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

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literature, writing

Year of Required Reading, Part 1: To Kill a Mockingbird

A series in which I read books on required reading lists and discuss their merits. Ask anyone in the US to name a book they had to read in school, and they will probably say: To Kill a Mockingbird. Ask them to tell you what it's about, and they will probably mumble something about Scout… Continue reading Year of Required Reading, Part 1: To Kill a Mockingbird

literature, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 8: The Last Place

Woops. I just realized the title of this series changed from "Year of Mystery Novels" to "Year of Mysteries" at Part 5. Sorry. I try to keep this consistent for searching purposes. The main point of this series was to examine the mystery novel genre. There are people that read a few a week. There's… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 8: The Last Place

literature, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 5: Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

I've put off writing about this book, because I was left pretty conflicted on how to feel about it. As a mystery, it was deeply unsatisfying. But as a novel, it scratched some itches I didn't know I had. The book drew me in quickly. It starts with the death of a boy. It looks… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 5: Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

literature

Free Book on Style

If you've been coming here awhile, then you're probably somewhat interested in prose style. I've turned some of my blog posts and personal notes from the past ten years of doing this into a short (Kindle) e-book. They've been edited and expanded with examples, so nothing should be an exact replica of what you've read… Continue reading Free Book on Style

art, literature

Specter of the Spheres: Prologue

It's probably not fair to spend years on this blog teaching writing and prose techniques and critiquing other novels without ever showing my own. Here's the prologue from my newest book for your enjoyment. Specter of the Spheres Prologue Priestess Elienne squinted toward the southern horizon. The blood moon hung low, and time was short… Continue reading Specter of the Spheres: Prologue

literature, writing

Year of Mystery Novels, Part 2: Mystic River

For my second mystery novel of the year, I decided to do┬áMystic River by Dennis Lehane. I know this was a really famous movie when it came out, but somehow I went into this not knowing anything about the plot or mystery at all. I highly recommend this to anyone who can manage it. I… Continue reading Year of Mystery Novels, Part 2: Mystic River