Gone Before

The sun glinted off a small object, tumbling slowly end over end. Maxwell breathed slowly, smoothly, and pushed away from the airlock with his legs. He saw in his rear view video feed the ship receding quickly. A moment watching this, and Maxwell whispered, “Select Ranged Target 122798, cross-hair image superimpose, forward feed.” Now […]

On Alien Biology and 'Hard Sci-Fi'

Monster credit Piolinfax – Image on Wikimedia Commons

I’m making up stuff again. The squishy sort of stuff, things an autopsy, a scanning electron microscope, centrifuges and spectrometers might be involved with if these were real-world organisms.

Building a monster requires some science. It’s best done if you’ve studied a soupçon of biology, a […]

Welcome to Often Inspired!

“If the public likes you, you’re good.” — Mickey Spillane

 

Our signature motto is “Be true to your reader and the rest will follow.”

 

Have faith in your reader, but earn their trust first. Write something they would enjoy.

We hope you have a lot of fun here. Read. Critique. Create. Make […]

Blood and Guts and Brains

Photo: https://www.militarynewsnetwork.com/military-news/news1101.htm

Writing about those who stand in defense of their country is a challenge. If you’re close to your subject, if you’ve lived it, then you may have trouble stepping back to gain perspective. If you have never served, then you have to gain currency with terminology, basic tactical concepts, and may never […]

Camaraderie at the San Diego Writers Conference, alas.

Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons User:Onomatomedia

This last January I had the privilege of attending the San Diego Writers Conference, held at the newly upgraded Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley. The venue was beautiful, the machine of the Writers Conference hummed along flawlessly, and the very best parts were the people.

The camaraderie of writers […]

Lessons Learned: San Diego Writers Conference

Just one month ago I attended the 2012 San Diego Writers Conference. My objectives were to polish the pitch for my novel, and to learn what I had to do to get it published. What did I learn?

How to create a great query letter Build a synopsis of your novel Jumping over the […]

Timeless

Arthur Conan Doyle — A Study In Scarlet

What makes a work of fiction echo down the ages, relevant to all who read it?

How can you craft a story, or a book, or a script that will resonate cleanly to readers who come to your work after you have left the stage?

A […]

The Brown Room

“It’s because of the paradox,” I explained.

I fidgeted a bit in the hard metal chair. Government-issue furniture didn’t seem comfortable no matter what country supplied them, or what century. Of course my comfort wasn’t important at all to the middle-aged German police officer listening to me and writing in his small brown notebook. Everything […]

A Cottage Industry

Writing is local.

A Local Writer—L. Frank Baum

If you’re sitting at a desk, or in the coffee shop, or under the weeping willow tree, tapping on the keys and trying to make your artistic vision one with the blank, mocking page—you are a local. If you have handed your work to someone and […]

Won’t Get Done List

*ahem*

Finish M is for Mouse (Jake & Logan novel) Initiate Project Reset (Collaborative post-apocalyptic writing project) Write the rest of Dark Offices ( Thriller set in Alternate 1980s) Reboot Elissa: Sentience (AI Sci-Fi Novel) Write the outline for Good Citizen (Dystopic Novel) Finish The Crux (short story about ultimate predator) Write tale of […]