Catching Up

I want to let everyone know what’s been going on the last few months. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or check out my Patreon, I may not seem very active, but I have been busy these last couple months.

For starters, I finished the major edits I have been working on with my novel, Scars of the Golden Dancer, and gone over all the feedback I received from my beta-reader, Slip Wolf. I’ve now handed the manuscript off to a publisher to see if they’d be interested in picking it up.

The Patreon has also been going well, and some new stuff has come out of it. I’m still finding what the right mix of stuff to put on in it is, but patrons get a new story each month, plus bonus content related to my writing and how I write. One of those stories went up on FA and SoFurry two months after appearing on Patreon and did quite well, so I’m hoping to keep working at the Patreon. I also posted some sneak peek information about the novel, including the first two chapters, on the Patreon.

Finally, I will be at Midwest FurFest next month and doing panels. I should have a story coming out in an anthology at the con. I’ll provide updates about the story once I get the details on the release.

Anthrocon 2019 & The Desert’s Edge

It’s Anthrocon time again, and I’m here. I’m doing panels this year, but it’s not the panels I’m most excited about. The prequel story for the novel I’ve been working on is going to be in Fang 9, which is coming out at the con. I’m super excited that “Silk and Sword” is being published, since it’s the origin story for one of my novels’ two protagonists. It’s not written to be essential reading, but it’s the first piece of the journey. The Khalin universe is a creation I’ve been working on for nine years. It’s good to finally start getting it out there so people can read about it.

Now if you want to see me at panels, I’m doing a couple this year at the con. You can find me talking with other writers at:

Friday July 5th

  • 6:00 PM — Writing Foundations: Advanced
  • 10:00 PM — After Dark: General Adult Writing

Saturday, July 6th

  • 10:00 PM — After Dark: Dark and Difficult Topics

Sunday, July 7th

  • 11:00 AM — Magic, Myths, and Monsters: Writing Fantasy

See you at Anthrocon!

The Value of Writing Advice

This originally appeared on my Patreon, but I thought I should share it everywhere.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been doing writing panels at furry cons. I go to multiple cons a year, and I volunteer sit on at least one panel at the con, and sometimes I do multiple panels for that con’s writing track. Each con handles panels differently. Some writing tracks are curated by a track lead while some cons just take requests and schedule panels based on who requested what. That means I’ve sat on panels by myself and with other writers. I’ve also attended various writing panels over the years. On top of this, I read occasionally read articles on various writing topics, and I’ve read a few books on writing over the years. I’m still looking to push myself, so there will be more books, more articles and more panels to attend as I continue to push myself to be a better writer.

Writing advice, like many things, suffers from survivor’s bias. I by no means think of myself as an expert at this, but I’ve been working at this long enough, I’m well past the novice stage. How far past that is an unknown quantity. One thing I’ve taken to heart that what works for me, may not work for you. If there is a single piece of advice I could impart to any writer, it is this.

Over the years I’ve encountered some advice that is handed down like biblical laws. This advice is so good that you, the writer, should take it as law: You should write what you know. You shouldn’t use adverbs in your writing. You shouldn’t end your sentences with prepositions. You shouldn’t include too much description in your stories. You shouldn’t write in first person present. You should have a single point of view character. You should try and get an agent. You should write in Word. You should write in Scrivener. You should write 1,000 words per day.

The list goes on, and these “laws” of course vary by writer it seems. Each of the ones I’ve listed I could discuss in depth and show examples that support and don’t support them. As a writer, I absolutely have my own personal set of laws I follow and don’t like to violate, but I like to be flexible about this. My processes have changed, and I see no need to limit myself to a strict formula. Also, it’s not only myself I speak of here. Just because I don’t want to do something or work a certain way doesn’t mean others might not want to. Some of the stuff I’ve seen that goes against my own impulses is actually very good. It may not be what I would write or done the way I would do it, but putting aside my biases, I can really dig it. My process works for me. My process, I hope, produces good work. My process may not work for you, and that’s fine. You are not me. You shouldn’t try and be me either. Instead you should be you, whatever that is. Whether you’re an outliner or pantser, go with what for you. Write the stuff that interests you, not the stuff you see out there.

And for those “laws” you’ll encounter people talking about? Well if it works for you, that’s great. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Some advice you have to sit and think about before you might understand what it’s getting it, but few of the oddball things people hold up as law are truly laws. You can use adverbs. Using them sparingly is often better, but your writing doesn’t automatically cease to be good because you used an adverb. There are some great books in first person present. How much description to include is hard to judge and it might vary by the story you’re seeking to tell. Remember, you’ll find your own voice given time, but don’t be discouraged if you encounter advice that doesn’t work for you.

Patreon and FWA 2019 Bound

Change is afoot. To grow and improve, we must challenge ourselves. As part of this mindset, I’ve done something I debated with myself for a long time about, I’ve created a Patreon. I’ve got some ideas I’d like to explore and see where they go. I think the Patreon will be a useful vehicle for that content. Hopefully it will develop into a good value for the money for those who choose to pledge. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with this, and I already have my first sponsor.

In the meantime, before I can start working on some of the ideas I have for it, I’ve got a con to attend this weekend, FWA. I’m only doing two panels this con, both on Friday, May 10th. It’s nice to be scaling back from doing so many panels for a change. The first is Worldbuilding at 6:00 PM with Dwale followed by the After Dark writing panel at 10:30 PM with Rob Baird and Thurston Howl. All three of these gentlemen are talented writers and I look forward to paneling with them. The rest of the con I’ll be relaxing and enjoying FWA.

Anyway, that’s it for now, and I’ll be back with an update on the Patreon once I get some content up there.

Back in Texas for Furry Fiesta 2019

Furry Fiesta is this weekend, and I am back again this year. I’ve been really looking forward to it since I need a break from day to day monotony. TFF was a lot of fun when I got to attend last year, so I’m hoping this year is more of the same.
I’ll be doing three writing panels at the con this year. My panels are

Friday, March 29th

  • 2:30 PM — Fantasy Writing 101
  • 9:00 PM — AD: Adult Writing 101

Saturday, March 30th

  • 3:00 PM — Character & World Building

Most of the rest of the con I’m going to spend relaxing.