Change is the essence of storytelling: we tell a story because we want to document something that has changed. Or someone.
Stories aren't diamonds of symmetrical perfection. They're pearls of asymmetrical beauty, and should be loved as such.
Your job when writing a story is to listen to what this material is telling you it needs to be, and go there.
How not all fiction has to be "realistic" to be affective, and how new aesthetic standards can follow from that.
On choice paralysis in creative work and how to avoid it.
On being daring in a story, without that being an excuse for cruelty.
Two different ways of making a story complete in terms of what it addresses.
Sometimes there is too much of a good thing.
On a narrow, reductionist view of fiction (and not a very good one, for that reason).
On reinventing horror tropes for the modern moment.
On the notion that if our moment in time were a story, nobody would believe a word of it.
How everything from 'The Stars My Destination' to 'Streets Of Fire' (and even 'Justice League', in a negative way!) fed into the making of my new novel.
How to seek out stories that intelligently confront the moral complexity of the 21st century.
Meaning, go straight to the good stuff and don't make people wait.
The more outside your bubble you have at your command, the more you have to answer any "what if?" in your work.
On the idea of: "Writers are liars and fabricators, but not b.s.'ers."
On how my friend and fellow writer Matt is against the idea of the "hook" as a narrative mechanism.
The point isn't to run away from what's around you, but to see something new despite it.
When does a story's logic hold fast, and when does it break?
If there's a thread in your story that begs to be pulled, pull it.
"A cliché is as much about the deployment and the mode of use as it is the item itself..."
The productivity virtues of keeping it simple, stupid.
The greatest stories make us emotional standard-bearers, not just emotional recipients.
On choosing an emotional resonance for a story.
Why was 'Justice League' only okay instead of epic? How could it have been made epic? Here's my plan.
This page contains an archive of recent posts for the tag storytelling.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind