Don’t Tell Me Why

I’ve seen several “how to write” textbooks that insist that in fiction, the reader must be given a reason why everything happens. If your main character comes down with the flu, the authors of these books would insist you need to show your main character getting sneezed on earlier in the story. If the main character gets a flat tire, they want to see her having driven through a construction zone first. Nothing, according to these writers, should ever happen randomly and without a clear, on-the-page reason for it within the context of the story. Speaking as both a reader and a writer, I’m going to call “bullshit” on this one.  Continue reading


I got seriously slammed with comment spam this week. To the point where there was no way I could wade through all the comments and see if anything that Akismet had flagged as likely spam wasn’t, and I just deleted everything in the moderation queue. If any humans out there made a comment that got deleted erroneously, I sincerely apologize. Please try again, and hopefully the queue will be short enough that I can spot it as an on-topic, human-generated sentiment.

Where To Begin?

One of the things that happens when you become the guy with a couple of stories published is that folks start asking you to read what they’ve written with an eye to helping them get it ready for publication. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do this for everyone, but for friends and family (and the members of my crit group, of course), I will take a look at their stuff as I’ve got spare cycles. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of examples of writers starting their stories too early in the flow of events.  Continue reading