Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Yes, ^that’s a movie title. 🙂

However, these four words got me thinking about what happens to a manuscript after it’s been written, buried in soft peat, and recycled as firelighters. Oops, those last two steps might be what happens later. 😛

When I dive back into a manuscript, I always like to play soldier first. This is where I get to take guns, swords, knives and a whole plethora of weapons and utterly terrorize the plot. Hack and slash, chop and dice. Get your weapons in there and murder the rhythm, blow holes in the story, and smash over the head any character that has no purpose but to exist for more names to add into the hat.

Pull out your sewing kit. This step is where you get to move everything around and restitch the order of events...

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Understanding Your Writing Voice

This idea is a drain I’ve been circling around for awhile, but the deeper I get into writing, editing, world-building, and looking at it all from a broader perspective, the more pieces are falling into place.

I received some interesting feedback recently. Another writer annihilated the first chapter of my story, writing more comments about how wrong it was than I had words in the chapter. This writer took time out of his day and offered a very brutal perspective, which I can never appreciate enough.

However (dot dot dot):

I had to think long and hard about each of the comments, and all of them combined as a whole. In the end, I came to an interesting conclusion: you’re probably expecting me to say he was wrong. Nope. But he wasn’t right either.

The comments went against the market norm fo...

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The Learning Curve

Knowledge doesn’t come easy, or all at once.

If you’re someone that roots through conspiracy theories looking for a grain of truth, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Every day that I work on these stories, I find that same principle holds true. Today, as I was looking at one of my manuscripts, I discovered yet another little word gem that could be fixed. While technically the word is correct, it’s not a best practice. So here I am again with the find/replace button looking for every instance of this word to clean up the nuances.

But back to the topic: the learning curve. Life, hobbies, careers, it’s all a learning curve. Every day brings new knowledge, a better way to do a task—I especially find this true with writing code—and a new perspective on the ebb and flow of skills.

I ...

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The Author Story: Day 1

Well, I decided on a new project. Not that I have any extra time in my life to do something new, but you might say I had a major reality check yesterday and an epiphany today.

First, I’m an extremely private person. You want to know about the author, I’ll hold up a story or an image of my puppy and hide behind it. My brain is my batcave, and it’s the only one I have. So I’m going to put up some caution tape and say through a megaphone: BACK OFF.


Outwardly, what do people see? I’m not talking about physical looks, I’m talking about my outward appearance, social personality, family, kids, style of dress, hand gestures, articulation… all of it. What is the story of me? (notice I don’t have an author page up? Yeah…)

I don’t like the story of me...

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Take the Kid Gloves Off

One of my beta readers said this to me a few weeks ago, and it’s amazing the impact those five little words have had. She was absolutely one hundred percent right.

As a writer, there are times I’ve looked at a scene and really wanted to get to the rotten core of it, and yet in the back of my mind I’m always thinking: is this really how I want to portray what goes through my twisted mind?

The truth is, the answer was no. I started to see reviews in those few lines, strangers picking apart the inner workings of what I was writing and pinning them on me like sticker labels. So I backed away without realizing it was happening and just highlighted the illusion of something happening.

I was telling a story, not showing the reality.

Yet, when these five words finally hit me across the cheek, you...

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