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Category Archives: The mood of a scene

Ideas are everywhere

What do the following have in common?

[jcolumns model="4" halign="center"] [pb_slideshow group="1"] [jcol/] [/jcolumns] A rustic stone church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Mt. Etna, the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, the old merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs, the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle, and the Palantine Chapel in Palermo. All of these are sources of inspiration for my next novel, the sequel to The Children of Darkness. I've always believed that the difference between the creative and non-creative person is not the

World of Warcraft and Prince Frederick’s Azeroth

Where did some of the ideas come from for Prince Frederick's fantasy world? From World of Warcraft, of course. As research for Along the Watchtower, I played a lot of World of Warcraft. I started when my son, an avid player, invited me to meet him in Azeroth and go on quests together as a way of visiting. With him on the west coast and me on the east, it was an invitation I could hardly ignore.

My Writing Style

Matthew Arnold wrote: “Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.” Hemingway said it a bit differently: “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the simplest possible way.”
I believe good writing is clear thinking, saying what you mean in the simplest possible way. The problem for fiction writers is that we don’t always know

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.

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
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