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Posts by Blake Smith

Hysteria and the Ordinary Writer

Stop that screeching. The world is not ending. If this wasn’t an election year in the United States, COVID-19 would get about thirty seconds of media coverage a night, and that’d be it. And yet, here we are, with schools and businesses closing, flights from Europe suspended, and a large portion of the population running around with their hair on fire. And a shortage of toilet paper, of all things.

What is a writer to do? Read more

How NOT to Write

Most of us know enough about writing to get by. When we take up this craft, we learn about characterization, settings, plots – a whole laundry list of concepts that go into a book.

Many of these things can be learned by reading other, well-written novels and short stories, and extrapolating from there, with occasional references to more standard teaching materials- lectures, diagrams, articles like the ones here at MGC. This is how I learned to write, for better or worse. Read more

Slogging Through the Mud

Or, what to do when you start a lot of books and don’t have the brain space to finish them? Read more

Talking About Writing

For me, writing is a private activity. And yet I’m writing this on a public forum. But, hear me out. Read more

Being Funny

Some people are naturally funny. I’m not, but I want to add just a touch of humor to my books, to make them sparkle. And witty characters are more fun to read than dull ones. What is a poor, dull author to do?

Read books on the subject, of course. Read more

An Exercise in Conciseness

If this past week is going to be indicative of the rest of the year, I’m hibernating until next December, writing goals be damned. I’ve been rather ill since the second, and though I think I’m on the upswing, this is going to be a brief post, possibly including a nap break somewhere around… Read more

End of the Year Wrap-Up

I know; everyone does one of these. But it’s Christmas, and the family is about to descend on us for an extravaganza of assorted wackiness that seems to go along with celebrating a holiday. Read more