I do not have a muse.

“If you’re waiting for your muse, I’ve got news for you; he or she is on a beach in Maui!” -Robert Crais (Best-selling author and wearer of fabulous Hawaiian shirts.) I realized years ago that if I wanted to be a professional at writing, I had to write when I wasn’t “inspired”.  There is no […]

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Writing “The Other”

The depressing truth is, all characters we write are filtered through ourselves. I’m not writing a character based on my high school English teacher, I’m writing a character based on MY interpretation of that English teacher. It can feel fake. This gets worse the less you have in common with the person you’re writing. Should […]

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My writing process

My writing procrastinating process. At least last night. Step one: Listen to music while playing 2048 for two hours. Step two: daydream about David Bowie. Worry about ethics of daydreaming about actual person, switch to Spike the vampire, Feyd from Dune… specifically as portrayed by Sting, specifically that one scene where he’s wearing nothing but a […]

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Plot by Character

I am terrible at plot. (And character, description, mood, theme, setting, and everything else, but particularly plot.) Andy Duncan taught me this plot trick.  I don’t know where he got it. You write the names of your characters on a sheet of paper. Now draw an arrow to and from each character. Each arrow represents […]

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Fighting Writer’s Block

The thing you do to be sane and happy should besomething you can control. -Cory Doctorow   How to fight writer’s block?  Well, we identified it as a mood, so what causes the mood? Boredom with the project?  More advice from Cory (and I was chuffed when he gave it because I already did this): […]

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What is Writer’s Block?

When I asked my friends what would be a good subject for my writer’s blog, the vast majority answered, “Writer’s block!” (And I stared at them mutely because that’s been the subject, in a way, of ALL my posts.) Either they hadn’t been reading my blog before offering advice (Gasp! Shock!) or we have different […]

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Why can’t I write the final draft first?

A first draft of a story looks like this: The final draft of a story looks like this: They are both words on pages, nothing more. Why can’t we just write the final draft the first time? We forget that we’re making ART. You don’t just start from the beginning and write it as though you […]

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