Book Launch: Stop Typing & Start Writing

Now you know the reason why I’ve been mostly radio silent for the last month or so. I’ve been working on this little thing called a book!

Buy or read now on Amazon.

Stop Typing & Start Writing: Analog Productivity for Digital Writers is my attempt to slow down our frantic online “content production” pace and bring a touch of civility back to the art of writing.

When I first picked up a pen to write fiction it was because everything else wasn’t working. I also learned my problem was with how I was using the computer. I wasn’t meant to be someone who could produce a first draft at the keyboard. That didn’t stop me from trying, but it did stop me from writing.

I soon learned handwriting was great, but it would lead to a lot of wasted time and paper if major revisions were needed.

So I set about designing a set of building blocks to plan my writing around.

These building blocks do exactly what they say. Each builds on the last, and along the way the details of the story are figured out. When it’s time to write the manuscript all of the heavy lifting is already done. Writing the manuscript is just another expansion of what’s been written before. This way, there’s no false starts or dead-ends to deal with, and the manuscript only has to be written once before it’s transcribed to digital text.

I also cover ways to protect your already-written pages, choosing pens and inks, and the best ways to wring the digital text out of your handwritten manuscript.

Even if you don’t want to handwrite a book, there’s a lot a digital writer will find useful. The planning process works equally well for both typing and writing.

Discovery writers will learn a new way to outline that looks and feels like discovery writing. Outliners will see that a little prose will go a long ways toward finding holes in their outline.

I hope you find it useful and buy a copy today!

Status update — So much ink

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately and I sincerly apologzie to my loyal readers. But I haven’t beem slacking off. Quite the opposite.

The short version is that I’ve been doing most of my writing in longhand and staying away from the keyboard. This also means I haven’t had much to share. Mostly it’s just been me and the cat fighting over desk space (she’s pushy and likes to play with my pens). With nothing new to report, blogging becomes an easy task to ignore.

Since I’m overdue for post, I thought I’d update you on what I’m working on.

Continue reading “Status update — So much ink”

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 10

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 10: The Creation of Imaginary Worlds

This chapter by Poul Anderson is subtitled The World Builder’s Handbook and Pocket Companion. After reading this chapter, I can say it truly earns its name. Unlike the previous chapters, it doesn’t discuss the mechanics of writing or storytelling. It is focused on one thing: building a planet for a story.

Continue reading “Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 10”

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 9

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 9: Good Writing Is Not Enough

This the first chapter of Part II: Ideas and Foundations and is second of Stanley Schmidt’s four chapters. Here talks about the absolutely dismal odds of getting published and what it takes to stand out.

Continue reading “Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 9”

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 8

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 8: Learning to Write Comedy or Why It’s Impossible and How to Do It

Connie Willis, who has won of eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for her comedic science fiction, writes about what makes comedy tick in chapter 8.

Continue reading “Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 8”

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 7

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 7: Turtles All the Way Down

This chapter is by Jane Yolen, a prolific writer who has authored and/or edited over 300 books. It is also a break from the preceding chapters focused on science fiction. She dives head-first into what it takes to create a believable fantasy world. Just as the other chapters have used science fiction to deliver lessons on plot, dialog, and characters, this one uses fantasy to teach world building.

Continue reading “Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 7”

Pre-Phoenix ComiCon Book Signing Event

On May 27, 2015, The Poisoned Pen, a local bookshop here in the Phoenix area is having a book signing with 17 authors attending. There will also be snacks and giveaway prizes.

Authors attending: Stephen Blackmoore, Beth Cato, Wes Chu, Myke Cole, Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Jason Hough, Richard Kadrey, Michael Martinez, Brian McClellan, Naomi Novik, Andrea Phillips, Cherie Priest, Brian Staveley, Sam Sykes, Chuck Wendig, & Django Wexler

Link: SciFi Extravaganza (aka ELEVENGEDDON)

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 6

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 6: Seeing Your Way to Better Stories

This chapter is by Stanley Schmidt, an American author best known for his long-running tenure as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. He uses his editorial experience to explain the maxim “show, don’t tell” with practical examples.

Continue reading “Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 6”