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Showing posts from August, 2011

A Great Piece of Writing Advice

I found this piece of good writing advice from Brian K. Vaughn. You might remember him from Y: The Last Man and as a writer on Lost.

According to him (and I agree completely) the secret to being more successful as a writer is as simple as can be:

WRITE MORE, DO OTHER STUFF LESS.

That's it. Everything else is meaningless. You can take all the classes in the world and read every book on the craft out there, but at the end of the day, writing is sorta like dieting. There are plenty of stupid fads out there and charlatans promising quick fixes, but if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise more and eat less. Period. Every writer has 10,000 pages of shit in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001.
He also said that writers block was just another word for video games.

I found this piece of advice a long time ago and I've had it tucked away. Since then I've all but given up video games and I can vouch for the effic…

50+ Rules and Tips About Writing I've Collected Over the Years

I have twenty or thirty notebooks and journals filled up with snippets about writing, my plans for stories, bits of dialogue, interesting ideas, plotlines, scraps of short stories, and a dozen other things. I carry one with me at all times and it takes me a couple of months to fill one up.

One of the things I've kept in one of my notebooks was a collection of writing tips and rules that I've collected over the years in my travels. From teachers, from books, from wherever. Most of my career has been spent screenwriting, so a lot of these are most applicable to that, but I wanted to present them so they might be of use to you as well.

I've never stopped collecting these over the years and I never will.

To start the list are Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules of writing. They are the first in my notebook and, I think, the most useful. I'll add a star to those I think are applicable most to screenwriting. Some of these aren't applicable to everyone in every situation, but…

UPDATED: My Dragon*Con 2011 Schedule

So, I moved too late to get a table for the show (I was numbered in the hundreds on the waiting list), but I did manage to find myself on a panel with my good friend Janine Spendlove (author of the ridiculously popular and very fun to read War of the Seasons books).

Mon 1:00pm Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing in YA- In this era of instant media, what are some advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing your YA novel, vs. the traditional path often taken?
Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, Jonathan Maberry, Jackson Pearce
A707
It should be a very fun and interesting panel. And I think there are distinct advantages to each method of publication, so I'm not for one side or the other.

I'll be roaming the convention the whole time (tweet me if you want to meet up) and I'll have books on me in case you wanted to pick some up. (I'll be carrying Lost at the Con, Man Against the Future, and my convention only versions of The Colossus.)

If you see me, feel free to s…

Why Pottermore will be good for all of us

I got into the early beta for Pottermore this morning and I've spent a lot of time messing around with it.  It's immersive and fun and I've spent way too much time there.

You can read my full thoughts about the experience itself on Huffington Post or Big Shiny Robot!

But there's something else about it that excites me as an author:  I'm not even the biggest Harry Potter fan, but sitting there trolling through all the behind the scenes content of the books, I was dying to get the digital versions to make it easier to follow along with the experience.

That's their next big step, launching the eBooks.  I've already bought copies of all the books, but something about the experience of Pottermore made me desire the digital versions.

Imagine that happening to the millions expected to be using this free service and want to buy an eReader to buy the digital versions of the books proper?  These readers aren't going to be buying just seven books.  They're g…

The Whiskey Doctor and other stories about the new Great Depression

I have a brand new three-pack of short stories available for .99 cents on the Kindle and Nook today. This one is called "The Whiskey Doctor and other stories about the new Great Depression".

It contains three stories:

The Way It Is
The Whiskey Doctor
By the Bootstraps

Included below is from the introduction to the collection:

Some of my favorite art and stories grew out of the plight of the “working class” and those affected by the Great Depression. From Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to every Three Stooges short and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and a hundred other examples, in that era there was an overwhelming amount of art in the popular culture that brought attention to the horrible things going on in the country because of its economic realities.

We’re living in a very similar period, but I haven’t seen the art reflecting the times. Every show seems to be about highlighting what it’s like to be rich, and our shows, movies, and magazines adore those who have everything…

An Orgy of Laughter: Three books from the fringe of society

If you've been interested in picking up a digital version of Lost at the Con but haven't yet, you might be interested in a new three pack of humour books.

I've teamed up with Warlizard and Jen Ashton to put all three of our books together in one collection.

It's called "An Orgy of Laughter: Three Books from the fringe of society" and you can pick up all three books together for $9.99. Separately it would be a lot more than that. The link to get it on the Nook will be up shortly.

I'm going to assume if you're here that you know what Lost at the Con is about. (If you'd rather just pick up my book, you can do so at this link.)

As for the other two books in the collection:

THE WARLIZARD CHRONICLES by Warlizard

My new fiancée Betty and I were sitting on the couch, watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show when she looked over at me and casually said, "My first orgasm came from a dog."

As I sat there stunned, trying to control my reac…