Welcome to my website! Glad you could make it.

I’m a burgeoning writer and hoping to find success with my short stories & novels.

I’ve started this website in the hopes that it will serve as a launching pad for my works. At the very least, this is a good way to trick my workaholic  brain into thinking that working on my website is helping my career in some fashion, though I’ve clearly already figured that out. Bonus points for trying though. You’ll get me next time, me.

I figure, at worst, this is my ADHD rattled, caffeinated at 1 a.m. brain breaking into a tangent that won’t help me in any way, and at best, it helps me to achieve my dreams and become a published author.

What’s there to lose?

What Would Your Character Do?

I was watching an episode of ‘Simon’ with my daughter, an animated children’s tv series on netflix about a little rabbit and his family, and in this episode, he and his little brother Gasparde are worried about Santa not finding their house on Christmas because it’s snowing.

This is super cute and they end up laying out some Christmas lights as a runway for Santa to find them and land safely. It’s cute because they’re small children with a misunderstanding of the powers of Santa, but seeing this, it made me think of some writing advice I see over and over about character development.

You need to know what your character(s) should know, what they can do and what they have done. If your character is Santa Claus, an ancient, magic-using, king of the elves type, and he lives in one of the snowiest places on the planet, you HAVE to know that the appearance of snow wouldn’t hurt his chances of finding a child’s house. It’s what he does and what he has always done. As the writer for that character, you have to know that.

With that being said, you don’t need to tell everyone every little detail about your character for fear that they won’t understand. I’ve heard it referred to as the ‘Iceberg Effect’. You only have to show the tip of the iceberg (your knowledge of that character) as it affects the story, but you absolutely need to know what lies beneath the water. You need to know what your character’s motivations, experiences, knowledge base and aptitude is for any given situation. Your readers are smart enough to be buying and reading your book, so give them a little credit and only tell them what’s important to the story and avoid big info dumps in the process. It’s a win-win for all involved.

Another example of this is the current Spider Man films. I am overjoyed that I don’t have to go into the movie and watch Peter Parker get bitten by a radioactive spider. Again. We all know at this point how he became Spider Man, let’s just get to the good bits. This is a tactic that the DCEU hasn’t figured out, but hopefully someday they will stop wasting time and showing us the Wayne’s being shot to death while Bruce watches.

As a side note, if the new Matt Reeves Batman movie shows pearls falling in slow motion onto the wet pavement in crime alley, I might scream.

So, I suppose my advice on the matter, for you to disregard completely if you so choose, is to stay true to your character(s) and only reveal what information you need to progress the story while still knowing all that you can to help keep their motivations, actions and voice clear throughout your story. Don’t show everyone pearls hitting the ground in slow motion if they already know (or can infer on their own) that your character’s parents were killed after a trip to the theater. It’s just sloppy writing.

A Love Letter to Neil Gaiman

Let me start off by saying that I’ve not read every single one of Mr. Gaiman’s works. As much as I’d love to say I have, I’m only a regular human who juggles too much as it is, and my ‘to be read’ pile is about as high as Kilimanjaro (No, not Everest, don’t be crazy).

Were I an aristocrat, I could easily see myself lounging about all day and indulging in hour after hour of reading ecstasy with any and all of Gaiman’s works. But I, like I’m sure goes for most of you, don’t have that luxury. When you couple that with the fact that I read like a tortoise, I just ain’t got the time sugar. 

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m here to tell you this; I love Neil Gaiman. 

I just finished reading ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’, and it stirred up a lot of emotions in me, an ocean’s worth you could say. There’s a simple understanding that Gaiman has with how the world works. He breaks it down into the simplest of terms, and then he shatters your perceptions, leaving you to try and assemble the fragments in your mind. He creates a tableau, arranges the players and setting, and then lets the reader determine how things will be within their own imagination. He write’s things that seemingly make no sense, but at the same time, they make all the sense in the world, flinging you from your seat and into a world of discomfort, fear and impracticality. You just sit there thinking, ‘I know exactly what you’re saying, I can feel it in my soul and in my heart, but my brain doesn’t know what it means.’ 

This is the beauty of Gaiman’s work though, we don’t need to know, we only need to feel, and that’s something he captures so perfectly in all his writing. 

The protagonist in ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ doesn’t even have a name for cryin’ out loud! But even without a name, I teared up. I felt that ice chip from another world lodged in my heart and I knew this kid’s pain as my own. All of it without knowing his name. If that doesn’t tell you he’s a genius, I don’t know what would. 

Whether it’s old gods in new worlds, or a boy who lives in a graveyard, his characters are stitched into your soul forever, like Old Mrs. Hempstock sewing together time, and you finish the book not realizing that a part of you had been missing your entire life. 

So for making my life and countless others better with your work, thank you. It’s a debt that can’t be repaid. I hope the knowledge that the inspiration you stir in others helps them to create worlds is payment enough. Who knows, maybe those worlds will help people as yours have helped me. At the very least, I hope that I’m making good art.

To listen to Neil talk more about ‘good art’, follow the link below to his 2014 University of the Arts address on becoming an artist and his journey to becoming an author.

2014 University of the Arts Address, YouTube