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And so it is written...

On the release of the author’s first novel

I waited a long time for my first book to be published and wondered how that moment would feel. Would it be like shipping the initial release of the flagship product from my first software company? Or more like the birth of my sons? Would it be that “Rocky” moment, when Sylvester Stallone, after defeating Apollo Creed, cries out: “This is the greatest night in the history of my life…YO, ADRIAN! I DID

Pixels, words and the eye of the beholder

Recently, my wife was helping me by doctoring an image of a young girl in Photoshop. She zoomed in on the image until all we could see were blurred patches of color. Then she lightened the color of three pixels. At that instant, the image was unrecognizable. But when she zoomed back out and we compared the new version with the original, the expression on the girl’s face had changed entirely.

The Urge to write

The urge to write began in my teens and continued well into my twenties . Despite several software startups and a lot of years, it has stubbornly refused to go away. So to launch this blog, I thought I'd pay homage to it with one of my favorite writer anecdotes:

  • The prolific science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, was once asked what he would

What makes a memorable character

So many of the books on writing focus on one area: dialog, style, character, setting or plot. That’s why I’m so fond of the book, Story, by Robert McKee. It analyzes what makes a good story, well told. One of its most important premises is that plot and character are inseparable from one another. And what makes a story memorable is a memorable character. What does that mean? Likeable, attractive, heroic?

Details, details…A storm inside the room

We're told today's twittering reader has a short attention span, is easily bored. Stories need to be fast paced and not bog down in details. No Jane Austen ruminations or Melville's descriptions of the whaling industry. I recently read a book called Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose. The book was unusual as books for writers go because it's basic premise is that rules are made to be broken.

A strange and mightily obsessed book

I just finished rereading To a God Unknown, John Steinbeck’s second novel. I first read it many years ago when I was fifteen and it made a huge impression--not quite the book that started me writing, but close. I decided to reread it to find out why it had such an influence on me.It’s not regarded as one of Steinbeck’s best or even a particularly good novel. Criticism ranged from lukewarm to

First draft frustrations

It's been suggested that we write first drafts with our hearts and subsequent drafts with our heads. It's also been said that first drafts are crap. Likely, both are true. When I start a new book, I try to keep that in mind. I usually know the beginning and end, but the impetus to write the book is nothing more than a series of images. A long
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