In Praise of Super-Short Fiction

While I haven’t been blogging lately, I’ve had quite a rush of productivity. I wrote a Halloween story that was quite well-received by beta-readers, and I’m about 8k words into a (probably 20k word) novella that I expect to have finished by the end of the month. Rather than do NaNoWriMo this year and wind […]

Text, Subtext, and Claude Shannon

Early on after I started writing again, I joined an online critique group, Critters. I got a lot of good feedback from it, but only one critique was so good that I still remember it more than a year later. It was from a pro writer who correctly pointed out that the story wasn’t really […]

The Body and the Bomb post-mortem

I had wanted to put up a thread earlier for my story The Body and the Bomb, published back in April by Crossed Genres, but I don’t think that page is the appropriate place for me to put my thoughts about the story — I don’t entirely subscribe to the “death of the author” or […]

On the Killing of Darlings

Just about every writer has heard the advice, “Kill your darlings” (and if you haven’t, you just did). The advice has come to have an almost mythic quality to it. Hell, someone even titled a movie about a writer after it. The “kill your darlings” formulation apparently comes from Faulkner (who graciously specified that this […]

What Fiction Writers Can Learn From Moonshiners

Distillation of spirits is a wonderful process in which one starts with an alcoholic liquid and proceeds to remove as much of the water as possible in order to concentrate the alcohol and flavors. This is made possible by the fact that different liquids have different boiling and freezing points. The simplest method for doing […]

One Year of Submissions

I’ve mentioned here before that when I was in high school and college I wrote pretty prolifically. Not great fiction, but plenty of short stories and most of a novel. I submitted one story in high school, got a half-page rejection (Asimov’s, I think? I can’t find it) and more or less kept my stories […]

The Body and the Bomb

Good news, everyone! My short story, “The Body and the Bomb” has been published over at Crossed Genres for this month’s issue on Mystery, linked from the front page. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you enjoy it! (And don’t just read mine! There’s some great stuff there)

Stages of Creativity

I spend a lot of time thinking about the creative process from a practical point of view, but not much thinking about the nature of creativity itself. So, I was intrigued when I came upon a reference to Graham Wallas’s Stages of Creativity. (quoting Wikipedia here) (i) preparation (preparatory work on a problem that focuses the […]

Unintended Consequences (Flash Fiction)

Mr. Chuck Wendig, esq put up a flash fiction challenge earlier this week: spin a thousand-word yarn riff off the term “Irregular Creatures”. Now, I’m exactly the sort of person to say no to a challenge, but I had a look at some of the excellent entries (don’t miss Marko Kloos’s Seeds if you have […]

I’m Here For an Argument, Part 5: Ethos

This will be a short one, I think. In the broader subject of rhetoric, there are five canons, one of which is the systematic search for argument, the Inventio. The subject of stasis, which I discussed last time, comes out of the Inventio. So does the subject of ethos, which I’ll talk about today. These two […]