The Reverse Outline

The Reverse Outline


I have accomplished a great personal best: creating a complete pre-history, flora, fauna, culture, alien races and government for five alien planets that the humans or Terrans in my new novel series “The Five Rims”.  It came in at just over 15K words as well. Now to write the first book set in that universe. … Continue reading

5 Ways to Stay a Writer

5 Ways to Stay a Writer


This quote by one of my favorite writers (Harlan Ellison) is irrevocably true.  How many students have I taught to write over the years who most likely do not use that skill now that they are adults?  I’m sure the number is more than I’m willing to admit. I consider myself a pretty prolific writer.  I’ve … Continue reading

New Podcast Up: The Lucky Break

New Podcast Up: The Lucky Break


In this episode Ryan relates a story about his daughter’s music and how he just happened to stumble upon someone influential who is interested in her sound. What do you consider to be your “lucky break” and how can we use these small miracles to our advantage as indie writers? We also debut a new … Continue reading

Why Is It So Difficult To Write Well?

Why Is It So Difficult To Write Well?


I’m nearly halfway through the backstory material for my current WIP.  I’m writing a series of books tentatively titled The Five Rims Series and try as I might, I’m going to create a Tolkienesque place, a (most likely) vain attempt to give my setting a richness that will hopefully translate to a sweeping epic.  I’m just … Continue reading

Killing the Villain: A Daring Plot Device

Killing the Villain: A Daring Plot Device


[First of all, I would like to say that this blog post contains spoilers about the current season of The Walking Dead, so if you are not current, then do not read any further.] At the end of season 4 of The Walking Dead we were introduced to a new villain: the cold, cannibalistic Gareth.  Gareth is a … Continue reading

“The Art of Metaphor” by Jane Hirshfield

“The Art of Metaphor” by Jane Hirshfield


I found this fantastic little video that illustrates the importance of using metaphor in our writing.  It’s an animation which uses Jane Hirshfield’s TED talk on the subject of using metaphors in our writing.  Enjoy!