Category Archive for ‘On Writing’ rss

What is Epic Fantasy?

Shamelessly mooching an idea from one of the Amazon discussion forums, in which user J. E. Johnson defined epic fantasy with this list: I would say in order for a story to be considered ‘epic’ to me, it would have to have the following elements: 1. A multiple book series 2. A quest of some […]

Describing Characters of Color 3, OPPoC

I was re-reading a favorite novel lately, because its sequel is coming out soon and I wanted to refresh in preparation. Anyway, I was struck by the fact that it contained really good descriptions of several characters of color. So I thought that book — Griffin’s, below — deserved a shout-out, as do some others […]

Pause for triangulation

Been working hard on Book 3 of “The Inheritance Trilogy” for the past 7 weeks now, ever since I restarted it with a new PoV character. It’s really flowing — I just hit 75,000 words — which tells me that I’ve found the right voice for it at last. But because a) my outline for […]

Cold-Blooded Necessity

I haven’t previously weighed in on the Great Pay Rate Debate triggered by this post by John Scalzi* because a) I’m busy, and b) I don’t care. Which is not to say that the pay issue is irrelevant — it’s definitely relevant, and important. I just don’t care about it. It’s not an emotional thing […]


Apologies for the silence here lately — but there’s been a good reason for it. I haven’t talked a lot about Book 3 of the Inheritance Trilogy here much because it’s been oddly fragile in my head. See, in the days before book deals and deadlines and whatnot, I was like most writers in that […]

Good and bad obsessions

A weird thing seems to hit me around this time every year — I develop a powerful, almost compulsive, urge to eat the same food over and over again. Last year it was good hot chocolate — not that Swiss Miss crap (is that even food?), but not too fancy either. I preferred Ghiradelli, double […]

Janey on the Brink

Was browsing through old posts at one of my other blogs, and ran across this one from March 25, 2008… about a month before The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms sold to Orbit. Kind of funny to “look back in time” at myself, so to speak, and think, just wait!! You won’t be on the brink for […]

New Post at Magic District

…in which I get all warmfuzzy and contemplative in the wake of some very nice reader reviews. (Possibly more coming; I’ve heard people who’ve been reading the ARC making positive noises in brief comments, but not full-on reviews yet. Which is perfectly fine, ’cause, like, the book doesn’t come out for 6 more months, and […]

Shoo!! Shoo!!

I’m plagued by short story ideas lately. Have written two of them, actually — a short one set in Brooklyn called “Non-Zero Probabilities”, in which the laws of probability go haywire; and a novelette currently called “Pirate Jessie”, though I’m not sure I want to keep that name. The latter one, a steampunk espionage historical […]

Describing characters of color in writing

Some examples from my own writing, submitted for your consideration. Not a claim of correctness or The Best Way or anything of the sort. Just my way. And yeah, this is in part inspired by a certain very lengthy discussion of race, representation, and respect in the SF/F community that took place recently in the […]