Bit of my own writing, and articles about writing craft.
We talk a lot about how to write books, about author’s craft and writers’ tips. This post is instead focused on the act of writing — on the recording of words. There are probably as many methods of writing a novel as there are authors — writing longhand with a Montblanc fountain pen in a […]
I’ve started the year with 116 reviews for Murder In Absentia (and, I think, there were about 3-4 reviews that have been removed over the years). By now, the number of reviews is up to… … 110! This isn’t going to be a whinging post, just a reflection of what (I think) is happening, and […]
In my continual quest to improve my writing craft, I watched the recorded Brandon Sanderson’ course on Creative Writing. I seriously recommend it to anyone writing novels, especially SciFi / Fantasy. Below are my thoughts about how to make the best use of it.
This post arose out of my review of Six of Crows. I complained that many action sequences were problematic. I didn’t provide examples, to avoid spoilers and in fairness to Bardugo, but I think this subject deserves a full post. There were a few scenes in the novel, more than a passing oversight, where the […]
In the eternal quest to improve my writer’s craft, I do three things. These are, for me, the three pillars that make the best, most stable structure for growth. They are: Writing often (novels and short stories – there’s always something going on in my head) Reading voraciously (in and out of my particular genre mix […]
I recently came across Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing a short story. I thought they are pretty brilliant, regardless of the scope of you story (they could apply to a full-length novel just as much), so I have reproduced them below together with my thoughts about them. 1. Use the time of a total […]
I have the bestest fans. A dear soul has sent me an invaluable resource of Roman Republican coinage. Not actual coins, duh, but an online collection of images of Mid-to-Late Republic coins – Rutgers University Badian Collection. The collection covers roughly 280 to 31 BCE, and is comprised of about 1,200 coins. Each entry is detailed […]
Not all ideas end up as a full novel. Sometime’s it’s just a flash fiction, or even a mere snippet of a story. Here are a couple of particularly delicious ones from the past few weeks. All were done as a prompt (where someone asked for it or not…) to an image. This little techno-beasty […]
Rather than an article, I include below links to two others, with my thoughts on them. I think they show pretty well the current turmoil that the publishing industry is in. The first is titled “Cover Story: The Quiet Catastrophe, Then Reinvention Of Book Publishing”, by John Birmingham on which-50. Here’s a notable excerpt: The last […]
A few weeks ago, Mary R. Woldering has asked me to contribute a piece for her blog, with the theme of National Maritime Week. I have chosen to address the issue of the life of ancient galley-slaves, and who really rowed the naval war galleys. Below I reproduce the full post. Hi, and welcome to the […]