A Review of Michael Chabon’s “Wonder Boys”

Published in 1995, Michael Chabon's second novel tells the story of Grady Tripp, a once successful novelist who has been unable after seven years to finish a sprawling, incoherent mess of a novel called "Wonder Boys." The story takes place during a manic weekend when...

A review of “Outlining Your Novel” by K.M. Weiland

This is an excellent novel crafting book. As the title suggests, it's mainly about the outlining stage of writing a novel, but K.M. Weiland also uses examples from her novels and the works of others to discuss the process of brainstorming and story telling issues in...

Review of “The Death of Napoleon,” by Simon Leys

This very short novel, originally written in French, imagines Napoleon escaping from St. Helena with the help of conspirators who plan to reinstate him once again as emperor. But the scheme quickly unravels and he ends up as a private citizen on a much shrunken stage,...

Note to myself on the writing process #1

Lesson to be learned and never forgotten. Recall that when you were struggling with this first chapter, you despaired and were ready to throw in the towel. You had envisioned many ways into the book, tried many versions--all of which felt wooden and boring. You...

The Light Upstate

The light in general here in the Great Lakes area is pale, alien and dull past morning and before dusk, even on clear, sunny days. The quality of the light is seldom warm and rich. I do not know why it feels this way but I’ll warrant it has something to with the fact...

Novel in progress

Working on the third sequel to Final Mercy now, tentatively titled "The Shaman Only Rings Twice." After a couple of months, I've got the major plot elements in play and have sketched several chapters. Felt like I hit a impenetrable brick wall today though. But, as...

Starting the 3rd Jack Forester Novel

The writing day yesterday was not a wild success in page numbers, but I found a way into the second chapter where Jack is re-introduced. It is all subject to revision, of course. First drafts are just the lopping down of trees to be later turned into furniture or...

Five tips for writing a Medical Thriller

Here are five ideas that a beginning writer of medical thrillers can’t go wrong thinking about. 1. First of all, you’ll need a good conspiracy. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, but one of the reasons thrillers do so well sent in the world of medicine is that...