What Makes a Hyper-competent Character Relatable?

The day after I wrote my Ten Questions for Characters post I had a discord conversation about a question asked in the #writerspatch twitter chat on Sunday, Jan 13: "Does relatability to the reader make a character more believable?" And sure, the answer is obviously yes. But where's the rest of the owl? How do… Continue reading What Makes a Hyper-competent Character Relatable?

Ten Questions I Ask New Characters – And Why I’m Asking

Some people have long and detailed lists of questions they answer for their characters, right down to what they carry around in their pockets. Others simply have characters appear to them, fully formed, ready to live the story from the beginning. I think I have a little bit of the latter, in that characters just… Continue reading Ten Questions I Ask New Characters – And Why I’m Asking

Writing advice nobody asked for, but anyway

So that's not exactly true. Sometimes people ask me for writing advice. I'm no Johnathan Franzen - I'm a fantasy writer, working at the intersection of art, entertainment, and commercial appeal. I enjoy what I do, and I have the pleasure of knowing hundreds of people who like it too. These aren't rules, exactly. They're… Continue reading Writing advice nobody asked for, but anyway

What’s Your Next Book? The Brightest Timeline Knows.

(note: this was originally a twitter thread. You can read the original thread here.) Since it's easier to solve other people's problems than your own, I procrastinated on my own scene problems to listen to another writer's dilemma about which book to write next. What follows is a trick for figuring out what you should… Continue reading What’s Your Next Book? The Brightest Timeline Knows.

How to Brainstorm Scene Location Details from a Panic-stopping Technique

(This blog post was originally a thread on twitter, rewritten to be a decent blog post.) The first scene I need to write today takes place in a new setting location. For new setting locations I write up descriptions that I can use not just as backdrop but as elements to bring the reality of… Continue reading How to Brainstorm Scene Location Details from a Panic-stopping Technique

A Visual Guide to a Reverse Outline

107k Words. 76 Scenes. 16 Pages. What you're looking at is an essential document for the complex operation that is transforming my first draft into a revised draft. It's scary, isn't it? I like to think that it's beautifully organized. That's the entire scene by scene outline of the first draft of Stormsong - don't… Continue reading A Visual Guide to a Reverse Outline