Browsing All Posts published on »July, 2011«

Philosophy of Writing – 3 – Word Salad

July 27, 2011 by


I first heard the term “word salad” in a symbolic logic course. My professor used it to describe a certain type of philosophical discourse: the imprecise, the grandiloquent, and most importantly, the self-defeating or the meaningless. It’s the kind of philosophy that gets parodied — the kind that makes people think my BA is in […]

Music and Writing – Five

July 22, 2011 by


This is one of those times I just cannot believe I didn’t post this sooner. Instructions: to Thoroughly Happy, press play.

Philosophy of Writing – 2 – Voice & Stanislavski’s “Systems”

July 21, 2011 by


This is Constantin Stanislavski. If you’ve ever taken an acting class, you’ve studied him. He’s best remembered for his contributions to drama theory: attempts to create training for actors that will help them portray emotion realistically. Stanislavski’s system was at first based on the principle of “Emotional Memory”, the idea that an actor must prepare […]

Philosophy of Writing – 1 – Avoid Mediocrity

July 20, 2011 by


[Written in 2012 but changed to #1 in the “Philosophy of Writing” series.] Let’s pretend for a moment that my silly little Philosophy of Writing series is a useful workshop or a university class rather than something that has been inconsistent and possibly entirely unhelpful. If that were the case, “How Not to Write a Novel” […]

How to Edit Fiction – 4 – Be Good to Your Grammar (Standard English Edition)

July 18, 2011 by


Stuff You Need: the chapter from your manuscript in standard English that you prepared in previous posts, a computer capable of viewing pdf files. Please note that the rules of grammar I cover here don’t necessarily apply to AAVE or other dialects of English that aren’t considered “standard”! The process is the same, though. So by now we are […]

How to Edit Fiction – 3 – Spell Like a Linguist

July 15, 2011 by


Before you start working, go back to last week’s post and prepare your workspace in the same exact way. You’re going to have to make this a routine. Pretty pretty please? Or at least do something else to block out the world for half-an-hour. It’ll help you focus and be chilled. Good things! ~~~ In […]

Practical Research into Magic

July 13, 2011 by


I’m a cynic. Not a believer, not a hater. I don’t think my personal beliefs really belong in my fiction except in subtle ways I can’t help (they leak into my characterisation, I imagine), so let’s just leave it at that. “Maybe” is a trilogy of books [N.B.: this is no longer true]. I dislike […]