Leveling Up in Writing

scott pilgrim level up

There are quite a few ways that video games are better than real life. For one, there are very few consequences for your actions. Want to eat mushrooms? Snack away, Mr. Plumber. Want to try to defeat the world’s most evil wizard with a bunch of Deku nuts? Have at it, Hero of Time! Pretty much anything goes.

But one of the things I really love about video games happens to come from role-playing games in particular — the idea of leveling up. Continue reading →

Smashing Trains: Storytelling as Problem Solving

I always hated math. Locking two numbers together in Gladiator-style mortal combat made no sense to me. Who cares about the victor of that bloody conflict, when there are so many cool things that could be happening in outer space, and slightly less cool things (but just as bloody as number Hunger Games) that have already happened on this world? Other subjects were far more interesting to me.

But the one small bit of math that I did enjoy happened to be applied mathematics. You know, making numbers do things that matter in the real world. Two trains leaving different stations and careening toward one another at a breakneck speed was fun, get your popcorn ready type stuff waiting to happen. Continue reading →

Your Thing Is Good and You Should Feel Good

First drafts are hard.

No, seriously. We pay lip-service to the idea of writing being a finicky, petty and blood-sucking monster, but for real, it can be a killer to try to start a new book. No matter how confident you feel about where you are as a writer, or as an anything, first attempts tend to rough us up, WWE style, with about as many theatrics to boot.

As much as I tell myself that it’s fine to let a first draft be crappy, and as much as I tell myself that I need to wait to revise, the urge to tweak is so strong I send myself into obsessive fits.

I doubt I’m the only one. Continue reading →

Formative Felines: On Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes Complete Collection

As of this weekend, I’m the proud owner of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes Collection. something that fills me with an embarrassing amount of joy. Don’t get me wrong: I probably have the majority of these books in separate places between my house and my old bedroom at home, but they’ve become so worn down from years of re-reading that I thought it would be nice to own them again, on the real.

Part of the reason I wanted to own the collection (besides the fact that I want to read every strip again), is that I want my daughter to grow up with Calvin and Hobbes the way I did. Continue reading →

The Writing Jam


This weekend, I picked up the guitar, something I wasn’t sure I’d do again for a long time yet. If you had told me back in college, when I was strumming away almost hourly, that I would have dropped the guitar in my late twenties, I would have scoffed at you.

Perhaps I would have even played you a ditty about it. I was fond of ditties. Continue reading →

Deadly Writing Sins: Overcomplicated Plots

I’ve got a few bad habits when I write. I tend to overwrite action sequences, because, hey, who doesn’t love a good explosion or a flying kick to a ninja lizard’s face? I also sometimes bury the feels for fear of being melodramatic. Sometimes that’s fine, but I turn these things into Jurassic Park style paleontological digs, leaving the reader scrambling through layers of dirt. On the flip side of that, sometimes I tell too much, when it comes to worldbuilding and backstory. I feel a bit like George Lucas, ignoring the story in favor of blasting “LOOK AT WHAT THESE HANDS HAVE WROUGHT” across some glowing, alien landscape.

But my worst writing sin? I over-complicate. When something in the story could happen in 2 steps, I turn it into 5. Instead of moving the character from point A to point B, I take him on a tour of his pitfalls and hang-ups, throw in some backstory, and maybe even a couple of info dumps. Quite simply, this is bad writing. And for some reason, this is how my brain defaults the first time I work on a new idea. Continue reading →

Before You Write: Pre-Pitching

Die Hard - Ellis

Still in the plotting/scheming/maniacal laughing stages of The Jimmy Project, I’ve been knee deep in story structure, character motivations and all kinds of other buzzwords that writers use to make themselves sound super smart and sometimes write words good. For my last novel, I sort of used a process called discovery writing, or if you’re feeling nasty, pantsing — both just fancy terms that mean making this crap up as you go. Continue reading →

Giving Yourself Permission

Hand writing

If you’re a visitor of GamerSushi, the video game blog I pen with some hilarious cohorts, then you’ll know that I’m on a big blogging schedule kick at the moment. As a result, I’ll be using a content schedule here at What Eddy Writes, in order to give myself some guidelines about the content I’ll be posting.

Mondays: Writing about… well, writing.
Wednesdays: Writing about what I’m reading.
Fridays: Flash Fiction

We’ll see how that goes, won’t we? Continue reading →

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