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How I Predicted the Breaking Bad Ending

Tuesday, 01, October , 2013 by

Sometimes being a writer can ruin stories for you because you can see endings coming a mile away. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget this is not the case for my friends and I totally killed the Breaking Bad ending for a few folks by predicting every beat. Some people think it’s a magical power or that

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On Killing Your Favorite Characters

Sunday, 22, September , 2013 by

So, I just killed one of my favorite characters today. It’s done and she’s never coming back. As for me, I can’t write another word in that book right now. I need time to sit back, process it. After eight months of working up to the scene I saw it completely in my mind last

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The Secrets of Storm of Swords

Sunday, 15, September , 2013 by

Storm of Swords is widely considered George R.R. Martin’s greatest work in the Song of Ice and Fire saga. After just finishing this massive door stopper fantasy I can easily see why. It’s packed with outstanding action, a sweeping scope, stunningly realized surprises and characters that haunted my dreams after staying up late for yet

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The Pain of Art

Thursday, 05, September , 2013 by

Artists feel pain differently. We’re not like other people. Sometimes when I’m out with friends, the slightest insult might wound me deeply. Inside I know it’s ridiculous, there’s nothing wrong, but at the emotional level I’m suffering. And I can’t get over it. Of course, I hide it incredibly well. Much of life is just

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My Cover Artist

Tuesday, 30, April , 2013 by

I spent months looking for an artist to create the cover of my first novel, The Scorpion Game. There are lots of competent cover designers our there, but I wanted to make sure I got someone who could really deliver something unique. I settled on Beijing artist Yuehui Tang. Let me tell you, it’s not

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One mistake will kill a story faster than any other: not following through. Anything that goes into your story has to come to a satisfying conclusion. It’s here that most authors fail, whether they’re just starting out or they are multi-book veterans. This ranges from huge mistakes like failing to wrap up a major plot

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In life and in art there ain’t no steps you can skip. I know because I’ve tried to skip them all at one point or another, but now I know every single one of them is essential and equally important. To get good at your craft, you’ve got hundreds of skills to learn and you

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One day I woke up and I was sick of being sick.  And that one moment changed everything. Some of what I am going to tell you here will be like telling the ancient people that the world was actually round and not flat.  Just come along for a little while and listen.  See if

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One of the writers in my long term writing group sent out this video of John Cleese on the 5 Steps to getting into a head space where creativity can flourish. I liked it so much that I dug up a longer version of it for you. The whole lecture was 36 minutes and there

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, some of the best story telling is happening in video games right now. Roger Ebert continues to be an idiot for thinking that video games are not art. It’s very simple Roger; Video games are art already. He is basically a dinosaur from another era, who

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How Much Do You Want to Write

Friday, 20, July , 2012 by

There are millions of people who want to write.  Of course, it’s talent that often determines who makes it and who doesn’t.  Or luck.  Or both.   Sometimes people are just in the right place in the right time.  E.L. James, who wrote the publishing phenom 50 Shades of Gray, copied the right book when

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The basic mechanism of character change in any story is incredibly simple.  A hero starts off with a weakness that is ruining his life and he moves to the logical opposite of that weakness.  If he’s purposeless, he gains purpose.  If he’s fearful, he becomes fearless.  If he lacks maturity, he becomes an adult.  If

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