A Writer’s Question: To Plot or Not to Plot?

I recently read Stephen King’s On Writing for the first time. Everyone knows that King is a wildly successful writer, and there’s that perennial question of whether he’s actually a good writer. (Yes, bad writers can be wildly successful, witness Dan Brown, who is a horrific writer.) I’ll confess that I’ve only read one of … Continue reading A Writer’s Question: To Plot or Not to Plot?

Perseverance: A Writer’s Virtue, or: How to Get to ‘Yes’

A little over two years ago, I posted a piece called “I Tweet, Therefore I Am,” in which I bemoaned the current state of publishing, swore of self-publishing forever, and argued that it didn’t make sense for someone to build an online presence before he or she had produced something to promote (e.g., a novel). … Continue reading Perseverance: A Writer’s Virtue, or: How to Get to ‘Yes’

Plato on the Rise of Trump, or: Philosophy in 140 Characters?

“The greatest punishment, if one isn’t willing to rule, is to be ruled by someone worse than oneself.” (Republic, 347c) “Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are not called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide…cities will have no rest from evils…nor, I … Continue reading Plato on the Rise of Trump, or: Philosophy in 140 Characters?

Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, Benjamin Percy. A Review.

This is a craft book about writing fiction that reads like a novel. In other words, Percy is giving writing advice, while at the same time telling engaging stories about himself, his life, his process in writing. It’s all very engaging, sometimes even thrilling, and the advice is solid to inspired. The book is broken … Continue reading Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, Benjamin Percy. A Review.

The World of Raymond Chandler: in His Own Words, edited by Barry Day: A Review

Raymond Chandler was one of the greatest classic noir writers. He wrote The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, The Lady in the Lake, and The Long Goodbye, amongst others. Even if you’ve never read any of his work, you likely recognize at least some of those titles, since each one of them has been made … Continue reading The World of Raymond Chandler: in His Own Words, edited by Barry Day: A Review

The Mind Projection Fallacy, or: Do You Exist Before I Look at You?

In my humble opinion, one of the wackiest things about contemporary physics is the notion of indeterminacy, or the idea that (as a recent essay put it): “Reality Doesn’t Exist Until You Look at It.” This title is doubly silly, since it equates reality with what goes on at the subatomic level, and not with trees, dolphins, … Continue reading The Mind Projection Fallacy, or: Do You Exist Before I Look at You?