Starting a New Project

As my last post was about finishing up a project, it seems appropriate to write one about my process for starting a new one, especially considering that I am right in the middle of that process. Also, I am in the (for me) unique position of not already having a plan for what I want …

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How do you know when it’s done?

For the last seven months I've been working on the first draft of a novel. Because I fall further on the discovery writer side of the discovery/outline spectrum, I start long projects like this with goals but no clear plan in mind for the ending. As I write and the story develops I usually know …

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Fiction as Disruptor of Worldview

A couple of weeks ago my wife Hannah and I attended an "art salon" organized by a good friend from college and hosted by a local writing professor. Inspired by the Cubist salons of the early 20th century, the idea behind this gathering was for writers and artists to gather to discuss their aesthetics, and artistic …

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How Complete Must a Setting Be?

Earlier today I was reading through a reddit thread in which comparisons were being drawn between the Mystery/Thriller genres and the Fantasy/Science Fiction genres. The discussion mostly revolved around an unusual paradox, this being that while the apparent readership and sales figures of the Mystery/Thriller genres are much higher, Fantasy and Science Fiction titles show …

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On Submission, Self-Esteem, and Persistence

Recently I was talking with some friends, also writers, about the submission process. Specifically we were discussing the impact of rejection letters on our psychology and productivity. Rejection is something that writers, especially young writers desperate to get their foot in the door of the publishing industry, often talk about sardonically. We joke about piles …

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How Narrative Fiction can Enhance Music, and Vice Versa.

When I was younger, my parents tried their best to help me develop a musical life. I remember my first piano lesson with my father--around five or six years old, I would guess--and both the excitement preceding it, the first few enthusiastic practice sessions, and the eventual frustration with my parent's well-meaning encouragement to practice …

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