All-Purpose Writing Thread!


Yeah, I can guess how much tech freelancing sucks. Only the editors at places like mashable and so on have any security, and I bet they live hand to mouth for the most part too.


Mashable got hit with a layoff today/


Ha. And there you go. I never liked them, anyway. Read-Write-Web was okay for a while but I gave up on them around when they changed to Read-Write. I don’t really know any good tech blogs anymore unless you count the Register.


I hate making daily updates to a blog. I did that for a game site back in the 90s and it sucked big time. My kids were infants and it always felt like I had to write some bullshit thing that no one would read, or worse report some idiotic bit of news or PR that everyone already knew about by the time I got around to writing about it.

The only time I enjoyed blogging was doing a family/writing blog. I loved telling stories about my family. I would think of little stories I could write about the kids as I went through my day just sort of naturally and think, “Oh, yeah, that’s a great blog post” and then I would just jot it down at the end of the day or between meetings or something. It just sort of fit into my day quite naturally in a way that writing about games or writing just never did.

But then around the time the kids got to middle school and became public conscious of their own identities (which was right about the time of the rise of social media/facebook) and I had to limit myself to only writing stuff. That kind of took the wind out of my sails.

If you have the love of the thing you’re writing about, just go with it. I really enjoyed blogging when it was sharing stories of the kids for my folks back east, down in Texas or Cali.


Reading is so yesterday. Just give me some pewdiepie yelling nonsense, please. That’s where the money is online.


Can anyone recommend a good online creative writing course? A family member was looking to get started writing and I wanted to recommend something but I have no idea. Free would (obviously) be better, but I’m really just trying to understand what’s available, so I don’t recommend something based only on Google results.

I have been doing a Python course and Coursera and I did some free courses (Python, Git) at Codeacademy, so I am feeling pretty good about online courses. That Coursera course has been hugely helpful for me with Python. It had an excellent text, lots of video, and good practical exercises for each segment. Plus it’s organized in such a way that making it fit into my schedule was a snap. I realize that’s not about a writing course, but I just mention it because I would be interested in similar issues for the writing course, I think.



I imagine there must be something useful along these lines out in the world, though I don’t know of any myself.

In lieu of an online course, one possibly useful book with exercises after each chapter is Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft, which is mostly about low-level prose in fiction. I don’t think it’s overly specific to SF.


I think On Writing by Stephen King is the best writing course out there.


There’s the David Mamet Masterclass. I hear both good and bad from this, but the good reports have been from industry professionals, which carries weight with me.

I haven’t been willing to foot the bill for it, but I’ve scouted out a couple books that seem worthwhile to me. This book apparently covers a lot of the same territory, although it obviously has a different target audience.

Because I’m primarily interested in writing for comics, Brian Michael Bendis’s book appealed to me:


If we are talking books, then Blake Snyder needs to be on the list:


My story Thirteen Bullets is on the SFWA reading list this year and has apparently received an actual Nebula nomination. Just needs 100 or so more to make it on the ballot :)

But should anyone want to vote it for a Hugo, nominations are open there too…


Ooh, and my story I Awaken From a Dream of Flight is out in the Mind Candy anthology today. An AI pilot on virtual compassionate leave.


Is it you in the Space Tesla, Miramon? You are on a rocket ride, sir. Gratz.


I’ve written 14,000 words since Friday. It’s total trash, but i can’t stop! Aaahhh!


You can always revise the novel after it’s done next week…


Thanks! But ugh, I haven’t sold anything since the beginning of December. Turns out it’s kind of addictive…

  1. Trash on the page beats a blank one every single time.

  2. every writer I’ve ever worked with thought they had put trash on the page at some point (frequency varies with author)

  3. most of the time, they were wrong about that.


Miramon is a good writer, and his trash are what the squat summits of my best writing could only hope at best to glance over the horizon, far off in the distance on a cloudless, sunny day, and then burn happy.

My trash, otoh, is “omg burn it with prejudice when i die (like making more sure it’s tossed into the crematory oven than my body kind of bad)… but in case everyone i know is randomly cut down by an improbable meteor strike, the mortal risk i’d imperil the social workers disposing of my effects with if accidentally tripping over it is enough of a nonzero probability that for the sake of humanity i’m going to burn it and everything in the house touching it right now” kind of bad.

Bad. Baad. Baaaaaaad #goatlife


I hear you. In my x years writing “career” I’ve made the grand total of £100 – most of my placements are on free 'zines and the like – but I really do like seeing my name up there.


That’s not bad writing right there, though…