All posts tagged: authors

Reviews: Books on Writing

Over the holidays and into the new year, I’ve been reading two books on the craft of writing itself: Dwight Swain’s Techniques for the Selling Writer and Stephen King’s On Writing. Dwight Swain’s book is pretty old, a bit hard to find, and honestly I’d never heard of it before I started to wonder why YWriter (my program of choice of late for book writing) had some of the special features it does for action and reaction scenes and the like. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Dwight Swain’s book at first: it’s pretty clearly meant for pulp writing and some of the advice seems better suited to short stories than novels. While Swain himself is quick to point out he is simply describing tools which may be used or discarded at will, some of his most fervent advocates take his advice nearly to the point of religious gospel. Despite this, it’s a terrifically meaty book, filled with some of the best advice I’ve ever seen on pacing and creating tension. One could …

You’re Not Good Enough

‘What if I’m not good enough?’ That’s my goblin. It’s not just my goblin. It’s my husband’s goblin and my friends’ goblins and it haunts the dreams of so many people I know, online and in the real world, who dip their toes in creative works or dive in with both feet and a held breath. That goblin waits for the dark hours of the night and ambushes us from paragraphs of mangled reviews or worse, from the silence of a lone voice echoing lost in the static of the internet. So let me be perfectly clear: you’re not good enough. Don’t be mad. I’m not good enough either. No one is good enough. We are, all of us, flawed and imperfect and self-destructive, and while we are constantly striving towards perfection, it a goal that none of us will ever reach. Take a deep breath and accept that you are not good enough. Be liberated by that, so that you give yourself permission to make mistakes. (Sometimes the accidents are so damn beautiful.) Pick yourself …

The Right Way to Begin

I’m not usually one for affirmations, but this. Every time I doubt myself: this. I’ve finished the first draft of Blood Chimera. Once I’m finished with the first draft proofing and removing of all that passive voice (god oh god, why is it so damn easy for me to write in passive voice?) I’ll send the manuscript out for beta reading and, hopefully, walk away from it for a while. While people are reading, I told myself I was going to do a lot more blog writing, but honestly, I may just jump into the rewrite of Marduk’s Rebellion. As the imitable zefrank says: Let’s start this shit up. [Added: Doesn’t he look like Alan Tudyk above? Weird.]