Category Archives: For Writers

As both a scientist and a toolmaker for creative media people, I spend a lot of time thinking about how fiction works, how we writers do what we do, and how I might be able to help myself (and others) get better at it. This is the section of my web site where I post articles about the business, craft, and tools of writing. I don’t promise that what I have to say will work for everybody else—or even anybody else—but it should always be interesting.

The Pampered Protagonist

There’s a structural issue I see quite frequently in fiction – especially indie fiction – that bothers me quite a bit, but in the few places I’ve ever seen it…

Analyzing chapter lengths in fantasy fiction

There are not very many hard and fast rules in creative writing. In fact, most people who talk about the rules fall into two camps: those who tell you that…

Analyzing dialogue lengths in fantasy fiction

Last week, I analyzed the relative lengths of paragraphs across a representative selection of fantasy novels. (You can read the details here.) This week, I’m turning my attention to a…

The Duchess of the Shallows, by McGarry and Ravipinto

My Blurb: After growing up in hiding, a letter with a peculiar talisman changes everything for a young baker’s girl named Duchess, and leads her into a dangerous world of…

Ships of My Fathers, by Dan Thompson

My Blurb: Growing up aboard a smuggler’s ship is exciting, but not Mal Reynolds or Han Solo exciting. So Michael Fletcher thought he was on course for a low-key kind…