Think so you can stop thinking so you can think

At Clarion, one of our instructors (I think it was a guest lecture from Kim Stanley Robinson)  said, “The change to your writing won’t come right away. For most it’s two years after Clarion that what you learn here will really change your writing.” The message was, “Don’t expect to get famous on a schedule.” […]

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Story Shapes: The Caper

During the write-a-thon, I found myself looking for the shapes of stories – the very vaguest, simplest structures I could find.  Something to start with, like an artist starts with an outline or sketch.  When you’re in a crunch to produce a complete work, it helps to have an idea of its completeness to start […]

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Metal and Flesh

Daily Science Fiction released my story “Metal and Flesh” today. It’s a dark little flash piece I wrote for my very first write-a-thon in 2012.  I picked it out of my old drafts folder recently and tweaked it a tiny bit. My initial premise was “uh… like, what if Transformers took over the Earth?” and […]

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Showing a Decision

I’m working on this story and one of the first readers said that I needed to “Show the main character making his decision.” So I re-wrote it and I added all this internal dialog for the character waffling over his decision and… I realized I don’t know how to show a decision being made. “I […]

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Mural Violence

Every time I walk to Little Italy for lunch, I pass a silent act of violence. It’s a mural painted in 1996 by the CWRU Art Education department. Typical of your community project murals, it is an amalgam of images from the neighborhood, representing different businesses and organizations in the area. One section is dedicated […]

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Write-a-Thon Post-Mortem

Well, I did it! I wrote 50 new short story drafts in 42 days.  I started strong, zipping out some flashy flash pieces, and I slogged and hit writer’s block and I did sorta take four days out to revise a novel because that’s the kind of crazy I am. Only 3 stories were started […]

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Don’t believe in yourself

It annoys me when people say “you have to believe in yourself!” Do you? Do you really? I think of the people I’ve met who really believed in themselves. There’d be one in every writing class. They’d submit some unreadable, meandering block of prose with no plot, no characters, and often no paragraph indents. As […]

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