strangers passing by. Will you get appreciate glances, nods or raised thumbs?
Or will people sneer, whisper to their partner, and cackle?
You know it’s a vulnerable feeling, but maybe this isn’t your first rodeo. You know your
privateschapter is kickass and people are going to love it.
But then the first critique comes in and… the critiquer hated it. Their suggestions amount to more words than you even submitted.
“This style just isn’t doing it for me,” says one stranger.
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Bullshitting has its limits.
There is a lot of advice out there that says you should only write what you know, and even more that says to write anyfuckingthing you want.
The problem with the former is that most of us are less exciting than the stories we create, and the problem with the latter is that if you get it wrong, someone is going to be uncannily quick to point it out and leave you a scathing review about how unbelievable it is.
So, here are a few of the things I have had to Google in order to write my current in-progress novel:
- What does human meat taste like?
And, when that only yielded a particular result…
What does raw human taste like?
- How long does it take for blood to replenish?
- Intravaneous Immunoglobulin
- Dogs sniffing out diseases
- Direct blood transfusion
- Rolled steel factories in Texas
- Where is…
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I don’t know if this is the case for all other English speaking countries, but here in the US, kindergartners know how to use “me” properly in a sentence. For example, “Please call me if you need anything.” We continue to use “me” correctly right up until someone, usually a teacher, tells us sometimes “me” … Continue reading Me, Myself, and I
Characters are the lifeblood the story. You can fabricate a setting that lives and breathes, but without characters to thrive in it, you do not have a story. Characters without characterization are all but useless. Don’t get me wrong: they can still carry out all the actions the story requires, bringing it from beginning to … Continue reading Know Your Characters
I read a Reader’s Digest article (from the September 2017 Genius Issue) describing the phenomenon of bestsellers growing “simpler” by the year. This is not a commentary on the article, but a few quick thoughts inspired by its subject matter. I’m also currently reading Moby Dick. I am not particularly enjoying the read --no offense … Continue reading Why I Write
The most recent book I finished on Audible was Kurt Vonnegut’s famous Slaughterhouse Five --narrated by James Franco! I didn’t know what to expect going into it at all. I’d never read any of his books, and didn’t know anything beforehand about this one, except that both author and novel are widely acclaimed. I didn’t … Continue reading Book Review – Slaughterhouse Five
Ever read back over your action scene, only to find it lacking? It's not always easy to get what you see in your mind on paper; especially when it's supposed to be a balls to the wall action scene. Often these scenes come across dull and even boring because the writer hasn't used effective language … Continue reading Make Your Writing Kick Ass
One of my favorite authors, Jack London, has a famous quote. He says, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." This is often true. Think of inspiration as a cute white baby seal flopping aimlessly around on the ice, and of yourself as a bloodthirsty, club wielding maniac. No, wait. … Continue reading Going After Inspiration
English grammar is hard. It is exceedingly rare for a person to have a “perfect” grasp of the English language, especially when there are so many exceptions and so much encouragement to bend its already pliable rules. Even native speakers often struggle with writing. This post would be immense if I tried to cover all … Continue reading Writing Dialogue