Month: January 2018

The Room to improve

Epictetus reminds us: “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” He tells us that this is the “first task” of philosophy: to get rid of our preconceptions, to do away with the dogmas we have in our heads. Be humble. Be open to things you don’t know, or things …

01-28-2018 – Work

What I’m reading: Tunnel in the Sky (I like to revisit Heinleins juveniles every 6 months or so, jsut for a refresher on the great one.) Took a short hike with Molly this morning (Sandra was still recuperating), trail was packed with people, we probably passed 6 or 7 people, which makes for a not fun …

Your series needs a map

Readers like a series, so it’s good marketing sense to write your novels in a series. But that raises a question. How do you map out a series of novels? Mapping out one novel is hard enough that many novelists choose not to do it. They write their novels without a plan, and then work extra hard on …

Everything is motivation

Practically everything in fiction eventually comes down to your characters’ motivations. The lead character in your story wants something, One Thing. It’s tempting to say that the strength of your story is directly proportional to how much your lead character wants that One Thing. But that’s false. It’s so far from being true, it’s not even wrong. Let …

01-25-2018 – Work

What I’m reading: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Set off on the skywalker trail this morning, around 8ish, got about halfway through, when Molly can be heard (Her metal tags jingle) running back to me, quickly.  On her heels are two coyotes.  Out of the corner of my eye I spot one coming down the …

Aren’t we lucky?

When you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do in life: You have a good reason to cut out the less-important stuff in your life without feeling one bit guilty. Which forces you to think about what actually matters to you and what actually doesn’t. And leads you to make a conscious decision about how …