Monday, March 23, 2015

Kill Your Darlings

Today, I murdered my darlings.
I plucked them out of existence, consigning them to the land of ghosts and winds.
I felt bad while I was doing it, but afterwards I realized that their absence was actually going to make my world a better place.
It's fucking awful, but it's a necessary step in the writing process.  It forces you to look at your story with different eyes and notice things that you may not have before you started.
In this instance, the shock that I had no real way to have my protagonists confront my antagonists.
Also, it's a good way to get rid of filler paragraphs that seemed really cool when you first wrote them but that turned out to be the literary equivalent of tits on a bus: completely unnecessary.
I hate editing.
I really do.
But, as I said, it's necessary.
Sometimes, you have to kill your darlings to build a better story.

Monday, March 16, 2015


These bento boxes beat the crap out of a box of Lunchables...

This post has been bought to you by my Hungry Stomach.
What next? LUNCH!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Connor Franta & The Writer's Paths

Good afternoon, gentle readers.

This afternoon I clicked on my YouTube channel and discovered that one of the folks I follow, a young man named Connor Franta, had spent the last year writing a memoir.

He posted a video where he revealed that he had written a book and that it would be available in April. His enthusiasm was genuine and infectious.

Good for you, Connor!

Now, sit down and start writing the next book.

Is your enthusiasm still high? Are you still excited?

Better yet! Write a book and then publish it on an indie platform! Use Smashwords or Kindle or Nook! You’d get 70% of the profits, man! Seventy percent!

You have over four million subscribers on your YouTube channel alone! Not to mention the folks following you on Vine, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.

So why did you take the traditional route re publishing?

Did it feel safer?

I can understand that. It would be super-nice if I could get one of the Big Six publishers interested in my stuff, but, apparently, I’m not ‘marketable’ enough.

Maybe it was the ease of it all?

Well, not the writing part. We all know that writing can be a difficult process.

But promotion, book design, PR. All of that is, to be honest, a pain in the ass if you go the indy route.

Sure, you can hire people to do all that for you, but a lot of the time, the end product is pretty crappy. You’ll get generic book covers, paid tweets on Twitter that everyone ignores, and if you have a physical book and want to do a book tour, you have to arrange signings with individual stores yourself. If you’re marketing an e-book, you can forget about the book tour. It’s not going to happen because, well, what’s the point?

If it sounds like I’m coming down on Connor Franta, I’m really not.

I like him.  He seems like a genuinely nice person,  and I wish him well with his publishing endeavors.

I’m just wondering about his motivation, his decision to go the traditional route when he didn’t really need to. Like I said, he’s got millions of followers on social media. PR would not be a problem for him. Hiring a reputable artist to design a book jacket probably wouldn’t be too big a hassle for him either.

I suppose, in the end, it’s all about comfort. About what we’re willing to do to get our stuff out there, about how we want to do it.

Again, congratulations, Connor.

You’re a published author.

Enjoy the ride, ignore the critics and be well.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Today's blog has been called on account of ennui.  In the meantime, please enjoy a pretty picture from my transcontinental road trip.