May Review 2017

Okay month. Not spectacular, but not bad. And oddly my most productive time was while traveling, so go figure. Wrote and completed a story every day while on the road. In total, nine story completions on the month, plus an essay. Here's the breakdown.

Cover Design Study

My visual arts background, such as it is, is entirely self-taught. I learned how to do cover art by doing it, over and over. But my skills aren't quite to the point where I can market myself as a professional cover artist. Truth is, I don't know what I don't know yet. So here's a challenge to rectify that gap.

Friday Morning Pages:Practice and Heinlein’s Rules

I’m going to wrap up this mini-series on practice with something few of you expect. Some of you might even be angry at me for bringing this up, if you weren’t already about angry about practice in general. If so, check in with yourself and try to figure out why this stuff makes you ticked. You’re only short-changing yourself by letting negative emotions dictate your writing.

Friday Morning Pages: Practice by Retyping

You’re a reader. Go find your favorite books, and see for yourself what those authors did to pull you into their books. There’s a thousand techniques to pull readers in, you’ll discover some of those techniques when you analyze the books that pull you in. But there’s a trick to analyzing this stuff. You can’t just read, and you can’t just write your own stories. Do both, for sure. You need to also study.

Friday Morning Pages: Getting Started with Practice

Mystery writer John D. McDonald has a famous quote (paraphrasing a bit): You have a million words of crap in you before you can write a publishable novel. The more stories I write, the more I see how true this is. When I first started, I couldn’t plot my way out of a paper bag. I knew jack about character development. I had no grasp of voice, or setting, or pacing. Don’t tell the younger-me any of that.