Posts in Tools
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?
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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!

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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.

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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.

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Tools, Process and Organization, Oh My!

This post is not about the substance of writing. Rather, it is about how to stay sane while writing, not lose all your painstakingly-created work, and build an environment in which you can craft a coherent, complete story.

Everyone’s approach is different; this happens to be mine. You should use a process which works for you and complements your natural habits. But if you’re serious about embarking on any major project, you do need a process, an organization method and the tools to implement them.

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