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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Ending

Never, ever revise your opening chapter, your opening line, or the opening scene to your story if you haven't already written then ending. Mike Stackpole once told me, "Would you rather thirty chapters of a finished novel? Or thirty revisions of chapter one?" And he's right.

This is probably the advice I give to people more often than anything else.

Writers will ask about when they know how to move on from their first chapter, or they'll ask how to tell if they're opening is right, but there is no answering that question if there is no ending.

Unless you know exactly the bullseye you're aiming at, you're not going to be able to make the fine adjustments in your aim at the beginning of the process. That's the best part of writing. It's like archery in that you are aiming at the center of a target, but once you hit the target the first time, you don't have to shoot another arrow. You can go back to the beginning and readjust your aim and try…

On Editing and Revisions

When you're in the midst of a revision on a book that you've been through a dozen times it's easy to get bogged down. It's easy to feel as though no sentence matters and word choices are less than meaningless. It's easy to feel like no one wants to read your book anyway. More than anything, it's easy to forget that you wanted to write this book in the first place.

I've been hovering around those feelings as I toil on the book I'm readying for publication. I've re-written whole sections, I've changed character motivations, I've added, subtracted, and, hopefully, multiplied.

And the hardest part of this process is having to keep the whole novel in your head, knowing that if you beat in a dent in one spot it won't protrude awkwardly in another spot altogether.

I'm constantly reminding myself that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

And it's easy to do that every time I find just the right word. Or tweak things in just the …

The Weekly Update...

Another week has gone by and a lot of work has been done. 
I finished two more short stories. One is called Somnus, and I have absolutely no idea where to place it. I might start sending it out for publication after a revision or two because I don't quite think it works yet. 
The other is called Byline and sort of attacked me out of nowhere. I write in my notebook every morning to warm up and I had a great idea for a first line to a short story. Then a second line. Then a third. Soon enough I had like a 2,000 word piece in my notebook. I also don't have a plan for this one.
I started work on another short story, though, and this one is a world I created for a different short story called Escape Vector that will be coming out in a collection sometime in the next couple of months. It's been a lot of fun to think about and write, and really that's all I can ask for.
The lion's share of my time, though, has been spent writing a short film that I've been working on…

Tuesday Update

In an effort to keep my space here more regularly updated, and to get you warmed up to the idea of checking in regularly for my vlog experiment.

Fortunately, I have a lot of news this week.

On Saturday, I wrapped up the draft of the most recent novel I'd been working on, my eighth. I haven't settled on a title yet, but I really like "An Original" (which is the title of the short story it's based on) or "The Counterfeit Man."

I can't overstate enough how good it feels to finish a book. I'm already resisting jumping into my next one since I have so much I need to revise and polish on deadlines for other people.

I've published quite a bit this last week over at Big Shiny Robot!, mostly to do with Star Wars: Rebels, but there was some other stuff in there, too.

For StarWars.Com, I wrote a piece called The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Treasure of the Sierra Madre that I think you'll all have a lot of fun reading. I also did two different Star War…