Pro, Hobbyist, or …?

Hi Folks, In an earlier post over on the Daily Journal I talked a little bit about the stages of a fiction writer, a topic Dean Wesley Smith has covered thoroughly in his book on the topic and in a lecture and online workshop. When we talk about the “stages” of a fiction writer, we’re talking about professional fiction writers. As with any profession, pro fiction writers progress through various stages or levels as they hone … Read more

POV (Point Of View)

Hi Folks, I get depressed a little when I think of all the talking I do and have done about writing over the years. Has it mattered? Sure, to a few writers here and there. But what I see as silliness and BS was around a long time before me and it will be around long after I’m gone. Still, I talk about writing here and on my other blog. I’ve talked about writing in presentations … Read more

An Ugly, Two-Sided Coin

Hi Folks, I am constantly amazed at the smug duality of some writers, especially those who see “writer” as some sort of elevated calling. I can spot them within the first few minutes of listening to them talk. They are somehow filled with both self-doubt and overconfidence. At the same time. On one hand, they doubt their own storytelling ability. They actually brag about their critique partners or critique group. They brag about the number of … Read more

On Word Choice and Distractions in Fiction

Hey Folks, Recently much has been written over on Pro Writers Writing about word choice. I decided to add a few of my own thoughts here. First, my own rule of thumb: When writing fiction, I try to never put anything on the page that will call attention to itself and thereby distract the reader from the story. That includes unnecessary or misused punctuation, archaic or pretentious words, archaic constructions, and clichéd words or phrases. Distracting … Read more

An Important Post for Writers

Hey Folks, Before you read this post, see Dean Wesley Smith’s “Dumbest New Myth In Writing” at It’s important. I also recommend you read the comments that follow the post. Tons of very useful, practical information there. After you’ve read it, here’s my take on the topic of what it costs to indie publish a book, step by step: Step one: I agree. Duh. Step two: If you have a good grounding in the rules … Read more