Follow me on Twitter @oldmannelson

So you’ve got momentum after completing your first draft. Good job! You’ve done what many have tried to do and failed. The fun part for you (because you’re a pessimist) will be the editing. Nothing’s more satisfying than confirming your biggest bias: you’re not a great writer–not yet, anyway. Continue reading “editing: the pessimist’s way”

Follow me on Twitter @oldmannelson

My wife and I saw Avengers: Infinity Wars in a nearly packed theater. After ten years of filmmaking Marvel would finally close the book on heroes we came to know and love…or so I thought. Kevin Feige, and everyone else working on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, gave me a masterclass in storytelling. Continue reading “telling stories the marvel way”

I don’t read as much sci-fi as I should for an aspiring sci-fi novelist. I began addressing this a couple years ago by reading Hugo Award winners, starting with The Three Body Problem…which was good but scared me on an existential level. My second try was Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, a book I’d seen countless times window shopping in Barnes and Noble. I’ve read all three books in her Imperial Radch trilogy since then, and learned about myself as a writer in the process; they were also great books, which is why I picked up Leckie’s latest novel, Provenance. Continue reading “Book Backlog: Provenance”

I wrote my first fiction story in second grade, as far as I remember. That year my siblings and I moved in with my father, to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He bought us a Nintendo 64, which came with the game Duke Nukem 64, an alien shoot-em-up that still haunts me to this day. My first story, as a result, involved an alien invasion, and probably featured me and my friends as we saved the world. I wrote that twenty years ago, and the ease with which I used to write stories like that has all but vanished. Logics temper my creativity now. I’m impatient. Satisfaction with my work is hard to come by. And routines, moreso than raw moments of inspiration, give me mastery of my craft. Continue reading “turning hobbies into habits”

The internet’s a cool place, no doubt about it, especially if you’re a writer. Reading the work of other fledgling writers is inspiring: although it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a vast pond, its also refreshing to see others who aren’t any more successful than me, who are just getting their feet (or fins?) wet. People I can talk to, exchange ideas with. As much as I admire celebs on Twitter, those snippets of engagement aren’t worth a thing as far as developing my craft. The human connections, even mediated through machines, are the lifeblood–or power supply–of online writers. Continue reading “m is for marketing”