WRITING UPDATES JUNE 2018

Wow. It's been a long year. My masters program devoured more time than I had expected, and it's been rough trying to balance that and writing. Tough enough to grind this blog here to a stuttering halt. BUT! I have had a few stories come out recently, so here's an update about those. First, Writers …

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It is Time for the Jedi to End: Several Thousand Words about Star Wars (and a few about Postmodernism)

There's been quite a bit of hubbub about The Last Jedi out there on those internets since even before the movie released. Much has been made of Mark Hamill's misgivings about the direction the story took Luke Skywalker. Based on its Rotten Tomatoes score, critics love the film while audiences (at least audiences motivated to …

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Now, for the first time ever, my Awards Eligibility!

It's that time of year again, when writers toot our little horns to let the speculative fiction community know what (if any) stories we have out there that are eligible for awards. And now, for the first time ever, I actually have an eligible story! This was the year of my first professional publication, "The …

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Writers of the Future Volume 34: Cover Reveal!

Whew. Keeping up a blog is not easy while in a full-time Masters program. I plan to write here more regularly once I've graduated. For now, I'm just dropping in to post about the absolutely spectacular cover for Writers of the Future Volume 34! Featuring me! And also other fabulous people! I'm particularly thrilled by …

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Story Sale Announcement: The Game of Games!

I've made my second professional rate sale! My short story "The Game of Games," a fantasy ghost story loosely inspired by Pascal's Wager and the Deck of Many Things from D&D, will be appearing in the anthology "Pirates & Ghosts" from Flame Tree Press. Here is a link to the announcement over at Flame Tree's …

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Weaving Theme from the Beginning of Your Story: Fullmetal Alchemist as a Case Study

I'm going to talk about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for a bit. Fullmetal Alchemist (specifically the manga and the Brotherhood adaption) is not only one of the greatest anime ever made (fight me) but also one of the most well constructed fantasy stories I've ever encountered. It has everything; likeable yet deeply conflicted protagonists, a really …

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Worldbuilding: Dark Settings and their Purpose

Today my first professionally published story, "The Broken Karwaneer," came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I thought I would write a blog post about my thoughts on an important element of that story. If you haven't read the story yet, please do so before going on. This post will make more sense context. In the story, …

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Worldbuilding with Theme in Mind

What is it about secondary world fantasy and science fiction that draws readers in? Why do readers seek out stories that take place in worlds not our own? There are many reasons (possibly as many reasons as there are readers) but one such reason, and the reason I most identify with, is the powerful thematic …

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Person-First Language and Designing Characters: An Underdeveloped “A-ha!”

Ask any writer what makes a good story work, and they'll most likely tell you "the characters." Which is only natural. Characters are the people your readers will come to care about--whether they are loved or loathed--at least if you're doing your job as a writer. The wants and needs and struggles of your characters …

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