On Writing

LESSONS FROM A F*** UP – A rough Saturday at improv class yields lessons for comedy and writing through my failures, because we’re all supposed to learn from our stumbles.

WHEN IN DOUBT ON STAGE AND ON THE PAGE – Another lesson from acting class that applies to getting over the hump of starting a scene on stage and in writing, and also in life.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, KNOW YOUR PUNCHLINE – Lessons in comedy writing from a rough season opener of the TMI Hollywood sketch comedy show.

THINGS I’VE CAST ASIDE – I’ve started 5 novel projects over the past year that didn’t pan out. They weren’t failures, they were practice so I would be ready for the next project I was truly passionate about. I have that project. I feel ready for it. We move forward.

THE WHO, WHAT, AND WHERE – Learning the science and method behind the madness of long form improv theater with the UCB has reinforced some great writing lessons.

SHAKESPEARE ACTING CLASSES AND LESSONS IN METER – It should’ve been obvious, but naturally, I’m picking up some lessons to be mindful of in my writing through the Bard himself.

ANOTHER MONTH – Wherein I discuss the next phase for Drawful: querying, and what’s to come next on the project queue.

MORALS, THEMES, AND THE CHALLENGE OF A LAZY VILLAIN – Wherein I discuss how I tie motivations, morality and thematics together through the archetypes of cardinal virtues and deadly sins.

THE BUSINESS END OF THIS – Wherein I discuss the business end of the indie author game, and what matters more than money.

BREAKING, BENDING, AND PEAKING AROUND THE 4TH WALL – It’s all well and good to have a hammer and know how to swing it, but without a nail to pound in that holds things together, you’re just making noise.

HASHTAG FOCUS – Wherein I discuss the challenge of “breaking through” today’s writing industry.

THE CHAIR – Wherein I return to editing work in earnest and give the status of Drawful the Awful.

BUILD A WORLD – Wherein I discuss my approach to worldbuilding, starting with a basic premise that will give structure to the world of Drawful the Awful.

DRAWFUL THE AWFUL, ROUGH DRAFT COMPLETE! – Wherein I discuss the plan for the blog now that I’ve finished the rough draft of Drawful the Awful, and my plan for editing the manuscript.

AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS – Wherein I discuss the true impetus for Drawful the Awful turning into a full fledged novel, and my target audience.

THE SERIAL PANTSER – Wherein I discuss outlining novels, but holding on loosely and allowing characters to surprise me.

WHAT I ONCE THOUGHT A WRITER WAS – Wherein I muse on the maturation of my perception of what a writer is.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Wherein I preview an early concept drawing for Drawful, and discuss art and the plan for the project to come.

SERVE A PURPOSE – Wherein I share my aspiration to have my stories be rich yet lean without a superfluous word.

PARODY, SATIRE, & ABSURDISM – Wherein I discuss the science behind the art of comedy in writing.

BELIEVE – Wherein I share the advice of the great J.K. Rowling, and some advice I gave myself a year and a half ago that I received five months ago.

NOT WHAT YOU SAY, HOW YOU SAY IT – Wherein I confirm that Five Talents is done, lessons learned from my dalliance with a dragon, and where I go from here.

THE DAY JOB – Wherein I muse on the writing grind and treating your passion as a profession- if that’s your goal.

MAXIMIZING TIME – Wherein I muse on maximizing effectiveness and productivity, and my gratitude for my father.

MAPPING & MORALITY – Wherein I discuss using morality as the core to guide a story through character design, outlining and drafting.

KNOW THYSELF – Wherein I discuss the tangible, artistic and spiritual goals of my current novel project.

WRITING HOW I READ – Wherein I discuss the courage needed to scrap your draft and start fresh.

BASE IDEAS – Wherein I share an initial idea for a sequel to Five Talents, and promise to get to it… eventually.

GOALS & FINISH LINES – Wherein I discuss peace and satisfaction with my work being the primary goal, and self-publishing as a finish line to that end.

ANY & ALL LIKENESSES – Wherein I discuss the various ways real world people and events make it into my work, and my approach to handling them with care and respect.

BAD HABITS – Wherein I discuss how in pursuing one’s voice to fully embody work it’s as much a pursuit of curtailing bad habits as it is enhancing one’s strengths.

