5 Tools for Breaking Stories

Breaking a story can be a fun exercise in plotting, and it can be a way to experiment with your plot without having to throw out hundreds of pages of written work. In addition, by breaking out a story you can lay out and visually see more concretely your grand vision, and often times it will let you spot potential problems early on.

To actually break a story, there are a lot of tools you can use. Here’s 5. Continue reading “5 Tools for Breaking Stories”


Work, Prepare and… Face-plant

I’ve been away for a bit because I’ve been preparing for retaking my actuary exam (again). I’ve iterated. I’ve got the tools. Planner? Check. Pretty log? Yep. Colorful pens, stickers, note-pads full of practice problems? You want em I got em. Flashcards? Oh yeah. I’ve systematically reviewed over two months. In just the last two weeks alone I spent almost 50 hours preparing. This morning was show-time, my shot, my moment, my chance, my opportunity.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.

Now what?

Continue reading “Work, Prepare and… Face-plant”

Birthdays and Burn-Downs

Burn Downs

I felt like sharing a tool I picked up from the day-job that’s I’ve actually found super useful in the steady trek toward my goals. I’ve got a lot on my plate:

  • Finish draft 2 of Deveroux and Fitch by the end of March
  • Study for an Actuary Exam. I have to finish reviewing all the material by the second week of April, then take lots of practice tests.
  • I’m trying to read 75 books this year. That’s a fair amount of reading.

That’s a lot. Especially for larger goals, it is imperative that you can keep track of exactly where you are at in the process, so you can determine if you are ahead or behind. This tool can help with that, and it is called a burndown chart.

Continue reading “Birthdays and Burn-Downs”

Tick tock tick tock

I’m not a Time Lord

Like many people on the internet, I love Dr. Who. The box, the bow-tie, the adventure? But some of it is the fundamental principle: being able to know the entire time stream, being able to travel anywhen in time.

When I was teaching, I thought Dr. Who might even make a clever lead-in to a lecture I was supposed to give about time management. I had to spice that lecture up somehow, because it was such a trite lesson. After all, it is something you teach to high school students and is two main lessons:

  • Keep a planner
  • Get shit done on time

Two bullet points, bam, The Doctor saves the day again. That’s all there is to teaching my students to use their time properly, right?

Holy crap, I was wrong. And it honestly changed my life. Continue reading “I’m not a Time Lord”