Axon, Inc., Writing Process

Characters: Walden Reathall

Axon, Inc. is a tightly-focused novel, concentrating on the lives of just a few characters. Stories like this one explore the ramifications of transformative technologies, unraveling the world we know and weaving a new one from its ruins. Focusing on one or two characters allows the reader to become more immersed in the novel, to… Continue reading Characters: Walden Reathall

Writing Process

The Call of Adventure: Mapping Story Structure

Ever since George Lucas introduced Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces to screenwriting, it's had a profound influence -- not just on the movie industry, but on fiction in general. A quick Google search will bring up thousands of pages about applying Joseph Campbell's work to novels, short stories, and even television commercials. I… Continue reading The Call of Adventure: Mapping Story Structure

Artificial Intelligence, Writing Process

Man vs. Machine: John Henry, Science Fiction, and the March of Progress

There are only two kinds of plots in true science fiction:  Science is a Hero, and Science is a Villain. In Science is a Hero, there is some problem or other -- an asteroid is going to hit the Earth, the Galactic Empire is falling, there's a Plague IN SPACE!! -- and the heroic characters… Continue reading Man vs. Machine: John Henry, Science Fiction, and the March of Progress

Writing Process

Fiction and the Shamanic Journey

In a series of posts a few years ago, I talked about the function of fiction. What is it for? What purpose does it serve? After all, it’s all a pack of lies — and what’s more, it’s lies that everyone knows are false. In that article I argued that fiction’s primary purpose was to… Continue reading Fiction and the Shamanic Journey