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Showing posts from June, 2016

Inspiration on a Deadline

I'm often asked how I can find inspiration so quickly, especially when I'm working on a deadline. I'm often told by others that they could never work creatively on a deadline because they have to wait for inspiration to hit.

To the former, I'll explain my method for finding inspiration on a tight deadline. For the latter, I offer this quote from Neil Gaiman:
“If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not. You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next. The process of writing can be magical. …Mostly it’s a pro…

Patreon

As you might have heard, I've started a Patreon for short stories. You can watch the above video and check out the campaign here.

The reason I started this site in the first place more than ten years ago was to get myself into the habit of writing short stories on a regular basis. Since then, I've written more than a hundred short stories and almost a dozen novels. I've also picked up gigs writing for so many websites and magazines and placing short stories in anthologies, which means that the "writing short stories for fun" aspect of what this site used to be shifted into something else.

I'm trying to put myself in a position where I'm not doing any writing that I'm not getting paid for and this seemed to be the best way to blend how this site used to run and my new renewed desire to be a full-time writer.

And that's where you come in.

If you enjoy what I do on the blog and can support the Patreon even for $1 per short story, I would be forever …

Writing Beginnings and Getting Through Act 2

In this week's video, I talk about where to start stories and how to get through your second act in the outline. I also talk about using the Hero's Journey as a menu, rather than a checklist.

I also talked a little bit about my new short story Patreon, which I'll be talking more about in a future post. In the mean time you can check that out here and vote on the first kind of story I'll be writing.

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As a reminder: You can join my short story Patreon here. 
The Aeronaut and Escape Vector are still out and still need your purchases and reviews. If nothing else, they can use you telling people about them. If you want signed copies, visit the shop here on this page.
Also! here's the full list of "rules and guidelines" I've been collecting over my years of studying writing advice and process
As far as my work outside of all this: There's a lot of great stuff on Big Shiny Robot! and Full of Sith for you. 
And please, please, please don't forget toche…

Curious Writers

Origins Game Fair came and went over the weekend and I had a lot of fun. I met a lot of fans and got to hang out with one of my favorite groups of writers. I also got to teach a lot of fun classes about writing, which are always as illuminating to me as I hope they are for the audience.

One thing that struck me as I was there, though, is that all of the writers I know are incredibly curious and inquisitive. They ask a lot of questions about how things work and why. It makes more sense every year why a gaming convention is the site of one of the best writing conferences in the country. Aside from the fact that the driving force behind the Origins Library is Star Wars author Michael Stackpole and he got his start in the world of gaming, we all like to see the mechanics of a thing. Playing games and discussions of game mechanics happened almost as frequently as discussions of writing and the business of writing. And it made a perfect sort of sense.

Writers want to know how things work.

Origins!

This week I will be heading to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. Every year it's a chance for me to hang out with fellow writer friends, as well as Star Wars nerds from Club Jade. But I also get an opportunity to teach some classes in writing and do some gaming as well. The crowd there always has great questions and I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me.

Working a convention is something writers, I think, need to be more accustomed to in this day and age. It's a great place to meet fellow professional writers (and drink with them after hours), it's a great place to meet editors, and to network with other people in the industry. It's also a great way to meet people who might like your work or who might be interested in your work but had never been exposed to you.

One of the things that Origins does that I love is pools all of the authors together for an anthology. This year the theme is "Robots" and if you've read Escape Vectorand are …

Rules of Magic and Writing the Opposite Sex

In this new video, I talk about the rules for writing fantasy based Magic systems and tricks to write the opposite sex.

In this, I mentioned Brandon Sanderson's writing class that is online. Below is part 2 of that class. You can skip part 1, it's really just housekeeping for the class. There are a dozen parts to it, they're great to watch as both new information and the occasional refresher.


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As a reminder: The Aeronaut and Escape Vector are still out and still need your purchases and reviews. If nothing else, they can use you telling people about them. If you want signed copies, visit the shop here on this page.
Also! here's the full list of "rules and guidelines" I've been collecting over my years of studying writing advice and process
As far as my work outside of all this: There's a lot of great stuff on Big Shiny Robot! and Full of Sith for you. 
And please, please, please don't forget tocheck out any of my books, drop reviews of them on Amaz…

A New Star Wars Project!

I am proud to announce that I have a new book coming out at the end of the month. I was asked to write 20+ new essays for The Best of Star Wars Insider Volume 2.

This series collects some of the best work that has appeared in the pages of Star Wars Insider and I was asked to come aboard for this volume to add new context and my own experience to introduce each piece. It was a lot of fun to work on, even though the deadline was incredibly tight.

This is one of those top secret projects I worked on ages ago and I'm finally able to talk about it. It was late last year,  even before The Force Awakens had come out, that I was doing the brunt of my work on this. It was a lot of fun and challenged me in a lot of ways.

One of the ways it challenged me was the fact that I had to read a piece, come up with a take on what I could add to it, or what I could say about it, then turn over a piece fairly quickly. Over and over and over again. It's the sort of thing I do regularly with my Cit…

Revisions and Deadlines

I took to Facebook to answer questions about my revision process and deadlines. I do these every Friday around noon MST if you'd like to catch them live. You can do that by liking my Facebook author page. 

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As a reminder: The Aeronaut and Escape Vector are still out and still need your purchases and reviews. If nothing else, they can use you telling people about them. If you want signed copies, visit the shop here on this page.
Also! here's the full list of "rules and guidelines" I've been collecting over my years of studying writing advice and process
As far as my work outside of all this: There's a lot of great stuff on Big Shiny Robot! and Full of Sith for you. 
And please, please, please don't forget tocheck out any of my books, drop reviews of them on Amazon or Goodreads, and follow me on twitter and Facebook!