Posts tagged Process
The Long Way Around to a Book in Your Hands

I know you guys are sitting there looking at Transcendence’s full word meter and wondering why the heck the book isn't out yet—a perfectly valid and understandable question.*

So I thought it would be fun (for me, hopefully for you-I promise there is humor) to walk through how my books get from idea to publication. Every person’s process is different and intensely personal to them, but this one is my own.


1.  Outline the outlines (aka, make pretty graphs)

I spend a lot of time outlining, and in different ways:

  • What happens in what order?
  • What happens where in what order?
  • What happens to whom in what order?
Read More
Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything ) Transcript

I was honored to be invited to host an AMA on Reddit's /r/suggestmeabook and /r/sciencefiction last month. I had a terrific time chatting with everyone and hopefully provided some interesting answers to their questions.

In case you missed it, here is the transcript of the AMA, unaltered except for formatting and specific-to-Reddit details. It includes more details on my writing process, thoughts about writing and publishing, and juicy tidbits about Aurora Rising than I could ever consciously fit in one blog post, so I hope you enjoy!

Read More
Five Things I Learned Writing (and Publishing) Starshine

Seven weeks after publication the craziness has started to settle down, and I’m finally getting used to a “new normal”—which means I’ve had the chance to muse a little on the whole experience.

In the tradition of the terrific (and irreverent) blogger and author Chuck Wendig’s series “Five Things I Learned Writing…”, I present five things I learned writing (and publishing) Starshine:

1.  Google will not send the FBI to your door if you spend six hours on the internet researching the fastest-acting deadly toxins.

Read More
Rules Are Made to be Broken... Except When They're Not

Confession time: I am a hard-core science and tech nerd. Allow me to expound briefly.

When I was 14, I discovered Carl Sagan’s Cosmos in the Science section at Waldenbooks (by the way, the day Barnes & Noble closes its doors, I will shed several tears. I have loved bookstores my entire life).

The book changed my young life. I was already a nerd and bookworm, but I became obsessed with space and the stars. I was going to be an astrophysicist and, if I had my way, discover how to break the speed of light so we could get on with exploring the…well, cosmos.

Read More
Novel Writing Software: A Tool — Not A Crutch

If you believe the product descriptions, novel writing software will provide you a plot, several character arcs and all the tools you need to craft a sure-to-be bestselling novel. But if it actually did all that, what would be the fun in writing at all?

The thing is, novel writing software really can be a great tool in your arsenal. I use it, and if you are serious about writing a novel I recommend you do so as well…just so long as you don’t expect it to provide you with your plot, characters and the words to bring them to life.

Read More
Characters: How to Create Them, How to Make Them Real

In an earlier blog post, I talked about how characters should be the central core of a story. Excellent! Now you just need some characters….

In some ways, characters are far more difficult to create than plot. After all, characters are us, and we know all too well how complicated and flawed we are. For a short story, a character can be painted in broad strokes. But if you’re going to write several hundred pages about one, they better be fully-developed, realistic and relatable. They should feel like a real person. More on that in a moment, though.

Read More