The Importance of a Good Ending

If there’s anything that can put me off writing, it’s endings. I never imagined completing a story in a way that is plausible, logical, moving, satisfying, hopefully a little surprising, and memorable could be so difficult. Continue reading The Importance of a Good Ending

The Perils of First Drafts

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I like complaining. Yeah, I know, a lot of people like complaining and I think I know why: it’s kind of therapeutic. When you can’t change something (with the minimum effort), you sit back and start complaining about it, and eventually feel better. It’s bizarre, yes. My latest complaining target is the first draft of what I’d call “my second novel” if only “my second novel” didn’t sound so professional-writery. Continue reading The Perils of First Drafts

The Man Who Once Made Soup

…or why there are things we simply are not cut out for and it’s smart to stay away from them and focus on what we do well. Continue reading The Man Who Once Made Soup

Covers, Covers Everywhere. Also Torsos.

What you see above is what the cover of The Lamiastriga would have been had I continued with my initial plan to self-publish it. I’ve never been very good at explaining anything to anyone but my concept for the book was simple enough to articulate without leaving any space for doubt: just the title and nothing else. Continue reading Covers, Covers Everywhere. Also Torsos.

Salt of the Earth

A friend — a professional editor and proofreader — offered the other day to edit a bunch of short stories I’ve decided to publish as a collection. For free because she’s weird. Leaving the weirdness aside, however, she said something that struck a sensitive spot. Continue reading Salt of the Earth

Impacting Affects

When I first saw the word impact used as a verb (I was working as a news editor at the time) I changed it immediately, without even thinking… Okay, that was a lie. I thought “Seriously? What’s next, affectationate?” Continue reading Impacting Affects

No Rules but One

If you’ve ever Googled “rules for writing” you’re familiar with the abundance of results that it returns, from Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules to all sorts of collections of different writers’ rules, to, of course, whole books on how to write well. Continue reading No Rules but One