Untitled Poem

I was rummaging around in my closet and found this little poem from senior year of high school. I haven’t posted much actual fiction in some time, and since I’ve just been discussing timing, I thought this was appropriate to post.


A brush, a touch of hand

For but a moment, though.

Twelve times a day, at night twelve times,

The stroke of love sets off the chimes.

Movement constant, progress slow,

A hush, love caught in sand.


Are We There Yet? Timing Your Story Well Part 2

I’m in the process of plotting (cue evil laugh) a new novel, and on this project more than any previous one I have found the timing to be of utmost concern. The events transpire over the course of two swamped months, during which there is a great deal of travel, confrontation, and a few unimpressive lulls.

Not bad as a snapshot . . . but wait until it’s all you’ve seen for three hours and you just want to get home.

Are you familiar with those road trips that, while already torturous with the crying kids and the lack of snacks and the backaches, seem to drag on with interminable slowness because you’re passing unchanging rows of cornfields with little to distract you? Stories can be like that, too. “Stuff” might be happening, but if it’s not of the plot-altering variety, chances are it’s as boring as a cornfield. Continue reading

Are We There Yet? Timing Your Story Well Part 1

If you’ve ever had an inclination to research the art of writing, you’ll be familiar with the idea of “starting in the middle,” that is, beginning your story when something intriguing, catalytic, and important is already in progress. This is crazy important. I’ve read drafts in which the story starts with a didactic outline of the world in which it takes place, or the family tree of the main character or villain—whichever appears in that chapter. The author has only pure intentions: he’s just looking out for the reader, whom he feels needs to know these things to understand the story. Continue reading

August Update

If you refer to my July Update, you will discover that I was planning to work on a new novel for Camp NaNoWriMo, working title The Campaign. Yes, well. That didn’t happen. This is fine, because now that I’ve managed to shrug off the pressure to write it, I feel much more comfortable with commencing in-depth research. I’ve taken this week off of my day job for a writing sabbatical—as well as to catch up on some editing work I need to finish for a client—and I’m excited about reenergizing and de-stressing.

So what did I write during Camp? I started and finished my fourth novel for the year, a swashbuckling science fiction adventure with pirates. Because pirates! In space! Continue reading