MOTIVATIONAL RITUALS & GRIND MODE – Wherein I discuss rituals and tactics to both reward and trick myself into sitting down at the desk and writing consistently.

PRODUCTIVE REST – Wherein I discuss the fallibility of the human body and the need/benefit of rest.

THE DARKNESS – Wherein I discuss my inner battle with the voice that tells me my writing doesn’t matter.

TONE EXPERIMENTS – Wherein I confirm the tone and an update to my approach with Unicorns, and my readiness to move forward.

THE CIRCLE CHASE – Wherein I confirm Five Talents being finalized and pending publication, and the projects already underway for the months the come.

CHARACTER STUDY: MICHAEL SCOTT IN THE OFFICE – Wherein I look back at one of my favorite TV Shows, The Office, as a prime example of writing deep, complex characters.

THE GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE – Wherein I discuss the lucky problem of having a plethora of next projects to choose from, and why I’m being patient and taking things one step at a time.

THERE & BACK AGAIN – Wherein I discuss the highlight of my trip to D.C. and what I brought back by way of writing inspiration rather than souvenirs.

THE REFLEX – Wherein I discuss the importance of training yourself to relish criticism of your work over positive feedback.

THE MARINADE – Wherein I discuss the value of friends’ feedback while a new novel idea marinades mentally, and getting to that ready stage for more serious outlining and planning.

THEMATIC MAPPING – Wherein I discuss my first step for novel planning: the thematic outline.

FROM THE BARRENS TO THE MOUNTAIN – Wherein I discuss finally finding the story and message I can place firm resolve in.

DUELING BANJOS – Wherein I discuss the inner conflict of emotions commanding attention, and drawing lines between different emotions, projects and messages.

THE AMERICAN HAIKU – Wherein I discuss how the Comic Strip is America’s equivalent of the Japanese Haiku and other thoughts on the constraints of medium.

I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION – Wherein I discuss the passing satisfaction of my paperback edition, and the hunger that keeps me going.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS – Wherein I discuss how the destination and journey for Beneath the Wood evolved, and what I learned for the journeys to come.

2017 AND BEYOND – Wherein I discuss the paperback edition of Beneath the Wood and discuss the months to come.

PAROXYSMS REGARDING SANITY – Wherein I discuss the importance of forcing yourself to take certain steps, even and especially before you’re totally ready.

QUERY LETTERS, ALWAYS BE CLOSING – Wherein I discuss my “Wall of No” and how I use no’s as fuel to keep at it.

WELCOME TO HEARTBREAK – Wherein I discuss how there’s always an easy path to coping with sadness, but there’s a better one than that to your art.

YOU CAN BE SUPERMAN, BUT… – Wherein I discuss the use and application of professional help as project management strategy.

COLLABORATION – Wherein I unveil the rough draft of the cover art for Beneath the Wood’s pending print edition.

PERSONAL MILESTONES – Wherein I discuss the art of love letters.

THE EDIT GRIND – Wherein I discuss taking a break at milestones and letting the itch of anxiety propel me to the next phase.

WHERE TO GO NEXT – Wherein I discuss how I’m picking the next project after Five Talents.

THE POST DRAFTING PIVOT – Wherein I discuss the change of seasons from writer to editor.

BUILD YOUR SHELTER – Wherein I discuss how and why depression is a reason to work rather than an impediment.

THE DEPRESSIVE LENS – Wherein I discuss how depression and your mental/emotional state is a lens through which you understand the world for your art.

MOVE FORWARD – Wherein I discuss crutches and burning everything to the ground.

THE MAN WHO FALLS ASLEEP – Wherein I discuss the importance of constructive criticism and the value of those with eccentric sleeping habits.

THE THREE DIMENSIONAL CHARACTER – Wherein I discuss rallies where things are #notokay and why knowing is the first step towards the ultimate goal of empathy.

TWO ROUTES TO HUMOR – Wherein I share the secret to a well timed joke before fleeing for donuts.

WRITING FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE OR ONE MILLION – The importance of knowing who you’re writing to and what you’re trying to tell them.

DAYS OFF, CORE MESSAGE, AND RESOLVE – The importance of knowing how to take the hits and keep moving forward.

THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PLANNING – The importance of outlining. Setting up a destination but being free to explore via winding narrative experimentation.

ON BREAKS AND NOVEL PROJECTS – The importance of breaking things down through planning and propelling yourself forward in your work.