Romance Writers Implode

Corporate cancer has afflicted the romance writers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/01/08/romance-writers-america-cancels-awards-program-writer-racism-controversy/ The saga continues. This time, the entire organization has folded back on itself, much like something that is frequently described in the tomes of the membership. This won’t end well, of course, but we must also ponder: What exactly is the point of a professional membership organization like the Romance Writers of America, anyway? Is it a trade union? If so, it’s a shambling corpse in the newpub landscape. Is it for author support? Clearly the constant harassment and infighting doesn’t serve that purpose. They cancelled their awards, so they are clearly…

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On Being Prolific

What does being prolific actually mean? Usually, it means that someone is outputting a great deal of something: a prolific writer, a prolific musician, a prolific painter, etc. I’m a bit different, though, in that I tend to split my productivity among several pursuits: writing books, writing blog content, recording informative (and hopefully somewhat entertaining) videos, recording music, and raising children. Yes, we often do not think of raising children as part of productivity, but it certainly is. Your progeny is in many ways your biggest legacy, and is also one of the biggest contributions you can make to your…

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Blogs are Back!

To kick off 2020, we have a cascade of agreement on all sides: And I’m not the only one agreeing with Scalzi and Wendig: So why? Why are blogs a thing? Or alternatively, why do they NEED to be a thing? Scalzi spells it out – even if you are on the left, and I STRONGLY URGE any of my readers who feel “safe” on social media due to being politically aligned to the left to consider this, the goalposts can shift at any time and you can get your social media presence destroyed. They can destroy it directly by…

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Karen the Moneywasher (Dialogue Demo)

The following is a short scene and a half of a story created on my livestream for the purposes of demonstrating dialogue writing. It begins with two characters who banter, revealing their character traits and also through that dialogue reveal the basic elements of a plot goal – Karen needs to launder money. The second (incomplete) scene introduces a third character, exposes his traits, and further develops the main plot goal. It was quite a bit of fun! Check out the entire stream here, then view the file below:

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Creating Plot Points on the Micro Level (Lined Paper)

I wrote Lined Paper after giving a short piece of advice on how to pace scenes so that they keep the interest of the reader: Hey David, how should I think about control “tempo” in writing? I’m bad at explaining things but I’m trying to write my NaNo and when I go back and look at stuff, I see that the scenes I like have a lot more detail in them and come across as slower, and the ones I’m more unsure about almost look like summaries of what happened than being, uh.. “present” in what is happening? Sorry if that…

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Lined Paper

Jim checked his phone out of habit as he rushed down the hall. Before he could see just how late he was, the screen dimmed. “Buggy piece of dogshit!” he said, shaking the infernal device, suppressing the desire to throw it through the 5th story window. For moment he decided on a compromise, agreeing with his inner demon to toss it in the trash and buy a new one after work, but before he could act, he found the phone tumbling out of his hand as he fell onto the floor. “What the fuck?” he said, twisting around on the…

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Writestream 2 – Drafting Prose Character Dynamics, and Dialogue (11/14/2018)

This week’s livestream covered (among other things): The drafting process – how to write consistently and finish your first draft, including working based on time or word counts The fraudulent higher education system which fails to provide value to students, and why the government doesn’t seem to care at all. How to write good prose How to write convincing dialogue.  

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Storycraft: The Bad Boy, the Best Friend, and the Goody Two-Shoes

Time for more character archetypes, this time focusing on secondary characters. I go over three classics, including their growth arcs, traits, and typical relationship to other characters. They are: Bad Boy – a character that goes from a nihilistic or chaotic approach to life and authority to a purpose-driven life. Frequently, this is a focus for a romance story, as a Bad Boy represents a popular fantasy: a strong, confident male that can be transformed into being stable while maintaining masculine traits. Best Friend – mostly a foil for the main character, a best friend has different, often opposite, strengths…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 6: The Queen and the King, part 1

Back to Contents Chapter 6: The Queen and the King Michael stood beside his horse, putting on his gloves. He wore a colorful doublet of blue and green, a fine set of satin trousers and his riding boots which, as he had neglected to bring formal shoes, were shined with cooking oil as per Guissali’s suggestion. He watched the pavilion tent in front of the gates having its final stakes hammered in. It was as neutral a location as could be managed; just beyond reasonable firing range from the city walls and equally far from the fortifications of the Artilland…

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Needle Ash – Chapter 4: Turns, part 2

Back to Contents “Are we even now?” Michael said. He had let Calot follow the road at his own leisure, but the beast had chosen to walk beside Rabble-Rouser, Sharona’s claimed destrier. Neither of them had spoken to each other yet. The morning had worn on, a light grey rain falling on the traveling cloaks that obscured the face of each, making the silence tolerable for longer than Michael had expected. “You’re quite a bit taller than me, actually,” Sharona said  at length, her face hidden in the heavy wool of her cloak and her head unturned. Michael shook his…

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