Tinker, Tailor, Topple, Die

So, you want to make your work–book, movie, sculpture, whatever–perfect, don’t you? You want it to shine. And you’re going to polish it, rewrite it, re-imagine it, and retcon it every chance you get? Or maybe you just can’t resist adding those few last-minute flourishes? Well, you’re in good company. … Continue reading

Playing Jazz With Words

You hear a lot of talk of “discovery writers” and “outliners” in the writing world. The “pantsers” and the “plotters,” respectively. It’s true that there are a lot of people that fall into both categories–including many of my friends–and human nature loves dichotomies, but I’ve never fit comfortably either, and … Continue reading

Getting the Words Right, part 1

When writing a period piece, whether that period is past or present, getting your terminology right is essential to maintaining the illusion. It’s also one of the easiest things to miss on a revision. Lest you think the following rant is thoroughgoing self-righteousness, let me preemptively explain that it’s not. … Continue reading