Category Archives: Writing Craft & Self-Publishing

Choosing projects, or The heart knows

Writers wishing to be read have never had such choice. Writers wishing to be read have never had it so good. We are spoiled for chances, awash in potential, the globe at our fingertips and hundreds of thousands – millions, billions – of readers only a click away. Such times would be unimaginable if they […]

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Darkness, and the delete button

You thought it was a great idea. Everything seemed to flow so well and make so much sense when you wrote it. But then you finished writing and re-read it. What happened in the meantime? How did those beautiful words become this? Where did all the warts and blemishes come from? Flaws, mistakes, holes, detritus, […]

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Using symbolism

A snake, a crow. Let me set the scene: I was walking to work on a gushingly rainy day and noticed a piece of litter under some bushes running along the sidewalk. I crossed the sidewalk to pick it up for a more proper disposal and heard a loud thud behind me. Turning I saw […]

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Turning points

You have your main character and she is busy at work in your book, battling evil robotic androids in chapters one and two that evidently plan on enslaving humanity to work in their giant banana plantations. Then in chapter three she discovers that the androids are not robotic at all, nor are they even androids […]

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Narrative direction

I have somehow become increasingly interested in time. It could just be that I never seem to have enough of it, or that the demands that pile up one after another force me to recognize and carefully distribute it, but more and more I’m noticing how the manner in which I choose to spend the […]

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A Project’s voice

“Find your voice.” A writer is always being told by other writers to find their own voice, their unique style, them in words, them in syntax, self in twenty-six letters or less. It can seem like a daunting task, an effortful and painful task, and when we think about those we read it can even […]

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The pain of editing, the pleasure of the next

Like any activity writing has its rhythms, its flows, ebbs, and tides. There is the idea phase, where a seed takes root, begins to send out tendrils, makes connections, and gradually, very gradually, a concrete shape takes form and presents itself. That is an exciting period, a feverish period, but hardly anything really gets done. […]

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Should we care about how a page looks?

In the Preface section to his book I Am a Strange Loop Douglas Hofstadter (an established American academic whose career got a rocket launch with the success of his 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid; I haven’t read that one but I’d only recommend the first half of his Strange Loop) discusses […]

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Devotion, or Loving a project

Devotion tends to get short shrift these days. It could be a byproduct of the mentality that our current economic system of favoring (well, sanctifying) consumerism has bred into us, where everything is easily disposable and even more easily replaced, or it could be a byproduct of our ever-shortening attention spans, where even the daily […]

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Making assumptions

Much has been made of late of media bias, the limits of political correctness in speech, and the question of just how free a speech the freedom of speech does or is meant to or ought to entail. What have unfortunately been far less examined are the conceptual assumptions that lie behind not only every […]

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