Skip to content

Posts from the ‘WRITING: CRAFT’ Category

Table Top Pulp, Pt. the Second

Clan Dave got the heck out of dodge before the sky fell, this past weekend. We’d decided to make a family pilgrimage of sorts, to attend LTUE and visit a number of family of choice in the general area (and along the path of travel). Well, we left just before the western side of Washington enjoyed something like a foot of snowfall. Goodness. Travel was, in general, quite pleasant. The littles are great travelers, and Mrs. Dave and I have long enjoyed road trips. The company is excellent, after all. Still, there was the day out of Portland, wherein we had to deal with poor roads (I have … theories) and poor drivers. And Mrs. Dave has been feeling distinctly out of sorts since we arrived, which is a concern. Still, there’s writing to do.
Read more

The REAL Work

A meme floated across my media feed the other day. It went along the lines of “when you’re done writing the story, the real work can begin: editing!” I’ll be honest: it pissed me off. I’m still a bit tetchy about it. I think it denigrates the creation of stories, and plays right into the large publishers vision for writers as penitent petitioners, asking to please, please, please be considered for the great honor of being allowed to be published. Read more

Ad Copy Is Not Rocket Science (Blurb Workshop IV*)

I should know; I flunked out of rocket science as a major, but I manage to do okay at writing blurbs!

Consider the following a basic primer in blurb writing; I am no master or guru, but while all my author friends are putting out their 5th or 15th story, I am putting out my 35th blurb attached to it. And with enough practice, you can get skilled at something. Read more

The Dangers of Critiques: A Blast from the Past

(I am hip deep in edits and my brain isn’t focusing on anything but those. So here’s a post from December 2016 about critiques. I’ll add a few additional comments at the end.– ASG)

As writers, we are going to see our work critiqued, whether we want to or not. Most of the time we don’t want to. Let’s be honest, no one likes hearing that their baby is ugly and that is what we risk when we read a critique. However, before we ever see our work in print, many of us workshop our work in critique groups or we have alpha and beta readers look it over. Then there are the editors. We trust them to tell us what is good about our work and what is bad about it.

But what do we do with that information once we get it? Read more

The Taste Gap & Feedback

Or, how can you tell how good your work is… or isn’t? All artists, no matter what the medium, tend to be pretty aware of the phenomenon of looking at their work and going “This is awesome! Just as good as the bestsellers, if not better by leaps and bounds!” Also, they’re aware of looking at their work and going “This is the worst thing ever! I need to hide this in a nuclear waste dump, lest it contaminate the very electrons desecrated with its presence!” In fact, most of us can cycle through both of these viewpoints multiple times on the exact same piece of work.

This is normal. I can’t tell you how to stop doing that, but I can offer some insights on how to mitigate it, and how to get better anyway. Read more

The Doors of Perception

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

– William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Payne’s gray, cold gray, pewter, silver, warm gray.

Bronze, brown ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, copper, gold ochre, orange ochre, modern brown, raw sienna, raw umber, stil de grain brown, transparent oxide brown, Vandyke brown, yellow ochre.

One of these lists is not like the other, right? Read more

How Much Context?

I recently finished slogging through a non-fiction book for Day Job. The book is very well written, but has a cast of hundreds, covers at least six states, and provides no background. The authors are telling the story of a small group of people involved in the Civil Rights movement, so their focus is appropriate. But I kept falling out of the book thinking, “Sheesh, I know why this happened, and I know what that term means, but I bet other folks are really going to be confused.” Unless you already know a great deal of history,  the adventures take place in a vacuum. Read more