Browsing All Posts filed under »Philosophy of Writing«

Philosophy of Writing – 5 – Get Your Hopes Down

December 9, 2011 by


This series takes an unpopular approach to editing fiction. It’s been said by smart, successful people in the industry that the biggest difference between an unpublished author and a published one is a finished manuscript — so amateur authors had best not spend their time worrying about perfecting their first drafts, and just get it […]

Philosophy of Writing – 4 – Transitions

October 10, 2011 by


I have a troubling habit. When I write I’m often consumed by the need to get from one narrative location to the next through recital of banal happenstance. I invent scenes to fill the gap between coordinates on my character’s path. The only reason these passages exist is because I feel like I can’t cheat […]

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 […]

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/Philosophy of Writing – Post Zero

July 8, 2011 by


Welcome to my blog. Thanks for looking. This post was actually written in October of 2012, which is when I decided to split my “How to Edit Fiction” webinar into two. I made this decision because I was never designed to be chirrupy and popular. My earlier posts in the webinar are attempts to teach […]