3 Easy Ways to Keep Short Fiction Short

This was part of a response to a free audiobook of one of my short works (about 12k) words, which you can listen to for free below. The comment was concerning how to keep short fiction short. Writing short fiction is really a different beast than writing long fiction, and the skills are a different set. If you want to limit length, here are a few easy things: 1) Limit the scope. A few locations, or one, rather than many. A few characters, or even one, rather than many. 2) Keep it to one plot. “A” story only, no sub-plots.…

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Don’t Get Me Too’d

It’s inevitable. If your head is sticking up above the crowd, someone is going to want to chop it off – and there have been more rounds of “me too” madness. Keep in mind it doesn’t matter what “side” you are on: The thing is, it’s not just high-profile artists or celebrities that have this happen to them. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU, TOO. I’ve had several friends in the teaching profession (which I myself was in for more than 10 years) get accused of misconduct ranging from sexual affairs to “harassment” – and in some of these cases, it…

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ICONOCLASM

I recently talked about iconoclasm in Magic the Gathering, and while that is topical, it is just part of the greater iconoclasm of our day. Expect all images of white males, even Christ, to be under attack from now on: Let me be clear that I am using this term broadly – statues and art are not necessarily “icons” that must be purged for religious reasons. The removal of images inherited from the past does represent a similar motive in that is, in a sense, religious, but it is done for different reasons. Icons in the church have been removed…

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Contemporary Christian Music

I had some recent discussions with some fellow authors, and the subject of “Contemporary Christian Music” (CCM) came up. It’s a kind of music that I am intimately familiar with, having grown up in a protestant church that, like most evangelical churches of middle America in the 1990s, foisted upon both young and old the idea of “modern” worship music as an alternative to “secular” music. This took different forms depending on the target demographic – for the general congregation, it was bland rock music driven by acoustic guitars that featured “Jesus is my Boyfriend” lyrics repeated dozens of times.…

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The Book is Better

How many times have you seen a movie and though, “Man, the book was so much better,” or had a friend who read the book say the same to you? I can definitely say that the cases where the movie is better than the book are far outweighed by the reverse – probably in the range of 20:1. In fact, the only writer whose work seems to function better on screen than on paper is Stephen King, and even then there are plenty of books in his exceptionally large canon that are much better than their cinema counterpart (anyone remember…

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An Unfortunate Reality

I’ve lived a medium-length life, but it’s been highly varied. As a musician, I met and befriended many different kids of people… or so I thought. I had a sad realization watching my social media feeds (other than twitter) fill up black squares, or perhaps more of a recognition of what I already knew: The truth is, almost everyone I have known as an adult is a member of, or is highly submissive to, that psychic cadre we call the death cult. The further I get from it, and the closer I get to real people – whether they are…

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The Robotic Nihilism of Brand Politicing

Its blackout tuesday, or some such rubbish – people on the internet are engaging in humiliation rituals… HOWEVER It’s not a humiliation ritual for ye olde CORPORATE BRAND. For them, it is an OPPORTUNITY. Corporate Public Relations is all about OPTIONALITY. Here is what I mean by that: You issue an opinion that signals virtue, or else expresses something the greater market approves of. Those that approve of the message will like the brand more. They may even engage in some free advertising on your behalf by sharing your social media posts Those that disagree with the opinion are not…

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Twitter, the Land of Bad Bots

Before we start, here’s a meme for free: So, you’re an author, or perhaps consider yourself an “aspiring” author (don’t be an “aspiring” anything – read my latest book to find out why). You’ve been told social media is incredibly important, so you make a twitter account. Authors start following you. You follow them back! Some of these accounts have THOUSANDS of followers, maybe even HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. This is how you build a social media following, right? WRONG. Let me give some of you new (not aspiring) authors and creators some critical advice: Success on social media is about…

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The death cult forgets its mask

I’m fairly certain they deleted the tweet because they realize they weren’t wearing their mask, so here is a screenshot: Murdering babies is badass you say? Something cool kids do? Too bad those uncool Spanish Christians put a stop to such a badass and admirable practice. Truly, the European man is evil for wiping such a badass cultural practice off the face of the earth. No respect for the religious beliefs of others, those wicked conquistadors. People wonder why I call it the death cult. It’s because they’re obsessed with death and promote it endlessly. If it’s not infanticide, it’s…

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Tolerance, “The Good” and the Social Order

When it comes to assessing what kind of behavior ought to be accepted, tolerated, or punished, I find it useful to consider the categories of behavior in a social context. Keep in mind that this ordering is mostly in the context of the greater discussion of state power and its moral use, as well as the difficult question of what “the good” actually is. When it comes to undesirable behavior, that is behavior that the greater culture does not want or does not itself exercise, there are three categories: antisocial behavior, delinquent behavior, and deviant/degenerate behavior. Antisocial behavior is that…

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