Suspension of Disbelief

Over on Whatever, John Scalzi pokes a little fun at the folks who (are? profess to be?) thrown out of the Lord of the Rings by the viscosity of the lava in Mount Doom. He makes an excellent point that the suspension of disbelief is a highly personal thing, subject to much head-scratching by observers […]

Forever a Student

One of the things I like most about the Writer Lifestyle is just how accepted it is to spend a great deal of time doing research just for the sheer hell of it. (The rest of your time should be spent writing, naturally) Lately I’ve been reading up on WWI-era submarines and trying to brush […]

I’m Still Here For an Argument

I haven’t given up on the argument posts, don’t worry. My blogging has had to slow down due to a confluence of events: kitchen renovations, a lengthy bout with a stomach bug, and general business. I also picked up a copy of Stephen Toulmin’s original book on the philosophy of arguments in which he introduced […]

Typing vs. Handwriting, Writing Profiles

A perennial subject among the writers I know is whether it is better to write by hand or to type. This post in particular was prompted by my reading this post about some of the quantitative differences between writing longhand or by computer. There’s some interesting stuff in there, and in the paper it’s based […]

Instant Expertise

The always-fascinating Jim Macdonald wrote a post some years back on the Absolute Write forums (you’re a member, right?) on the subject of becoming an instant expert in a subject.*┬áThere’s nothing hugely ground-breaking here, and yet… nobody ever really bothers to spell out this process, do they? To summarize (though you should read his post): […]

The Seductions of Research

Having tentatively decided to do this YA novel for NaNoWriMo (I’m registered as jpmurphy, by the way if you’re looking for writing buddies) I decided that I should firm up a bit of the setting. Actual writing is not allowed until November 1st, but outlining is, and research definitely is. So I am doing both. […]

Aaaaand he’s off!

Started on Chapter 1 over the weekend. Took a long damn time to put those first words on paper, but once I started writing, I could barely keep up. It’s funny: I’d been struggling for a while with one of the weaker aspects of the plot in the planning stages and never came up with […]