I think of a lot of things in terms of flavor. Numbers, for example: I think 3 would taste like a cracker, 9 would be sweet and 5 seems kind of metallic. I’m not going to claim synesthesia, but I have natural associations that drive me in that direction.
I think these associations are a powerful tool to evaluate and improve your writing.
Continue reading Make a Meal of Your Novel
Disclaimer: Maybe I just don’t get it, and I’m willing to accept that.
“I’ve got the best job in the world. I craft universes. I create people and they tell me what they want. I’m a storyteller. I’m the bard in our global village.”
Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, perhaps from some of your favorite storytellers/bards/creators/gods. I’m going to be straight with you folks here: I really dislike the spiritualization of writing.
Continue reading I’m a Magical Writer (and You’re Not)
When I was in middle school, I didn’t get along with my classmates. I was miserable, but relatively smart. I was bullied. I got in fights sometimes. I don’t know anyone who did well in middle school, but I really sucked.
Then, I learned about the math and science program at a boarding school in Birmingham. I studied, applied and got in, after a grueling set of exams and interviews. I was just so happy to be away from the horrible place I’d been living. I’d say I burned all of my bridges before I moved away, but I didn’t have any.
Once at the boarding school, however, I pissed away all the good things that had been given to me, and I failed out. Okay, so I withdrew before I could fail out, but that’s a technicality. Now, whenever I meet a scientist, I think, “I could’ve been one of you, if I wasn’t so lazy in high school.” I used to feel compelled to prove myself. Continue reading I’m scared of blowing it.
Shutting one’s mouth is more important than sheer craft.
Continue reading A Writer’s Most Important Skill: Listening
I love writing to music. I carefully curate my playlists for each book, for each mood. For example, I’m working on a space opera right now, and so I’ve selected several bits of electronica for intense scenes, for ambient scenes and sad scenes. I keep it carefully compartmentalized for emotional content. There’s no point in getting super amped-up if I’m supposed to be writing a quiet confessional. Likewise, sad piano music wouldn’t get me through a laser-strewn dogfight.
Continue reading Powerful Writing Music: Kaki King
Writers have enough difficulty without people calling them amateurs… and it’s just as bad to force a career discussion.
Continue reading Writing as a Hobby: Never Tell Me the Odds