On Hiatus

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

This is just to let everyone know that (aside from a quick update now and then) I won’t be posting anything here for a few months. I’ll be doing final preparations for If a Butterfly through October, and it will likely be released in late-October or early December. Michael Standard Disclaimer: Please post a comment …

Read more

Coffee Addendum

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

On June 25th I posted “Coffee and the Writer,” a few observations about my penchant for having a warm beverage nearby while I write. A few days ago I ran across a note I emailed to myself from Baltimore in November 2002. It was about a coffee incident I encountered at SC2002 (the Supercomputing Conference …

Read more

Transcribing Interviews — A Question

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

I often record interviews with people when I’m researching a book, and I’ve noticed that very few people speak without using “fillers” in their sentences. (things like “um,” “uh,” “like,” “you know,” and repeated words). They often appear in speech as a way for speakers to slow their speech long enough to come up with …

Read more

Coffee and the Writer

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

Let me preface this by saying I usually drink between 60 and 80 ounces of coffee every day. I’ll explain (further down the page) why that might not be as much at it seems. I’m not going to spend any time on the history of coffee and/or its connection to writers. Just Google “coffee and …

Read more

Left-Handed and Like It

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

Throughout the centuries, left-handers have been maligned, and often forced into right-handedness (especially as concerns, but not limited to, their handwriting). I’m left-handed, and at a very early age I became convinced that the deck was stacked against me. When we were first learning to write cursive in school, my teacher tried to make me …

Read more

Can You Make It as a Writer?

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

This is a question I’ve often asked myself, and I would imagine most writers who have looked seriously at their craft have also wondered, “Do I have what it takes?” I’m going to hand the microphone (metaphorically) over to one of the most successful screenwriters of all time, Terry Rossio. He wrote, co-wrote, or headed …

Read more

Music for Writing, Part 2

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

In the previous post, I rambled on a bit about what types of music I generally listen to (when I can). This post (another ramble) is specifically about the music I do listen to as an aid to my writing, and under what circumstances. So, in full disclosure, I don’t listen to music very often …

Read more

Music for Writing, Part 1

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

I Love Music Quite a variety of it. I just don’t get to listen to it much anymore (unless I take a break from writing — What! Heresy!) Early Days When I was a kid, my parents had a small record player, and a number of vinyl LPs, mostly classical, show tunes, and big band …

Read more

The Doofus Character

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

Sometimes readers will more easily accept the premise if they understand what’s happening from a technical point of view. To achieve that without a huge info dump a frequent technique used in movies is to have someone who doesn’t understand ask a question. My wife and I refer to that person as The Doofus Character. …

Read more

Maybe He Ate Buttercups

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

What if your story hinges on something being true, but you have no way to prove that it could happen? How do you convince your reader that it could? You could read every scientific treatise related to the subject at hand and devise a logical-sounding theory, but that obviously isn’t always practical (and is certainly …

Read more