J. Sheridan La Fanu

While attempting to sketch the outline of a yet unpublished novel titled Thirty Day Threat, which I intended to be the first Sophie Harlock novel, I found myself drowning in a sea of creative turmoil. For me, writing fiction is not the graceful, fluid process of spilling forth of imagination. It is instead a form […]

Latent Ice-Box Anxiety

The first draft of The Vanishing Room is complete; that’s more than thirty chapters of delicately spun fiction that needs to survive the critical deductions of countless smart readers. Thinking about this drowns me with paranoia. What if something doesn’t fit? What if there is a latent ice-box moment waiting to spoil the readers’ enjoyment? […]

Divergent and Convergent Writing

As many people will tell you, whether you ask them or not, good writing is really about what you don’t write, rather than what you do. Brevity has immense value. What may not be apparent is that you need to write prolifically and then begin the process of fearless removal. As Blaise Pascal said (originally […]

On Writing Fiction

Writing fiction twists your brain in knots. You get to experience the life of a compulsive liar. You are constantly double-checking for consistency, acting as continuity supervisor for your own imagination. You become a detective, picking through the diary of a suspect; checking for the slip up that undermines the story and breaks the alibi. […]