The Eminently Practical, Hardly Revolutionary, but Nonetheless Still Useful Guide to One Author’s Tools and Techniques for Effective Writing

And now back to your regularly-scheduled programming…

This is your basic nuts-and-bolts “tips and tricks” post – or at least what passes for such when I write one.  Nothing fancy, no deep insights, no self-amused sarcasm (okay, who am I kidding with that last one?); just the tools and techniques I recommend for effective writing.

The typical writer’s toolbox is as cluttered, messy, and well used as the one above.  (And for the record, it is never a good sign when you find yourself reaching for the pall peen hammer…)

“Tools and techniques?” I hear the non-authors in the audience asking, “what do you mean ‘tools and techniques’?  You just sit down at the keyboard and type!  What more is there to writing than that?”  Well, uh, in point of fact, quite a lot.  Certainly, the actual act of producing a manuscript is as simple as hunching over a keyboard and plunging your fingers down into the keys, one after the other, but there is significantly more that goes into producing (quality) prose than simply dropping words onto a page (hence, by the way, the mildly ironic title of this blog); crafting a good tale is hard work – or at least it always has been for me, and for the vast majority of other writers I’ve ever seen discuss the subject at any length.  (And if it happens to come effortlessly to you, then a) I am confused as to why you are still reading this post, and b) you have my warmest invitation to go take a long walk off a short pier.)  Fortunately for most of us, it’s a labor of love, one we undertake willingly – and those of us who spend enough time at it invariably discover a number of tactics and resources that make the process easier.  These are mine.

Continue reading “The Eminently Practical, Hardly Revolutionary, but Nonetheless Still Useful Guide to One Author’s Tools and Techniques for Effective Writing”

A Brief Detour Into Politics…

As I mentioned when first starting this blog, I intend to use this space primarily as a venue for the discussion of my work, the writing process, and the publishing industry at large – but I did also warn you that occasionally I would venture off course into topics like politics and world events.  This is one such post.  (Sorry!)  In light of yesterday’s results in FL, NC, OH, IL, and MO, I find myself prompted to share some commentary on the presidential primaries here in the United States.  I think it offers some important perspective for those of us who lean left – and as for everyone else… well, I’ll have more on high fantasy and how I pursue my writing shortly, I promise.

As any of you who follow me on Twitter know, my politics are fairly progressive, and consequently, as you might imagine, I am somewhat disappointed with the results last night (though I understand why Ohio Independents and Democrats who crossed over voted the way that they did).  In my opinion a Clinton nomination is now a foregone conclusion.  Even so, I believe the primary process continues to be vitally important this election cycle, and though I am discouraged that it appears my candidate will not win, I am determined to continue to remain engaged until the end.  So, in keeping with this position – and in light of the newly clarified lay of the land – I offer a couple of thoughts on the journey that is to follow over the next eight months:

Continue reading “A Brief Detour Into Politics…”