On Writing

Every now and then, my head expands out of all human proportion and I imagine myself a source of writerly wisdom. During moments like this, I pound out some incoherent babble into a text field and publish it to the blog.

Below is a selection of this babble, with pieces that sparked comments or debate marked with a red star:


WRITING ARCHETYPES (planned installments are listed but not linked)

IntroductionSide Note on What Archetypes Are – Four Archetypal Plots
Roles: Hero, Rough, Guru, Companion, Proximate and Ultimate Villains, Comic Couple
Scenes: A Stuck Place with Water, Knowing Tree, Companion Gets Dunked
Plot Points: Philosophical Banter, Hero Loses a Hand, Goodbye-Hello, Hiding Among the Enemy
Stories Under the Archescope: Gladiator and Game of Thrones, Black Sails and Sleepy Hollow, Tombstone, Moby-Dick
Evolutionary psychology and the Do’s and Don’ts of writing archetypes
How the damsel stereotype tricks us into rescuing it from our own attempts to destroy it
Tim Hunt and the danger of the Damsel Bias


In defense of coffee-shop writers [27 Mar 2010]
What do action and problem mean for writers? (On Les Edgerton’s writing theory.) [14 Sep 2010]
Injustice to Enjustice – Moral conflict as writing strategy [17 Jun 2013]
What music and movies can teach writers about listening to revision advice (On Hey Ya! and Gone With The Wind.) [07 Jan 2011]
Story structure helps your story fly [18 Feb 2011]
Walking backward into reality (How physical activities can help your writing.) [24 Nov 2010]


Keep reading advice – it can help your rewrites! [17 Jun 2010]
Fiction writers should read non-fiction too [18 May 2010]
Working real-world anecdotes into fiction (Four story ideas from a July 4 fireworks display) [05 Jul 2010]
Four ways to come up with fictional names [31 Aug 2010]
Using a curious historical detail to build your story [21 Nov 2010]
Solving a writing problem by listening to the story [26 Nov 2010]
How to frame frame-story stories – Top Five Pointers [12 Sep 2013]
Four approaches to female characters in historical fiction and fantasy [01 Jul 2011]
Sweat the small stuff – How one wrong move can ruin a story, and one right move can make it [13 Nov 2013]


With great freedom of world-building comes great responsibility [19 Mar 2013]
Most who “can’t write” are writing all the time – Constructing narratives in everyday life [25 Jul 2013]
Sympathy with the Other – Art and the demographic enclave [15 Aug 2013]
How to tell if you’re a good writer : a pre-query quiz [18 Jan 2011]
Good vs. bad suspense [24 May 2010]
Myths about word count – Rest easy, sci-fi, fantasy, and NaNaWriMo writers [29 Oct 2013]
Elevator pitches (and all “high-concept” ideas) are MacGuffins [17 Apr 2014]

Story Behind The Story – How I write, specifically how I wrote The Ligan Of The Disomus.
_ Part 1 : Phenograph vs. Genograph (Drawing inspiration from published authors vs. being a copycat.)
_ Part 2 : Crazy Writing (The thin line between creativity and madness.)
_ Part 3 : Setting as Personality (What happens when the world starts pushing back.)
_ Part 4 : The Reverse of Writer’s Block (When creativity runs faster than the fingers.)

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