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Showing posts from January, 2016

Writing Advice from Kurosawa

At the moment, I'm working on a screenplay in addition to drafting my 11th novel. It's how I learned the art of story structure and how the moving parts of a story worked. I wrote or co-wrote a dozen screenplays before I turned to write my first novel and it was an invaluable experience.

Granted, the first thing people asked after they read my early drafts of my early work was, "You were a screenwriter, weren't you?"

It showed. They really are different media, and it can be easy to ease too far into one or the other, but I think both are valuable forms of storytelling. I mean, at my day job I work with telling stories with moving pictures every day, and at night I work with words. Or the morning, rather. I still find advice people dole out to screenwriters valuable to all writers, though. In fact, I pretty much insist anyone who is interested in telling stories read Robert McKee's Story. And then re-read it every time you're plotting a new story.  (Tip: …

About Graham Greene...

There are writers I love to read, regardless of what they've written. It doesn't matter what genre it's in, what length, how it's published, I just want to experience their work.

Graham Greene is one of those writers. I was introduced to him through the movies that he wrote, principally The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. Coincidentally, I wrote about that movie on StarWars.com here. After that, I read his book Dr. Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party, based on a friends recommendation and it blasted me right between the eyes. It was reading this book that showed me how I could wrap my head around writing a novel.

Then, over the years, I set out to devour everything he'd done. He'd written entertainments, thrillers, human drama, and many, many short stories.  His book, The End of the Affair, was a direct inspiration on The Aeronaut.  I wanted to bring some of his literary sense to a genre arena and bring a different…

That Little Voice

Sometimes when I write there's a little voice that tells me that no one is going to care about what I have to say. It asks me who is going to read this blog about writing, let alone care about what's written there. It asks me why anyone would want to read my prose at all, let alone pay for it.

It's a constant voice of doubt.

Hell, even as I'm writing this, I'm telling that little voice to shut the hell up every time it suggests I delete all of this and start this post over from scratch and pick a different topic. One that exposes less vulnerability.

But it's something that I would assume every writer deals with. It's that voice that says you're not good enough. The one that tells you not to worry about submitting the story to the publisher. The one that tells you it doesn't matter if you finish that novel. Or screenplay. Or whatever.

That little voice is a total asshole.

And my suspicion is that you shouldn't listen to him. (Or her. It can be fe…

2015 - A year of writing in review

A lot happened in 2015 in my writing career and I produced a LOT of work.

By the numbers:

I published 1 novelI published 1 original short story collectionI wrote 2.8 new novelsI wrote and published more than 12 short storiesI wrote more than 100 pieces for magazines, print publications and websitesAltogether, I wrote 498,161 words in 2015, which averages to 1368 words written per dayBy December 31, I'd written for 181 consecutive daysThese are not for comparison with other writers. I write more than some and less than others. I keep track of these things as a mere benchmark for myself, so I know what I am capable of and I know how much further I can push myself. Honestly, I think I can be more prolific than this and seeing it laid out, I know I can do more and keep my quality consistent. 
This is purely an exercise in accountability for myself. 
My challenge for myself is to increase these numbers in 2016. 
My challenge for you is to just keep track of what you're writing so that …