For something so awkward and squishy-looking, the brain is a deliciously complex and efficient thing that commands and controls everything about us. In the spirit of Halloween, I look today at what the brain does when we are afraid (with the help of Ellen Degeneres and her team). When you experience something scary (or stressful), … Continue reading This is Your Brain on Fear
How do lasers work (including an attempt to explain an Einstein theory using the word “tickle”)? What’s the latest on laser weapons? Is it possible to construct a laser forcefield that lets some things pass through but not others (and if they try the get blown up)? In which I continue to build the setting … Continue reading Lasers: Guns and Forcefields
After boiling my novel down to Just One Thing and identifying some crap, I need to decide what to do with it all. Here is how, exactly, I am going to murder my darlings (and whether I will in the end). This is how I’m going to go into November armed with that list of scenes … Continue reading On Revision: How, Exactly, Do I Murder My Darlings?
November first is fast approaching, and that means hoards of novelists across the world are clanging their swords upon shields in anticipation. To bring my brain back into battle, I'm recalling some basics. Here are some practical steps for getting started, a case study on my relationship with Pantsing and Planning and three principles that helped … Continue reading Getting Started: A NaNoWriMo Basics Refresher
When my fingers were tip-tapping out words by the hundreds or thousands each day last year, I didn’t think about what needed to happen to get from that first draft to final. Between production and proofreading, there is a Schumpeterian-type (bless you) world of destruction and creation. But what do I destroy? What do I … Continue reading On Revision: A Useful Tool for Deciding What to Keep, Rework and Cut