full_damageTor.com has been killing it with good content for the past couple of years, both in blogging and in short fiction. Damage, a short story by David Levine is no exception. Written from the perspective of a fighter-bomber spaceship that grapples with a programmed-in sense of duty, a highly-developed ability to feel pain, and a budding morality, this story grabbed me from the start. It carries strong through the middle and right to the end. Well done, David.

BC_Logo_On the nonfiction front, I’ve been keeping my opinions on cryptocurrency intentionally tentative. As interesting a concept that it is, I have never been able to get fully behind it, though I know many who have. Which is why I found this article interesting: Winklevoss Twins Aim to Take Bitcoin Mainstream. It’s still an unknown, whether or not cryptocurrency will be around in the future. I rarely see it in sci-fi, with the short-lived-but-awesome TV show Almost Human being the most notable in my mind: bitcoins in the show were often transported via physical memory sticks and in that way were an untraceable form of cash. I can think of no other examples. Not even William Gibson, who packed so much futurist thinking into his most recent, The Peripheral, mentions cryptocurrency of any kind (though there is a whole lot of money flying around). Right now there seems to be a big question as to whether regulation will save Bitcoin or whether it would somehow corrupt it, turn it into just another currency. Either way, near-future sci-fi fodder, I should think

nano_logoTooting my own horn, I was recently featured on the NaNoWriMo blog with my post, Discovering Character and Theme through Revision. NaNo taught me I could be a novelist, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with the community.

cutaway_bsg_hanger_deckUnder the “I love the Internet” category, I know this is just a search link, but man, I could get lost all day while researching the layouts of interstellar ships.

Finally: someone has put together a compilation that exposes just how much the crew in Star Trek: The Next Generation had to deal with poorly fitting clothes. What a joy it is to watch a future where despite being able to fling ourselves across the galaxy at warp speed, we can’t make a uniform that doesn’t ride up and down constantly.

(H/T: There’s Something Horribly, Unspeakably Wrong With Picard’s Uniform on io9.com)

It’s been a pretty interesting year for me as a writer, so I thought I’d take a look back over it and take a moment to remember everything that’s happened.

After the end of 2013 I had looked back on my writing goals, accomplishments, and shortcomings. I gave myself a self-appraisal, taking a look at what I had done in three categories: Content Creation, Learning, and Networking/Marketing. It was an extremely thorough analysis (probably to a fault), and it left me in a state of wondering what I really wanted to do next. What was I going to take aim at in 2014? I had many options before me and grappled with which route to focus on.

Creating realistic and fully fleshed-out characters is essential to quality storytelling. There are plenty of ways to fill characters out, particularly in revision. I’m going to share with you some tips for getting the jump start on those characters, and with some short exercises, you may find your characters coming to life before you’ve even started page one of your novel.

This is a great way to get a head start on NaNoWriMo!

National Novel Writing Month is coming. You really want to do it this year, and you have a great idea. That’s good, but the problem is: most ideas are just beginnings. Sometimes they’re endings, if you’re lucky. But no matter what, that first seed of an idea rarely includes the middle. And that’s what every novel needs: a beginning, middle, and end. The only way to know if that seedling can grow into a complete story is to outline that sucka. Click through for some tips on getting there!