Category Archives: Writing

The Luddite Technologist: Google Documents – The Ninja Writer’s Best Friend

Although I’m by no means a technology buff (says Greg as he collects a steady paycheck as a Microsoft SDET), I’ve done technology columns in the past. At previous jobs, I’ve been referred to as a Luddite for my reluctance to embrace the newest hot sexy piece the kids are carrying around (bought my first SmartPhone in December, but I’m sure they’ll find something else to make fun of now.) I tend to ask more whether the gains in utility justifies the device’s learning curve, a response which invariably gets parried by, “Who cares? THIS SHIT IS AWESOME!”

But I care. One more device to track, find a charger for, and pay the fees on. Hooray? My way works fine, and doesn’t require me to sign a license saying “they” are allowed to shiv my ass for precious Greg-gold.  As mother used to say, “An unshivved ass is a happy ass.”

And so I miss out on awesome new developments like Google Drives (and more importantly for me, Google Docs.)

Greg’s new favorite work-buddy.

Continue reading The Luddite Technologist: Google Documents – The Ninja Writer’s Best Friend

Falling Short: When Goal-Setting Fails.

Hey Everybody!

Tonight’s the last night of my Louisiana thanksgiving vacation extravaganza. I had an absolutely great time, caught up with old friends, and ate dangerously. All in all, a success. Well, in most ways. How’s my 1000 word/day fiction target and one blog a day working out?

Date Fiction Written Non-Fiction Written Total Written
11/25/2012 0 0 0
11/24/2012 0 0 0
11/23/2012 1069 800 1869
11/22/2012 1045 1063 2108
11/21/2012 0 0 0
11/20/2012 1034 991 2025
11/19/2012 1062 640 1702
11/18/2012 0 0 0

…Oh.

Continue reading Falling Short: When Goal-Setting Fails.

Can We Have At Least Two Interesting Characters?

Hey man, I know it’s hard. You’re sitting down at the keyboard, busting out your latest masterpiece, and you’re thinking:

“Man, characterization is tough! What if I just did it for my protagonist and no one else?” Continue reading Can We Have At Least Two Interesting Characters?

Downer Endings: The Novel’s Answer to the Hollywood Ending!

I’ve been jamming tons of text into my eyeballs lately, flash fiction and short stories, novels and craft blogs.

I also told you how I really feel when I wrote Things I’m Sick of Reading About in September. In it, I railed against stories that lack a proper ending. TL;DR If you misuse authorial power so blatantly, this is you:

“My writing bores me. You finish the story, peon!”

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in real stories; stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Stories that leave the audience satisfied, rather than befuddled, upon reaching the end. When someone writes a story with no end, I wonder, did they have a purpose in writing at all, or did they just want to waste my reading time? In 100% of apprentice writers, 99% of journeyman writers, and 95% of masters, the inconclusive ending flops.

So I stand unapologetically pro-ending.

Next question! Given that an ending must exist (assuming you buy my unconvincing and ill-backed opinion), what kind of ending shall we have? Continue reading Downer Endings: The Novel’s Answer to the Hollywood Ending!

Ode to The Dirty

A patchwork bayou landscape, cypress and pine dressed in spanish moss, that sepulchral lace, slid past our plane as we approached the airport. The alabaster smokestacks of big pharma up The River glow orange from the work-lights. As the swamp climbed to meet us, a sense of comfort and consternation both descended upon me. Oh Louisiana, I’ve missed you, but I could never live you. Continue reading Ode to The Dirty

What’s Your Beef With Contractions?

A question for fellow writers. What do you have against contractions?

Now I won’t say contractions are amazing, but I’ve just noticed a conspicuous absence as I read some writers. Especially in marking up other people’s writing, I often can’t get more substantive because against the evidence of a hundred million English speakers, hundreds of whom’re competent, your first person narrator’s just apoplectic about apostrophes. Pay close heed next time you’re interacting with your fellow meatsacks, be mindful of your partner’s nuance. How often do we use contractions? Every time we can unless we’re explicitly choosing not to. Continue reading What’s Your Beef With Contractions?

5 Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Designing Your Author Site

Before creating http://www.gregoryblake.net, I browsed over a hundred author sites and blogs, seeking inspiration, insight, the perfect electric razor, and a list of Don’ts. Below, five things that make for an open-and-closed website, coming from a self-proclaimed Devourer of Fiction and bona fide website tester. Continue reading 5 Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Designing Your Author Site

Why Writers’ Associations Matter

Today, I renewed my membership in the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association after it lapsed some time several months ago.

I’d let it expire for a few reasons, among them the fact that I hadn’t made more than two meetings that year. That, and I pinch pennies like I actually have a reason to, which I really don’t. Continue reading Why Writers’ Associations Matter

5 Phrases I’m Sick of Hearing

A few months ago, I wrote an article called Things I’m Sick of Reading. It was a pretty fun jaunt, mostly covering the things in Science Fiction and Fantasy that I’d gotten sick of after reading just one short story anthology. Since then, I’ve scribbled down a few pretty odious phrases for posterity. They’re not necessarily the worst phrases around, but they keep popping up, like sewage-smell after a Baton Rouge monsoon.

Without further ado, here they are:

Continue reading 5 Phrases I’m Sick of Hearing

What I’m Reading: Stephen King’s On Writing

I started Stephen King’s On Writing on 10/14/2012. I finished it 10/16/2012. For the next two weeks, I debated whether or not I should write about my experience. Such a widely acclaimed author as Stephen King surely doesn’t need my help!

Oh hell, it looks like I’m reviewing this anyways.

Continue reading What I’m Reading: Stephen King’s On Writing