Archive for May, 2015

Pup: A Novel of Accidental Heroism comes out in just a few weeks on June 16th. This week I was thinking back on some of the things that influenced me in writing the story and I remembered the very first reenactment that I took part in. I tell the story here and you really start to see how Pup was influenced as well as how much of a bumblerĀ I can be!


I recently had someone ask me to do a vlog on filler for their writing. While considering it I also thought about how long it had been since I had the opportunity to sit down and do a written blog. Since it had been quite a while, I figured I would set aside a few minutes and answer his question in writing.

Whenever you write, there is always a lot of concern with the length of the story. Sometimes you want to make certain that the story is novel length (which varies, depending on who you are speaking to) and sometimes you want to make certain that you aren’t overdoing it. It is the first of these categories that are concerned with the phenomena in writing known as “filler.” In essence, filler is something that takes up space and helps serve as a kind of written bridge between one important event in a story and another. Filler makes certain that what you hoped would be a novel isn’t just an article. I once heard someone say that one of the hardest things to do is nothing. Filler essentially does nothing for the characters or story, so it makes it one of the most difficult things to write.

So, if you are asking this particular amateur writer how to create filler for your story, here is my answer: don’t. I understand how much it might seem that you need to come up with something to fill up space, but if you do, then it is possible that you haven’t fully developed your story or characters yet. Each thing that happens in your story should be a link in the chain. Anything that isn’t doesn’t belong there. Whatever is being written should be something that helps the characters grow or the story move forward or give background to the situation. If it doesn’t do one of those things, then you are wasting your time and your reader’s time. Your characters and your story should be alive. Everything that is alive, whether they realize it or not, do things for a reason. They may not understand the reason, but it is there nonetheless. Your living story and living characters should be no different.

I understand completely how tempting it is to add extra stuff in to lengthen out a story. However, when it is all said and done, I would much rather have a well written short story than a poorly written novel. There’s my two cents worth.

This week I made a quick vlog while I was out and about taking part in one of my hobbies. The video is about the importance of research. Now I will admit that researching online and through books is incredibly important. It really gets you familiar with the subject that you are researching. However, nothing can take the place of actual experience. Remember, you are a writer. The idea is to bring the experience to life in the readers’ imaginations. You can only do that if you try to get out of your house and take part, in some way, in the activity you are writing about. I know that this isn’t possible for a lot of things in stories, but do it for everything that you can. There are a million tiny details that you pick up along the way that can really make a difference between a good story and a great story. So get up and out whenever you can find the time and look for those things that will really bring your writing to life.

Everyone wants to find a way to relax. Let’s face it, this is a high-stress culture that we live in. Of course, some hobbies can cause more stress than they relieve. Sometimes writing is one of those hobbies. Everyone loves coming up with a story, but revising it, rewording it, gauging people’s interest in it can bring about a huge stress load. So how do you relax with writing? That’s the subject of this week’s vlog.

Leave comments on how you use writing to relieve stress!