The Brutal, Delicate Art of Revision

In my first writing class, back in high school, my teacher once said that all writing is rewriting. For some reason, I was certain that rule didn’t apply to me. All of my fiction was perfect from the moment it was written down. I scoffed at second and third drafts. I was in love withContinue reading “The Brutal, Delicate Art of Revision”

Why I Don’t Self-Publish My Writing

We live in a time when the planets seem aligned to give everyone the power to self-publish their own book. Between ebooks and print-on-demand services anyone with a story to tell and the time or money to format a manuscript and slap together some cover art can publish their own work without any help fromContinue reading “Why I Don’t Self-Publish My Writing”

Wielding the Red Pen

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you — And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik If you want to learn the mechanics of great writing, edit someone else’s writing. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of months.Continue reading “Wielding the Red Pen”

Who Are You Calling An Expert?

A strange transformation happens after you’ve been doing something for a few years. Whether its writing or swing dancing, people around you start to notice. Maybe they can sense your comfort, or experience gives off a distinct odor, but others begin to gravitate toward you, seeking the source of your success. And they usually bringContinue reading “Who Are You Calling An Expert?”

I’ve Written Something, Now What?

“This is perfect,” I said to myself as I typed the final sentence of my story. My fingers were oozing genius. My characters were alive and provocative. My words sang with the poetry of the muses. My themes were universal, but my approach was entirely innovative. I was going to revolutionize the long short story/novellaContinue reading “I’ve Written Something, Now What?”

Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before

We are now nine days into this month of literary abandon called National Novel Writing Month and I’m behind on my word quota, just as I was last year and the year before. That’s no surprise. I’ve never finished a novel, even with all the pressure and bribes and good intentions. My problem is notContinue reading “Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before”

The Enemy of Completion

As an amateur filmmaker, I occasionally get contracted to film an event. In most cases, this is a simple undertaking. Bring a camera, set up in a corner out of the way, press record when it starts and press pause when it’s over. Other projects are a little more demanding. Take, for instance, the weddingContinue reading “The Enemy of Completion”