Category: Craft

On Research, and the Need for Brain Bleach

I’m careful, when doing story research, not to trip up and set DHS, the USSS, or EIEIO on my tail. I recently moved to a private VPN connection because my damn Internet provider isn’t paying me enough to get access…

“Last Run” Topped Out

When a building’s top floor is in place, especially for tall buiildings, they’re “topped out.” Usually a tree, sometimes a flag. Authors should have something analogous for a novel. Even if we’re not trying to appease the tree gods. Sunday…

Character infodump

My current WIP has a cast of characters, a bunch of whom are all first seen by my POV character in a room together. My first draft of this was, upon re-reading, a flood of details that made the narrative…

Writing and Fancy Keyboards

I splurged yesterday and got myself a gaming keyboard. Not that I game, mind you, but I miss the clickety-clack of keys, and the Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard that I use at home is a pain in the tush to lug around…

And… back early in town

My field research trip for my current novel made it as far as Big Spring — and barely, at that. Dunno what I picked up, but it was an arduous, stop-filled trip. And after a terrible night in a great hotel,…

Business Trip — For a Novel

Okay, rented the car. Packing tonight, off tomorrow for a book research road trip at the crack of dark. I’ll be hitting various places in West Texas over the next few days. This will be the first time I’ll be…

Middle Novel Writing Spread

I’m somewhere at the 95k mark in my current novel in progress. I’d assessed it at 130k-150k for the first draft, and I still think that’s a good target number. (Of course, given how I’ve been glaring at previously written…

T.C. Boyle Interview

I caught the “Overheard with Evan Smith” interview of T.C. Boyle last night, driving back after writing for several hours at a couple of good spots. (Where to write: another conundrum for me, at least.) One interesting point the author made…

On Span of Memory and Tools

Last week a fellow writer was discussing the trouble with editing a document that had been laid down for a while. Keeping the entire novel in one’s head, the writer said, was important when making edits with large blocks of text…

On Characters with PTSD

One should write what one knows, goes the hoary advice. And it’s true: stories are vibrant, clear, more memorable and more interesting when the writer really knows their subject matter, whether it’s a location, a type of character, or an…