Category > Writing

Lessons from Camp Revision: Split Screen

Late last year, I finished the first draft of my first novel. I celebrated. I printed it out. I re-read it and scribbled across its pages in glorious red ink. And then I ignored it for a couple months. I sat down to start revising, earlier this year, and I felt my soul wrench. I […]

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You’re a Beautiful Grain of Sand, by J. C. Hutchins

Oh, you silly, naive little thing. You want to be a writer. Didn’t you get the memo? The pay is lousy. If you’re with the Big Six-Now-Five, your publisher will barely promote your stuff (and you’ll never earn out your advance). If you self-publish, your wordbaby will be lost in a sea of other self-pubbed […]

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Four Tips on the Ancient and Venerable Art of Infodumping — guest post, Jonathan Wood

Let me introduce our guest writer to you.   Jonathan Wood is as tremendously entertaining as only an Englishman living in New York could be. His first novel, No Hero, which chronicles one Oxford cop’s confrontation with cosmic horror, was so funny and rad that is being re-released in just a few short weeks. (I have […]

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(Not) Writing My Way Through Stressful Times

The last two months have not been easy. Long hours at the day job, unexpected travel, a major death in the family, stressful Christmas, several close friends in distress, and almost six full weeks of both of us being sick on top of that. But I’m not here to whine, not really. Everyone has days/weeks/months/years […]

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Stick Your Landings

Endings. Every story has one, but not every story has a good one. What makes some of them work and the rest of them fail? Well, let’s take a look at them. If you do a quick Google search for “kinds of endings,” you find a lot of different ways to categorize the varieties of endings […]

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Quick-and-Dirty Tips for Polishing Your Prose

So, you’ve brainstormed, written, and rewritten. The plot is sufficiently exciting, the theme powerful, the dialogue realistic, the characters complex and believable, the ending unpredictable yet perfectly fitting. Point-of-view and tense issues have been addressed, grammatical errors corrected, clichés banished. But yet…after reading your piece one last time, a lingering dissatisfaction remains. It doesn’t seem […]

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Follow These Five Principles to Writing Mastery (in 10,000 hours or less!)

I like the concept of the 10,000 Hour Rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers. Boiled down to its essence, it states that 10,000 hours of practice leads to expertise or mastery of a skill. The Rule is overly simplistic and not universally applicable, but it highlights the importance of hard work as a […]

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New Year, New Goals: Let’s Review Responsible Goalsetting!

I’ve talked about it before, but it’s a useful topic and since my post is due on New Year’s Eve, I figured it was a pertinent topic well-worth repeating: responsible goalsetting for creative types (or, anyone, really). Obviously setting goals will help you along with your creative career, or with anything else you hope to […]

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Superstars and Whatnot

It was at the Illustration Masters Class where I first heard Greg Manchess declare that there is no such thing as talent. A rather startling premise to tell a bunch of aspiring artists. But no, Greg stated that artistic skill “is built, not possessed”, created by hard work and training. I wonder about this idea, […]

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The Reindeer Games of the Writer’s Brain

As I sit here and compose my last Inkpunks post for 2013, I find myself reflecting on the past year with an uncomfortable mix of contentment and frustration. It was a very rough year, full of personal and professional setbacks. In the wee, cold hours of these winter nights, my Writer’s Brain precipitates these frustrations […]

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