General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

Here is the self-indulgent writer’s life post (yay!)

I started this blog however many years ago* for admittedly cynical reasons. I wanted to be more established as a Writer rather than a writer, and by all accounts having a blog through which you connect with people was an absolutely integral part of the equation. Supposedly, blogging is just what writers do. Since that time, I’ve had some books published, five of them by traditional publishers and three via my own sweat and blood. I s’pose that’s not bad. Can’t say this blog has had much to do with any of that or that it has helped in any way, though. I fully acknowledge that I haven’t handled it well or the way you’re supposed to or whatever, but that’s neither here nor there….
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What should I write next?

After my Mad Men book is out, I plan to switch focus to fiction for a little while. Have two things in mind. Two novels that are DONE but that require my attention for the next few steps in the process. Help me decide which to focus on: 1) A children’s / middle grade fantasy novel that keeps with classic fantasy tropes/clichés (think Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books), i.e. young boy on an adventure, mouthy princess, dragons, etc. I think it’s fun and love the characters, but I don’t think I can sell it to a publisher – it’s too “standard,” and these days they want something unique – so I aim to start on the sequels and self-publish it as a series. 2) A dystopian science fiction novel about a cynical teenager who…
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The writer who doesn’t blog

I’m a writer. I have books and stuff. My latest, about how to be a good groom, came out yesterday. But despite being a writer and having to do all that comes with the job description, I do a poor job of blogging on a regular basis. All the modern wisdom about what it takes to make it as a writer in today’s world says I’m going about this all wrong. You’ve got to build an audience, they say. You have to keep your name out there. You have to connect with people. You have to utilize the web — blogs, social media, discussion forums, etc. — to establish a readership and contacts and all the rest. It’s a vital part of enjoying long-term success….
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The Trick to Writing Great Conversations

The trick to writing great conversations is dear god how the hell am I supposed to know? Who COULD know? Seriously, do you understand how hard it is to pen dialogue that sounds real and natural but that also gets across the information you need to get across? ‘Cause that’s the thing, really. In a book or a short story or comic or whatever, dialogue isn’t merely people talking. It has to get across information. That information may be characterization or character history or plot details or exposition or mood or a million other things, but the point is that dialogue should be there for a reason. Yet at the same time, it should feel perfectly natural. Perfectly real. Perfectly alive. Otherwise readers will cry…
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This book about Breaking Bad is out.

Breaking Down Breaking Bad

So hey, check it out. Breaking Down Breaking Bad: Unpeeling the Layers of Television’s Greatest Drama is available for purchase and stuff. It’s from me, so that’s kind of cool. It’s available for Kindle and Kindle-friendly devices such as iPads and iPhones, as well as in a print edition. It’s totally affordable, too. Impulse buy! This book began as a germ of an idea about a year or so ago, but it wasn’t an idea I took very seriously at first. Too much on my plate at the time, dealing with too many other things, juggling too many other projects. But in the run up to the show’s final eight episodes, my fever for all things Breaking Bad reached ridiculous proportions. I spent an absurd…
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