The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

Deep story goodness for writers via The Mother of All Cheat Sheets

If you’re attempting NaNoWriMo and are on track to finish the Great American Novel, congratulations. Carry on. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and there’s no way you’ll give birth to a … Continue reading

November 25, 2016 · 5 Comments

Part 2 of Why NaNoWriMo is noble nuttiness–Why first drafts are always flawed and how to fix them

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are driving themselves nuts (a) trying to write beautiful sentence after beautiful sentence that (b) build upon each other to (c) craft … Continue reading

November 16, 2016 · 5 Comments

Why NaNoWriMo is noble nuttiness–and 8 steps to make it easier

Every year in November, writers around the world attempt something noble and worthwhile: to not just write a novel–the Toughest Writerly Thing A Writer Can Do–but finish the thing in … Continue reading

November 1, 2016 · 67 Comments

Why MAKE ME by Lee Child gets graded on a curve

I can’t count how many hardcover Reacher novels line the top shelf of my library. Lee Child is that good. MAKE ME is his latest novel about Reacher, and it’s … Continue reading

October 2, 2015 · 5 Comments

WIP It Good–September 1 to January 1

So I’ve written love letters to editors (The evil secret to ALL WRITING – editing is everything) and taken my red pen to the first page of many novels. Three … Continue reading

August 18, 2015 · 3 Comments

Hard and Complex versus Impossible and Bizarre

This is about why Flappy Bird was such a surprise hit, Taylor Swift’s newest mega-video is meh and why your favorite movies, novels and video games work when others fail. … Continue reading

May 21, 2015 · 2 Comments

Six smart steps after #NaNoWriMo

Don’t bother with sending your novel around for beta readers to chew on, editors to edit and proofers to proof. You’ve got 50,000 golden words, right? THEY MUST BE SEEN … Continue reading

November 30, 2014 · 11 Comments