Thadeus, the King of Thieves, sat on his gold, ornate throne. It was a gaudy thing, his throne. But it was made of just a portion of his accumulated wealth. Gems, filigree, weapons, and even a bit of leather went into the chair. After three decades of thievery, one has a lot to show for his labors.
It was late at night and Thadeus couldn’t sleep. He stared out a window, watching the moon slowly sink behind the city skyline. The entertainers had come and gone. The women of his harem were asleep… somewhere in the palace. For his many trinkets and toys, the King of Thieves was bored.
Sitting back in his throne, he remembered the good ol’ days. The days when he was a young lad with no coin to speak of. The days when a sharp knife and a distracted mark was all he needed. He never killed his victims, just made sure their purses dropped from their belts with relative ease.
And silence. That’s the key. To be a good thief, you had to be silent.
Which was not the case for the man who was climbing into Thadeus’ throne room. He stumbled through the open window, in full view of the throne. He clanged against a pile of jewels, knocking over a bronze tray. Honestly, this boy needed to get his act together.
Continue reading “The King of Thieves? Part 1”
Or, Learning How to Put in the Work
I recently wrote about how I believe there is no such thing as writer’s block.
The truth is, writer’s block isn’t some kind of insurmountable hurdle that prevents you from accomplishing your goal. The hard truth is anyone can break through writer’s block, if they are willing to put in the work.
Writing is a job, plain and simple. It might not be as hard as other jobs. I doubt many writers come home as tired as someone busting rocks for a living. But writing is a demanding job that drains your mental capacity and in some cases, your emotions.
That’s really why some people use the excuse of writer’s block. They aren’t willing to confront the challenge that writing presents. How do you take a nugget of an idea and stretch it out into a complete story?
For the stories that have been written throughout history, every writer faces the same challenge. There are no perfect formulas or recipes you can blindly follow to easily produce a finished product.
Continue reading “The “Easy” Way to Overcome Writer’s Block”
Catch up with Part 1.
The officers were lined up along the hallway. Their heads were erect. Some of them had smiles on their faces. But most had an appropriately stern, but satisfied, look. The front door of the police station swung open. A bit of the lashing rain fell inside. Marching into the building were Detective Hatts and Grimes.
Between them was a large man, bound in handcuffs. His face was pinched and angry. The expression could have curdled milk. The police officers glared at the brute as he walked passed. Hatts and Grimes pushed the man along, serious as headstones. But they did allow the occasional wink and smile at their colleagues. At one point, Hatts indulged in a high-five.
The police watched as the detectives marched the man to a holding cell. They waited until the cell door clanked shut, before bursting into cheers. One of the grisliest murders the city had ever seen. And their own detectives brought in the culprit.
Maxwell Brogue missed the moment. He was in the bathroom.
Continue reading “The Very Bad Detective, Part 2”
Catch up on the story: Part 1 and Part 2
A small sad dwarf found an abandoned home. What will he find inside?
The small dwarf entered the house. Creaking, the door swung shut behind him. It was dark inside, but his eyes were slowly adjusting. He thought he saw a small, bouncing ball of light, floating just outside his reach.
Floorboards creaked as he explored the house. It wasn’t very impressive. Just a single room with a pair of beds in one corner, a fireplace with a rusting cookpot, and a table in another corner. The dwarf looked at an old shelf against the wall. Strange, brown lumps were stacked side by side. He assumed they used to be books.
Everything about the house was brown and dirt-covered. Dust was kicked up into the air as he walked around. He reached the table, pulling out its one chair. It was a chair for a much taller person. A man, perhaps.
Continue reading “A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 3”
Or, How to Overcome “Writer’s Block”
Okay, I get it. Saying something like there’s no such thing as writer’s block is a pretty controversial thing. Even experienced writers say that writer’s block is real.
Some have written entire books on the subject. I’ve read about writers who stare at a blank page for hours, unable to come up with a single sentence.
I know, sometimes it’s hard to write. In fact, it can be very hard. But the concept of a mental “block” that prohibits you from finishing your story is not real.
But there is a real challenge that many writers face. One that can derail or upset the progress of a story/manuscript. A problem that is often mistaken for writer’s block is very real. But it can be overcome if you’re willing to work.
Oh yes, writing is work, just like any other craft. Writers just don’t sit down at a computer and watch the words fly onto the screen. Even the most prolific writers—who have produced countless books—didn’t start there.
The secret to all great writers is this: they write… A LOT.
Continue reading “There’s No Such Thing as “Writer’s Block””