Hang-Ups

Writer’s Bootcamp #2: How To Construct A Plot, or A.B.A.I.

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Do you see that up there? I want you to commit that to mind RIGHT NOW. Do whatever you need to do to remember it, I don’t give a shit. Memorize, write it down, tattoo it on your body, whatever it takes. (more…)

Final Notable Quotable of 2013: Study Greatness

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“Study! Do your homework! I used to always tell you, do your homework. Get footage! How the fuck are you going to know how to be great if you don’t study GREATNESS?!” ~Tracy Morgan, 2012

Well, here we are. Closing out a third year of writing and telling narrative. This year was a very, er… MIXED year. I won’t really get into that, but I think it was successful in some choice aspects. The first book of The Twisted World came out, and we’re well on our way into the next book with hopes that it will also be out this summer. (more…)

15 Things Every Aspiring Author Needs To Hear

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This is the School of Authorial Hard Knocks 101 and I’ll be your instructor, Mr. Campbell. We don’t have a sliding scale here, this course is pass or fail. Decide now.

Yep. I said them all, and you can quote me on them. If you need a reminder, print this out and tape it up in your work area (as a bonus, these all fit under 140 characters, so you can tweet the life out of them with ease).

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The Twisted World: The Dusk Harbinger Released, And Is Free!

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Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.

Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities. Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world. They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves. (more…)

What I Did Wrong: Writing “The Dusk Harbinger”

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Fuuuuuu……

Oliver asked me to write down what I learned writing this particular book. I had no idea where to start. Much like Rabbit in the Road, writing The Dusk Harbinger was basically an exercise- how quickly can I learn from constant failure? How many different failures can I learn from? How many of them do I have to repeat before I learn?

I feel like I spent the last four years in a cycle of effing up everything, and turning out great words in the process. Even sitting on this side of it, on the “the end” side, I’m in awe of how many failures are stacked together and it’s still done. A year late, but it’s done. It amazes me how much can go wrong and we can still produce work of which we’re proud. So here’s what I learned the hard way, and what I hope you learn the easy way.

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Notable Quotable: It’s Up To You to Make It Happen

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I waited there outside, and I was the first person when he pulled up. He got out of that car, and he was so beautiful. He looked right at me… and I didn’t know what to do! I mean, I couldn’t say anything, I couldn’t even move. I never even talked to him and he was RIGHT THERE… I still have that red bandanna.

The thing is, you never know, you know? Had I at least said SOMETHING…. you never know.

Anyway, the point is I totally realized, fate! There IS fate. But it only takes you so far, because once you’re there it’s up to you to make it happen.

~Jenna Elfman, Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

What is fate? What is opportunity? Are they not the same thing? Maybe fate isn’t as complex as a series of events that will always play out regardless of the actions that you take. Maybe fate is just a synonym for opportunity, moments where everything is positioned JUST RIGHT for you to take an action, to move forward.  (more…)

Defining And Conquering Fear

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The thing that draws people subconsciously to Batman is that Batman has taken his life fears and transmogrified them into a weapon. A tool, as it were.

Let’s have a conversation today. Let’s talk a little bit about fear.

You may have heard me say this a few times before: “Courage isn’t having a lack of fear. Courage is continuing to act in the FACE of fear.” (more…)

Names, Part 2

Character names can be used to create associations. This is something to work on long after you’ve solved your story problems. If you don’t know what I mean, start with Names, Part 1. If you’re past that, read on.

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Names, Part 1

Someone asked me recently if I start a story with a character’s name or or if I start with a story. Here’s what I told them.
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Magpies

I’m at the base of a towering mountain. My tour guide stands before me, telling me about the beautiful lake 10 miles up the trail. It sounds perfect.

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“I forgot my glasses, my compass, my map,” says the tour guide, “And I’ve also never been here before.”

Not so perfect.

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