Mesh – Submitted for Coverfly

While I’m waiting for feedback from other beta readers, I submitted Mesh for consideration in a Coverfly competition that offers feedback from other editors.

At best, Mesh gets discovered and this is the small step for an author, one giant leap for Mesh-kind. At worst, I’ll get some more feedback on how to take the story to the next level. Submitting Mesh to Coverfly forced me to write a better log-line for the book, too: Set in the near future, a group of supersmart kids come together to work on a secret project. The question is: are they saving the world or destroying it, and what will they do when they know the truth?

Imma keep working, but wanted you to know what the story about the story is, for now.

How to Get Set for NaNoWriMo!

It’s that time again, when a million new authors throw caution to the wind and commit themselves to writing a complete novel, yes sixty-thousand words or better, in 30 days. All hail NanoWriMo! I have some thoughts about the contest itself, but before I talk about them, let’s talk about you. Do you plan to write a novel next month? If so, here are some suggestions on how to get set. I hope you find them useful as you prepare to write a super-awesome story that takes you to the stars.

The Dirty Truth About National Novel Writing Month

The Truth About Writing a Novel in a Month

13 Ugly Truths About Nanowrimo

The Truth About NaNoWriMo

3 Ways to NOT Fail at NaNoWriMo

Like those? I hope you find them useful. NaNoWriMo isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can lead you to some great places. Best wishes on your next project, and may it be the story you always wanted to tell.

Microfiction – RenFaire for Real

Took a few days off of writing in /r/writingprompts. Now I’m back with a new piece of microfiction. This time, in response to the following prompt – “You’ve always had a passion for writing since an early age. Now, right after you published your first book, the story somehow has transferred itself into reality and you’re the main character.” – I decided to take a new direction. What if you were a fantasy author, now stuck in his weird Pseudo-European Medieval universe? Cosplaying will never be the same after you read ‘RenFaire for Real’ –

They always say “Write what you know,” but nobody tells you what to do when what you write becomes all you know.

Endless rain falls across the green forests of Kylldale. I’ve never been to Ireland, so I kinda fudged the details. Stone walls, cobbled streets, ancient inns. It’s green, so it must rain a lot, right? I worked myself into a lather over those details; the sights, sounds and smells of a Middle Aged-village in winter. Reality force-fed through a bucolic meat grinder of pastoral scenery. It sounded like an escape, but now it feels like a prison. For reasons I’m still trying to figure out, I’m trapped inside my own novel.

If only I’d written the Internet into my book. I’d can send a nasty email to my agent.

Continue Reading RenFaire for Real

The Character Arc of Marty McFly

It’s fall in Oregon, which means we’ll get beautiful, crisp mornings and brilliant colors. You can watch nature in progress over at the Owen Rose Garden webcam. I, of course, am not thinking about nature at all. No, I’m thinking about Back to the Future, as one does. More specifically, I’m thinking about Marty McFly and the character arc he takes throughout the first BTTF movie. There’s a stack of things you can learn about character development by watching Back to the Future, so let’s talk about how Marty McFly can help you write better stories.

First things first, let’s talk about Marty in the first BTTF movie. The other two movies were written after the success of the first, and most of his character growth happens in the first movie. Yeah, yeah … he couldn’t stand being called chicken, but that was a bit of lazy storytelling. A kid who can travel through space and time gets triggered by the word ‘chicken?’ Gimme a break. No, Marty’s character was interesting in the first movie alone and demonstrates a very solid storytelling arc by the end of the first movie.

So to recap, Marty McFly is a teen living somewhere in suburban California in 1985. He has a single friend, a local ‘mad scientist’ who engages in eccentric science projects like synchronizing all of his clocks and building the world’s biggest guitar amp. We quickly find out that Doc Brown has invented a working time machine, and Marty ends up using it to travel back in time.

He quickly finds himself stuck in the world of his parents, now teenagers, and ends up potentially creating an alternate reality where he is never born. With the help of his now-younger friend Doc Brown, Marty manages to undo the time paradox, fix his powerless time machine and return to the restored world of 1985. Along the way, he manages to fix his broken family, and that’s where the magic happens in terms of Marty’s character. Continue reading

New Science Microfiction – The Operative

New Science Microfiction - The OperativeI responded to a writingprompt that got my juices flowing. Here’s the original prompt: You’ve always been able to twist any situation to your advantage. Accidentally saw classified data? You got a great job protecting said government data. Got captured? You ran the enemy’s tech support. Got killed by your original employers? Okay, this one might be more difficult. They buried an interesting ‘what-if’ into the prompt and I answered the question via science fiction. I hope you enjoy ‘The Operative:’

Today, my boss is going to hire a dead guy. That’s right, me. Killed three years ago in a tragic chemical factory fire. You remember, right? Over in China, raised to the ground, nothing but destruction for blocks? I was there. I lit the fuse. According to the news stories, I didn’t make it out in time. Fortunately for me, that was all according to the plan.

Click Here to Continue Reading ‘The Operative’

New Microfiction – The Last One

Wrote a new microfiction piece last night in response to the following writing prompt: “The man screamed, for he was just an inch in the fourth dimension away from his own universe, but so helplessly trapped in one that was not his own.” The premise sounded interesting to me, and I wanted to focus on why he was taken away. It quickly became a small short called ‘The Last One.’

One reason I do microfiction is that it’s a great way to keep my chops up. Another reason is, it’s a great way for me to meet new readers. Am I a good writer? Can I tell a good story? You can make a decision pretty quick when you read some of my microfiction. Here’s a quick sample:

So close, yet so far.

Scrabbling at the unseen barrier. It doesn’t feel like anything. Not glass, not metal, not plastic or wood. I can feel nothing, no texture, under my fingertips. But it’s there, separating me. Just one small more bit, not even the width of two fingers, that’s the distance between me and home.

“Help!” I scream. “Help me!” I can see them. Ordinary people, ordinary day. It’s a street corner, 85th or 86th Street. Central Park West, where my grandmother used to take us to walk her dog. Taxis, buses, people and animals. I can see them, hear them, even smell them. But that’s as close as I’ll get.

Continue Reading ‘The Last One.’

Have a great rest of your day, and Write On!

New Microfiction – Earth Problems

Caught an interesting writingprompt the other day and turned it into a new piece of microfiction called ‘Earth Problems:’ “In the far future, humanity has successfully colonized the Moon, Mars, and set up outposts on Mercury. Trade among the planets is common, and has been so for hundreds of years. Then, with little warning, a comet half the size of the Moon struck earth. The impact was visible from all colonies.”

Click to Read ‘Earth Problems’