Seveneves: Neal Stephenson Goes Big


I’ve never read Neal Stephenson before, at least that I can remember (if he has short stories, then yeah, I probably have). But after reading his newest book, Seveneves (no — it’s not pronounced “seven-eva-venaves”), I think I need to read more of him. I was working [...]

Ready Player One: Cline Pulls It Off


Ernest Cline’s breakthrough novel Ready Player One is an intriguing success. The premise is simple: In a gritty, poverty-stricken future, most of the world retreats into a completely immersive video game where things aren’t so bleak. Upon his death, the creator of the game promises his [...]

Why Authors Should Read & Write Short Stories


From Joyce’s “The Dead” and Carver’s “Cathedral” to the anxiously-written “The Swimmer” by Cheever, short stories are one style of writing I’m more familiar with than most. Partly due to schooling and the ease of teaching the short story in a [...]

The Best and Worst of Sci-Fi — A Calling


Fellow readers, This is a letter of inquiry to anyone who finds him-or-herself lazily flipping through channels on a Saturday afternoon and landing on a cheesy sci-fi flick that is instantly loveable. I have watched hundreds of sci-fi movies throughout my life, most of which involve [...]

How To Write 30,000 Words in 5 Days


“Quickly” is the short answer, though this NaNo-speed (get it?) gauntlet requires some explanation. I’m in the middle of a self-made break on my ongoing project, one that I’m struggling to fix inconsistencies and write new content for. After two weeks of distractions, I [...]

Writers Can Only Throw So Many Curveballs


What does M. Night Shyamalan, Psycho, The Usual Suspects, The Planet of the Apes, Fight Club and a billion killer movies and flops have in common? Plot twists. I love the old plot twist almost as much as I see it coming and sit there, grinning to myself as I turn the pages to prove how clever I [...]

The Enigma Writer vs. Niche Author


My post on learning poetry for prose writers got me thinking: What kind of writer am I? Do I spend hours a day on my book because that’s what I see myself doing in the future, or do I avoid short stories, poetry, screenplays, and other mediums because I’m out of practice? I think [...]

When Novelists Go To Work


Writing is what I do 12 hours a day. Two-thirds of that time is for work, the other part for personal projects. It’s all “work” to me, though, because that’s what it feels like from time to time. But if you gave me the choice, I’d take writing work over anything else [...]

The Solaris Effect for Writers


At this point something happened that I scarcely expected: the thought that I had lost my mind calmed me down. Solaris is a novel by Stanislaw Lem, a 1972 Tarkovsky film, and a George Clooney semi-flop. The funny thing is that, at its core, Solaris is all of these things and more. *If you [...]

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