NARRATIVE AND THE MOVING IMAGE: WHAT FILM CAN TEACH US ABOUT FICTION WRITING
Fiction writers can learn a great deal about craft by examining some of the common storytelling techniques used in modern film. Check it out.
THE ESCAPING CHARACTER
A unique, compelling character must always possess the ability to confront — and ultimately confuse — readers’ expectations at every turn. Read my column here.
WRITING WITH AUTHORITY: A PRIMER
A column I wrote about how to bolster narrative authority in your writing. Check it out.
THE HEAVY HAND OF DIDACTICISM
Why overwriting and needless instruction have a habit of killing a story every time.
NEW INTERVIEW UP
Writing site LitReactor briefly interviewed me in late April regarding a short story class I've begun teaching for the site. Check it out.
NEW WRITING CLASS, STARTS APRIL 23
I’m teaching an online creative writing class through the LitReactor site, beginning April 23. The class is called “The Fundamentals of Short Fiction,” and it’s essentially a six-week boot camp for the beginning writer. I’ll be working one-on-one with writers to help them meld their original ideas into realized bodies of creative work, fit to be sent with a query letter to editors and agents. Bonus: it costs about half what you’d pay for a typical fiction workshop today. Go here for more information regarding the class, including sign-up instructions.
WHY MYTHS STILL EXIST IN 2012
Ever wonder why politicians still invoke myth and widely-dispelled nonsense in political debates and campaign rhetoric? Here's your answer.
WRITING POWERFUL DESCRIPTIONS
Why the best descriptions are the ones that are easily understood, yet leave a lasting impression on readers’ minds. Read the article here.
FALSE STARTS, DEAD ENDS AND BAD BEGINNINGS: A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL STORYTELLING PATTERNS
Failing to establish clear narrative patterns or ignoring a story’s natural capacity to surprise can render an otherwise compelling work into an instant dud. Here's why.
WRITING IN THE NEGATIVE
Sometimes the most compelling elements of a story are the ideas and themes that are revolved around but don't appear directly on the page. Read the article here.
THE MYTH OF WRITER'S BLOCK
An understanding of how the human mind operates proves that a temporary lack of creative ideas is not the result of “writer's block,” but is actually a “symptom” of an entirely different phenomenon. Click here to read the rest of my article.
FRONT GROUPS WAGE PR WARFARE IN ‘FRACKING’ DEBATE
The public debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has reached state-of-alert status for U.S. energy companies. Case in point: rumors are now circulating that the front groups supporting the natural gas industry are hiring former U.S. psychological warfare personnel to handle PR duties typically reserved for Madison Ave. boardrooms, elevating both the debate and the role of public relations in national discourse to new extremes. Read my article here.
WRITE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
Of all the rules that apply to fiction writing, perhaps none is more misleading than the banal adage that you should “write what you know.” Here’s why.
SOPA ESSAY PUBLISHED
My recent essay on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was picked up by arts and culture website The Nervous Breakdown. Please check it out! Read the essay here.
NEW SHORT STORY PUBLISHED
My short fiction piece “God’s Country” has appeared in the newest edition of The Golden Triangle. You can view the online version of my story here. You can also download the iPad / iPhone app of the issue by clicking here. Check it out!
WRITING EFFECTIVE DIALOGUE
Writing authentic, compelling and engaging dialogue is one of the most vital yet misunderstood challenges in the writing process. Here’s a column I wrote about dialogue for the LitReactor site. Check it out.
THE CHANGING CHARACTER
Does a character have to “change” during the course of a story? Do they have to evolve? Or can they continue behaving the same as always, even at the end of the narrative? Click here to read the article.