art, film, literature, writing

How to Start Worldbuilding for Writers

I plan to do a whole series on this topic. Today is just an overview. We'll get into cooler topics like culture or conlangs later. I'm not copying the Writing Excuses podcast. I drafted this first post far before I knew they were devoting this year to the topic. It's something I care deeply about,… Continue reading How to Start Worldbuilding for Writers

art, literature, writing

Best Books of 2018

I know this title is a bit misleading, but this is the same as I've done for the past ten years. These are my favorite books I read in 2018. Most of them were not published in 2018. Best Literary Fiction: Less by Andrew Sean Greer The novel opens with Less as a failed novelist,… Continue reading Best Books of 2018

art, film, literature, writing

Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings

A series in which I oversimplify one concept from a work of literature to make you a better writer. Corruption. The ring corrupts everyone. Quite early on, we learn that Frodo, our hero, is not immune to the corrupting effects. This becomes one of the greatest sources of tension. Will Frodo be able to destroy the… Continue reading Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings


My 2017 Reading Awards

As usual, I'm going to do a best of 2017 books list. This does not mean the book came out in 2017; it means I read it this year. According to Goodreads, I read 55 books. Of course, many of those were novellas, and probably a dozen I listened to while on long runs training… Continue reading My 2017 Reading Awards

art, literature

Talamir, Chapter 1

My next book, Talamir, is up for pre-order today. Here's the first chapter in full. It's available for Kindle through Amazon and will only be $0.99 during pre-order this next week. More details: here. Enjoy! A shard pressed into Drystn’s back as he struggled through the cramped tunnel. The cavern at the other end taunted him,… Continue reading Talamir, Chapter 1

art, literature

Year of Giant Novels Part 8: The Eye of the World

This is probably my last giant novel for the year. I really wanted to do something complicated and serious like Gaddis' JR, but it was getting kind of annoying to find a reasonable copy. Anyway, I already covered the epic fantasy giant novel, so this will cover a lot of the same stuff. I think… Continue reading Year of Giant Novels Part 8: The Eye of the World

art, literature

Biblical Topos in Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy

I recently finished reading Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me. Why can't I just read a book and enjoy it for once? Instead, I became obsessed with the religious symbolism of the books and what they meant. My theories got so distracting that part way through the last book… Continue reading Biblical Topos in Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy