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

literature, writing

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing

At this point, I've published over 10 books by self-publishing through Amazon. I'm by no means an expert, and I'm not sure anyone really is with how quickly things change. But, I've learned some lessons the hard way. This is a list of the 10 things I wish I knew before self-publishing. 1. Platform Doesn't… Continue reading 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing

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, literature, writing

Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

I've noticed this strange trend in the prose style of novels, and I've wondered why it's happening. I finally realized that the prevalence of social media is almost certainly the culprit. I won't try to write a whole thesis on the history of this type of thing, but I think it's pretty commonly accepted that… Continue reading Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

art, language, literature, philosophy, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 9: The Name of the Rose

I'm honestly a bit shocked at how resistant I've been to this book the whole year. I knew it would be "hard," so I kept putting it off. But I love Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow and a bunch of hard books. This book has a reputation it doesn't deserve. I didn't think it was… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 9: The Name of the Rose

art, literature, writing

Found Clunkers, Part 1

I often find some really bad sentences in books I read. I wanted to start a series in which we look at why they are bad and how to fix them. Unfortunately, I'm a bit stuck on how to proceed. I really want this blog to lift up excellent books and art. I don't want… Continue reading Found Clunkers, Part 1

art, literature, writing

The Character/Caricature Balance

One of the most important things we can do as writers is to acknowledge our weaknesses and then work on them. I think too often we get comfortable with "our thing" and then try to hide our weaknesses by going all in on our strength. I've spent an enormous amount of time over the past… Continue reading The Character/Caricature Balance