• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

The Cannibal’s Art – How Writing Really Works

It seems as though every writer who’s been at it for awhile is moved to write down what they’ve discovered about the craft over the years.  Why should I be an exception? {g}

Frankly, there  are only three “rules” to being a successful writer:

1.  Read.  Read everything.  This is how you learn both what you like, and what you don’t like (and you sure shouldn’t waste time writing stuff you don’t like, no matter how popular you think it might be)–and how you begin to learn what writing techniques are, and how they work.

2.  Write.  You can read all the books about writing and take all the classes about writing that you want (and I’m not saying these are pointless; they’re great for some people, not so much for others)–but the Horrible Truth is that nothing will teach you to write, except the act of putting words on paper.  I naturally can’t guarantee that you’ll be published, successful, or rich–but I do guarantee that the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

and the third rule is the most important:

3.  Don’t Stop!!

That said, while there really aren’t any hard-and-fast Rules about writing, there are certainly patterns and structures that generally work to accomplish certain things.   Now, I don’t know whether one can learn to tell stories or not; I was rather fortunately born a story-teller (I can’t take any credit for this; it’s just genetic).   But I do think that one can learn the craft of writing.

So this (eventual) book is intended to do two things:  1) explain how I Do It–which might or might not be helpful to people who want to write, but will at least be interesting–and 2) explain How It’s Done, in terms of general techniques and patterns.

I’ve been accumulating bits and pieces for years, tossing them into a folder whenever someone asks me a question about writing.   I’ll post some of these pieces here now and then.  (Mind, a number of these pieces are presently in the form of outlines for workshops; they’ll eventually be fleshed out with further explanation and examples.)  In addition, if you have a specific question about writing–either the craft or the business–feel free to ask, and I’ll try to answer via my blog, then post the tidied-up version {g} here, and/or include it in the final book.