Styling the Fight: John Scalzi

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of John Scalzi. Scalzi is one of my favorite living authors. His style is heavy on dialog and tends toward comedy (which I’m obviously going for here) but also features tremendous emotional depth, especially in his empathy for peripheral characters. I’m doing him a disservice in […]

Styling the Fight: Mark Twain

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of Mark Twain. [1] I asked him his name, and he said, “Thou’lt be afraid to hear it.” Well I didn’t put much stock in that. I can’t think of a time I ever met a man and was afraid to hear his name. I wondered […]

Styling the Fight: Edgar Allan Poe

The Young Siward fight from Macbeth in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. [1] I originally wrote this as an exercise after reading some Poe for an assignment at Stonecoast. A few things struck me about Poe’s writing (aside from the gloomy subject matter)—he tends to over-description, piling on the adjectives, never settling for one […]

Styling the Fight

Another series, in which I plan to rewrite the Young Siward fight from Macbeth in a variety of styles, experimenting with person and tense (first person present, third person past), restriction (no adjectives, no letter e), emulation (in the style of Poe or Twain) and format (as a series of tweets or a Kickstarter campaign). […]

Main Character vs. Protagonist vs. Hero

So, I recently directed Henry IV, Part One for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, and I noticed something curious—the title character, the main character, the protagonist and the hero are four different people. Check my math:  Title character—King Henry. Obviously. Main character—Falstaff. He’s got by far the most lines and scenes. He’s also the most memorable […]


Affordance is an invented word [1] that has a history of redefinition, so it’s an appropriate first entry for this Writer’s Grimoire in which I’m going to redefine, repurpose or reframe words such that they serve as convenient handles for concepts that are useful for writers. I’m familiar with affordance from the tech world, where […]

The Writer’s Grimoire

A grimoire is a book that lists the names of demons by which they can be summoned and bound to serve. I’m adopting that as a metaphor for this dictionary of writing concepts, some of which I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere, some of which I’m figuring out for myself by writing about them and attaching […]

Why I Blog

An unusual topic, perhaps, for my first post in nearly a year. Ironic? Or aspirational? Let’s go with the second answer for now, but only time will tell. In any case, a friend of mine is thinking of starting a blog, and marshaling my supportive arguments (oh, you totally should, because …) prompted me to […]

2019 Year in Review

Last year feels like the year I finally hit my stride as a writer. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, particularly on the publishing/remuneration front, but I managed to bang out quite a few words on a mostly consistent schedule and even got paid for some of it. A huge part of that […]