01 Feb

Your Best Work and Your Worst Work

Banner - TypewriterFor years I’ve been hearing other authors say that there is no great difference between their worst work, and their best work. I’ve always thought this was a load of crud.

Of course there is a difference between my best work and my worst work. When I do my best writing everything flows. It is pure, pristine, shoals of wonderful ideas that weave together into a complete whole. It is living in flow with the Muse looking over my shoulder. The words flow out of me in a never-ending stream.

Except that all of that really is a load of crud.

Last year, after reading Chris Fox’s “5000 Words An Hour,” I started keeping track of my work. When I start to write. Whether I’m writing or editing. How many words I achieve. And it’s really opened up my eyes. Read More

04 Jan

How I write this blog

Banner - PenI thought this might be a fun thing to do, to let you see exactly the process I use to write my blog.

Right now I’m walking outside, it’s about 10 degrees Celsius. There are nice weather, a little bit wet since it’s in the fall.

And I’m dictating this into my Voyager into my Plantronics Voyager 3200 headset.

Did you notice what just happened there? I said Voyager twice, because I missed a word. I’m not going to correct this in editing. All I’m going to do is clean up the punctuation and any spelling errors.

Everything else remains. So your

Everything else remains. So what you see here is the exact transcript of the exact words that I use. Read More

25 Dec

Friday Links * 2: Hugh Howey’s Massive Writing Advice

Banner Mouse ClickA massive ebook in blog post format, taking into account everything from the first insight that you want to write, up to publishing and contracts.

I don’t use the same method of writing as Hugh does, but his posts are still crammed with nuggets of wisdom that I found worthwhile. And if you’re more in line with his process, you’re bound to find illumination within.

I’d pay for this if it was published as a book. Now you get it for free. Read More

05 Oct

How to Write 15 Novels in a Year – An Interview with Jason Halstead

I write because I breathe, Jason Halstead quote

I write because I breathe, Jason Halstead quote Jason Halstead is a prolific writer. In the six years since publishing his first novel, he has added over 70 novel credits to his name – and that doesn’t include some 35 novels written under pen names or co-written with his wife Dawn Michelle. How does he do it?

“I write because I breathe,” says Jason Halstead. “It’s as important to me as eating, drinking, my family, and my hobby of lifting weights. It defines who I am not because I want it to, but because I have made it a core part of me.”

During the day, Jason Halstead is a regular Joe, spending 45 to 50 hours a week as a Lead Software Developer. He’s also a competition power lifter (in 2009 he set two state records in the Son-Light Powerlifting Federation of Michigan), a father, and a husband. On a typical day he gets up at 5:45 (he sleeps in until 6:30 on weekends), exercises, works, takes care of the business side of writing, and then writes a chapter or 2 500 words, whichever is less, before going to bed around 11 pm. Read More

30 Sep

When are you a writer?

Writing at the sea.

I’m a writer and game designer. I haven’t published anything and gotten paid for it. Even so, I am a writer and game designer. No matter my day job, no matter how I live or how I make my money, I’m a writer and game designer. I just haven’t gotten published yet.

In my opinion, if you write and finish what you’re writing, and edit what you finish, then you’re a writer. You’re working on mastering your craft.

A job has a title, a craft has a name. There’s a difference. If you lose your job you lose your title. You don’t lose your name until you chose to give up your craft. You. Chose. Key words, those. Read More

04 Sep

Advice for those dreaming of designing a game

Image: Flavio Takemoto/FreeimagesYou’re going to design crap. There’s no way around it. No matter what you do, you’re going to design crap.

When you start out, you’ll look to what others have done and attempt to copy them. You’ll look to published games and attempt to make something like them, only better.

You will fail. Read More

15 Jul

My new Best First Book on Game Design – Paid to Play by Keith A. Meyers, Review

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, cover

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, coverWhen I decided that I wanted to become a serious game designer (and isn’t that an oxymoron) I didn’t know where to start. The step between dabbling in game design and doing it systematically, accountably and efficiently seemed nigh on insurmountable.

I really wish that someone had given me Keith A. Meyers “Paid to Play” right about then.

Reading “Paid to Play” is the equivalent of spending a year or more perusing BGDF and the BoardGameGeek game designers forums. Everything you need to know about the basics of professionaly designing games is here, from finding your target market to the skills you need as a designer (persistence, persistence, persistence) to licensing and the dos and don’ts of submitting a query. Incredibly it’s all crammed into 87 quite airy pages. Read More