A Very Busy Week Ahead

Last night we used the new fire pit. I really like it a lot. I'm the kind of guy who can sit out in front of a camp fire for hours thinking about writing and that's exactly what I did last night. I also used my 7x50 Vixen Forestas to look at the grouping of …

Good Writing is Often a Question of Character

On the argument of Character vs. Plot I tend to side with the former.  I think a story with a strong character connects faster with readers than a plot-driven story. Then again the strongest story is one in which both character and plot are very strong and work together. There are always counter-examples where this …

Reading Outside Your Genre Even if it Kills You

There are lots of ways to get better at writing. Sitting down and writing more is one of the more obvious. Another helpful way is to read a lot, and read often. That is also obvious. If you write science fiction you should read a lot of science fiction. If you write romance you should …

I am still a writer first…everything else comes second

This morning I did some publishing work. I uploaded a new science fiction/cyberpunk story entitled "Dead Reckoning" to Kindle. I will let you know when the story goes live and give further details for it and Argo Navis Publishing. Last week was a long, stressful week for me for many reasons. I am hoping this …

SWTOR is fastest selling game in MMO history…and it’s only Week 4

Star Wars: The Old Republic has sold two million physical copies in four weeks, outselling all other MMOs and expansions. What amazes me is these are only physical copies. Which means people going down to Target or Best Buy or whatever and picking up the game. This is how I bought my game. It's how …

“The Whistler” is being aired on Theater 13 Radio!

Theater 13 Radio is running an Old Time Radio marathon of The Whistler. This classic radio show was based on horror, mystery, suspense and other genres. The main thing about this show is you get to follow the story through the eyes of the murderer, and yet the story always takes an unexpected twist in …

SWTOR: Casual fun with glowbats in the classic mythos of Star Wars

I am enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic quite a lot. I have been looking for an MMO since I quit Eve Online a while back, and bailed on World of Warcraft after the disastrous Cataclysm expansion. I think I have found my MMO at last. I am a casual gamer. Period. I can't and …

Magic Words: “I am a writer and I need help.”

There are many cool things about being a writer. I know I talk a lot about how difficult this profession is and the obstacles we face, and those things are true. But there are many cool things about being a writer and one of them is how quickly people are willing to try and help …

No one understands a writer like another writer.

Writing is difficult at the best of times. When things are going badly, or when things are going well, it always helps to have another writer to talk to. Because no one, and I mean absolutely no one, understands a writer like another writer. I see this often. Family members may be supportive. They may …

What I learned from Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and why it scared me.

I remember the very first time I came face to face with how much creativity would be needed if I was going to be a writer. I was in a high school English class and we had finished reading The Old Man and the Sea. In one passage the fisherman comes back to his hut …

Ideas are a dime a dozen. But stories are forever.

I remember when I began to get serious about writing. I was in my early twenties. One of the things that really worried me is would I have enough ideas for stories? It worried me. At the time it only seemed I had one or two ideas worth developing. It didn't look good for the …

The Smoke and Mirrors Effect in Writing

Writing, good writing, is all about smoke and mirrors. You've heard the old saw Truth is stranger than fiction. It's also unpublishable as fiction. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood notwithstanding, trying to write pure fact as pure fiction is darn near impossible. Even for all of Capote's talent and genius he knew enough not to …

“Why, the character just took over the story! I had no control at all!”

See: Title of post. Ha. I must admit I get a little chuckle when I see or hear a writer say this. As if. I know what they are feeling. I guess I understand what they are trying to express. But they are writers. At our core we are challenged to write about the human …

Writing as an Organic Process (in other words, it’s Art)

I have a background in physics with a little chemistry on the side. So I know all about the scientific method and how you employ it when approaching a problem. And the scientific method works when you are doing science. But we have no common method when it comes to writing. It's extremely organic and …

So you wrote a story? Congratulations. That was the EASY part.

Today I want to elaborate on a topic I touched on yesterday. I would argue, at least from my own experience, writing is very hard work. It's not easy to write a story. Everything is against you. Time, quality, need of story, laziness, readiness, you can name a hundred different obstacles you have to overcome …

“The Downside of Persistence” by Richard Parks

Occasionally I come across a post by another writer that is so good I just have to share. "The Downside of Persistence" by Richard Parks is such a post. I know Richard from the time I lived in Mississippi. He is a superb writer and he thinks deeply about the process of writing and its …

Process VS Protocol, or why only one thing matters in writing

I've been a professional writer (by deed and definition) for a long time. Sometimes it amazes me. I will never be satisfied or ready to rest on my laurels, but I must admit if I never wrote another word for the rest of my life I have come further than I had any right to …

A Very Dark Haxan Story “Alpenglow” has been Released from Argo Navis

I've had a special place in my heart for this story a long time. I like a lot of things about it, especially what I tried to do with the characterization. I am never interested in playing it safe, and this story was my attempt at crossing a line or two, but still with the …

A Writing Superman…or how I scrambled to get things done before I wigged out

This has been a very busy week for me but a good week. I got a lot done, mostly with Argo Navis, but one thing sticks out. I haven't gotten to work on the novel again. I'm not upset about this turn. I merely note it. I can't do everything at once. I am not …

Woot! My new science fiction story “Tennessee Waltz” is available from Argo Navis. Hope you guys enjoy it! :)

Tennessee Waltz “Mark Hoover is a writer who never hesitates to go deep, to try to find the core of what it means to be human and take a good hard look. If he has to stare down a nightmare or two along the way, well, that’s just fine.” —Richard Parks, author of the Lord …