February 12, 2018

Last week I was working on a difficult scene in which my protagonist is thrown into a new situation full of new characters. This is always challenging to execute, because I don’t want to overwhelm the reader with a slew of new names all at once. I have to decide which characters I will name…

January 29, 2018

About a year ago, I blogged about my pre-writing exercises (I recommend checking out that post for more details on my process. I’m going to be brief here). This step in my writing process was a big break-through for my productivity. It still is, however I’ve recently tweaked and improved my method, and so I thought…

January 12, 2017

I am not a fast writer. To my readers who have been waiting such a long time for my third book (Sorry! Sorry! It’s coming!), this is probably painfully obvious. I’ll likely never be the speediest of writers—I won’t be that indie author pumping out new books month after month. But I am trying to…

April 28, 2016

I’ve written about how wonderful travel is for writers before (here), but I’ve been wanting to address more specifically how I try to inform my fictional settings with the texture and wonder of real places I’ve been. A big part of the reason I began teaching in Asia is because it enables me to travel….

March 13, 2016

I’ve been saying for ages that I want to take a crack at vlogging, but I’ve been dragging my feet about it–mostly because of my rather spectacular degree of awkwardness on camera. However, I’ve been head over heels for this app, Duet Display, for the past month and I really wanted to share with my…

January 6, 2016

I’ve always been fascinated by marital arts (a fact surprising to none of my readers, I’m betting). Growing up, I watched my dad moving through his Kung Fu forms in our living room, and I developed a great appreciation not just for the physical elements of martial arts, but their poetry—I love the sense of ritual, of…

August 23, 2014

Good Dialogue–it’s the difference between:    “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me” And:    “I wish that I could just wish away my feelings.” (Ugh. I wish that I could wish away that whole movie.) Great dialogue can do so many things: characterize the speaker,…

May 31, 2014

In my experience, there are three kinds of writers: there are those who believe they are the reincarnated talent of whichever all-time-great they admire, whose first drafts are beyond reproach, the writers who, when presented with criticism, insist that you just ‘didn’t get it’; then there is the writer who is so crippled with a…