Smooth Sailing

Steve and I just completed Jessica Brody’s Save the Cat! Novel Writing Workshop. We found it an excellent video course, very well-organized and taught. It is based on her book of the same name and her workshops that she’s taught in person. It is a $12 a month charge to join her course Library, but…

Something to Make You Smile

Here is something that made me smile today: Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have put together a Kickstarter for Make 100 Project. They’ll be putting together 100 short stories in ten volumes, half by each. They’re fun writers and Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of my favorite science fiction writers. So the stories…

Learning from Scripts

I just read the script for The Devil Wears Prada and was blown away by the storytelling. JMS left us nine scripts to read and that was the least scary to me, so I started with it first. And couldn’t stop reading. My iPad’s power slid down to 4% but I couldn’t tear myself away….

Conflicts in Time

I am capable of holding space for many contradictory things and not having them feel at odds. This is clearly my problem with conflicting dates. I’m just not great at dates. Thankfully I married a historian and can normally assign date maintenance to him. But not this time. I’ve known, vaguely, in the back of…

In Caedmon’s Voice

I am taking Dean’s Advanced Depth class with a friend and we’re on the lecture on Voice openings. This is actually my third time dealing with this lecture, though just the second time officially. The first time I didn’t send any homework to Dean because I didn’t have time to deal with it. I thought…

Data Issues and an Update

It’s Sunday and like many Sundays since the pandemic started, my WIFI connection is down. For many years now we’ve chosen inexpensive options for both our internet access and our phones and banked the extra money: first to save enough for me to leave my job to write. And then once I had left, to…

The Slow Road

There is a myth in a lot of fields, especially from people looking in from outside, that you need talent to get anywhere. Perhaps talent helps, but I doubt it at this point. In fact, I doubt that anything helps except the grit to work hard and keep working hard at it while learning everything…

Masterclass Review: Dan Brown on Writing Thrillers

Another excellent Masterclass instructor. I would say the best so far, but I think that I am going to say that a lot with MasterClass. I signed up in November with the intention of just doing this for a year, but I often say to Steve when we finish a class, “You know, these are…

Lessons Learned: Reading

I read a lot these days. Last year was almost entirely books of short stories and books on writing or publishing. This year I’m transitioning to novels, but I find myself drawn to a different sort of novel than I have been in the past. I’m a lot less picky about genre and a lot…

Lessons Learned: Dare to Be Bad

I’ve tried to front-load the most important lessons learned that allowed me to write a short story a week. After learning what the parts of a basic short story is (see the 7 Point Plot Structure in earlier blog posts) the next most important lesson was to set expectations. Writing a short story a week…