Literary Alchemy

Yes, literary alchemy is something I have spent some time studying. The goal? To profoundly affect your readers by allowing them to transform vicarously along with your main characters. The model has been used for centuries. Shakespeare used it. CS Lewis used it. JK Rowling used it. Suzanne Collins used it. The writer of Breaking Bad used it. […]

Literary Alchemy

How to Stop Time

I walked into an actual bookstore. An independent bookstore, yesterday. It’s one of my favorites. Carmichael’s Books in the Crescent Hill neighborhood of Louisville. And I bought a hardback volume of How to Stop Time. I haven’t bought a hardback at full price in a while. Not from a bookstore, where I’m standing at the […]

How to Stop Time

Contrast in Fiction

My daughter read several chapters of my book and complained loud and long. She knows I’m an advocate for lightjoy. I don’t like grimdark. But she said my book is dark, so dark. I think she’s right. It is dark in many places, many of them very unpleasant. But it made me think about what I mean by lightjoy. I’m […]

Contrast in Fiction

Outlining the series

Some of you know I’m working with Long-Suffering Editrix® twice a week. Cheryl is a mentor, a coach, a cheerleader, sometimes a mommy and a kick-ass editor. I’m very thankful to have her in my corner. Even when she makes me think too much. Which is often. For instance, my homework this week is to outline […]

Outlining the series

Wrestling with gods

One of the wonderful things about writing is the ability to create worlds, a fact Tolkien noted when he wrote his mythology. He referenced this obliquely when speaking of his Valar and their role in creation. But the idea was that this creation was a “concreation” or a “creating with.” And it allows us as […]

Wrestling with gods

Angels

A goodie for my Wattpad fans and beta readers. If you remember the scene with Sara and Scott in a cemetery? Well. These are photos of the actual place, St Louis Cemetery. I’ll add more in a bit but I need to edit them. There are many mausoleums like ones pictured, but my favorites are […]

Angels

Stab it With a Fork

You might hear me quote Stephen Pressfield a lot. It’s his fault I’m writing fiction. He’s become something of a virtual mentor to me. Certainly The War of Art and Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t should be required reading for any aspiring author/poet/dancer/artist/musician/entrepreneur. If you’re creating, they will save you much heartbreak. Stephen has […]

Stab it With a Fork

Story Grid and Genre

So, after getting several resources I’ve already discussed (which I’m still using) I also obtained the Story Grid book and am deep into it. It’s perfect. I understand it and it is exactly what I needed. The genre bit was difficult for me at first, I thought they meant sales genre. But no. Click above […]

Story Grid and Genre

TLDR on Revision

I’m busy. Click the little bird.   ok, should likely blog this but no time and tldr right? am revising myself before I submit my work to editor (after checking in w wise people) Started here and got to step 5 https://t.co/iMhmSdkDS1 and then got these three books… — ACMiles (@A_CMiles) January 29, 2018

Fell Folk

We don’t have Fells in Kentucky. We have knobs. I think they’re likely not that different. I love this guy’s blog and pictures of the fells. Good article about the knobs region of Kentucky here. The knobs are forested and that to me is the biggest difference. The lakes and hills I’m seeing in the […]

Fell Folk

Nano results

I wrote about 15k words and got about 10k in notes done before holiday projects for the day job struck me down like an avalanche. It certainly felt like an avalanche. Note to self: people who do online retailer support for a living can’t do much else in November. So yeah, I don’t think I’ll […]

Nano results

Naysayers

So Dean Koontz had a pep talk today. An excerpt follows but you can read the whole thing here.  My second literary agent was a great guy. We became friends. He did good things for my career. Then he began to decline one book pitch after another: “I can’t market this. You’re pitching bestsellers, but […]

Naysayers

Scene Map

This is my scene map. The thing right now that I’m doing is filling in the “issues” column and then notes from Critters on plot/structure. (This method is explored fully in this book, which I highly recommend)  It’s somewhat hellish. There are many issues. Right now they’re ranging from…”Why is this character here?” to…”wow you […]

Scene Map

Critting and reviews

I kind of think I can’t write anymore until I do what I said I would. I gotta spend about 3 days critting and leaving some reviews. There’s a simple principle. If you want to receive you must give. It’s selfish and manipulative to give because you  want to receive. I admit that. But I […]

Critting and reviews

Inspired

So yesterday in the midst of my research, I discovered a few amazing things about Stonehenge First thing? It sings. Yes if you google “Sonic stonehenge” (and thrill a bit over the Whovian search parameter)  you find quite a bit about it. You can hear some of it here. Untitled from Landscape Perception on Vimeo. […]

Inspired

Damn you, Anthony Ryan

I’ve been dealing with my second draft and I knew it needed something. I knew it was missing the weight I wanted and I knew I needed massive changes. Overhaul. The Longsuffering Editrix® tried in her ever so subtle way to explain what it was. I didn’t get it. I’m obtuse sometimes. Then I read […]

Damn you, Anthony Ryan

The Fool

This is a short story I wrote for fun. It isn’t fantasy but it’s a hoot. I hope you enjoy it.  The lemon meringue pie at Patti’s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky boasts a height of 4 feet, six inches. It takes two men four days to eat one, and a slice tastes better than ambrosia. […]

The Fool

Escapism and writing

I think there’s a little escapist in every writer. What other kind of person willingly dreams while conscious and records it? Then we spend hours refining our thoughts so others can more easily join us in our dreams. A theme of scifi recently has been the problems inherent in “Second Life” type gaming or VR […]

Escapism and writing

An AHA moment.

So, all I have read led me to believe I had to give my manuscript, AKA Baby, over to my longsuffering editrix® in order to make edits. She reads. I get feedback. I edit. Not so. Though I have been cautioned with balefire about making structural edits without her, I am able to edit. Pitchwars […]

An AHA moment.