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, language, literature

Tonal Consistency in Fantasy Writing

Today I'm going to discuss a topic that ranges from extreme, blatant violations to subtle, accidental slip-ups and why they matter. The language of fantasy writing is much harder to get right than many "literary fiction" writers give it credit for. In fact, I'd say it is much, much harder than novels set in modern… Continue reading Tonal Consistency in Fantasy Writing

art, literature

Year of Giant Novels Part 4: The Way of Kings

The next giant novel of the year has been taking me quite a bit of time. I've chosen The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, to change things up a bit. It is the first book in a long epic fantasy series. I've written about Sanderson's Mistborn in the past. I didn't worry about spoilers… Continue reading Year of Giant Novels Part 4: The Way of Kings