As most of my followers know, for the last 3 years or so, I’ve been working on a little something I’ve been calling the Insomnia Project, and I’ve recently finished another editing pass of the first book in this series, Insomnia. I’m officially at the point where my eyes can (or refuse to) see anything wrong with the book that I can fix on my own, which means we’ve officially hit the beta stage, so I’m coming to you, my followers and the tumblr community at large, for assistance.

Insomnia is a New Adult, Science fiction novel with heavy elements of espionage, war, romance, and politics, and clocks in at a bit less than 130,000 words long. In summary:

In 2010, we discovered that we were not alone. Two years after first contact, the world is quieter. Disease has been eradicated, poverty lessened, and old enemies now feast at the same table. Yet, Stella Lundegaard is skeptical. She’s seen too many bad sci-fi movies to trust the people of Mars that easily. When her family is accepted, a process in which humans are chosen to live and work with Martians, she is less than enthusiastic, even though the stars are all she’s ever dreamed about. But she doesn’t dream any more. Struck by reality, it is up to her and a rouge, nameless Martian to uncover the Authority’s conspiracy and expose the truth about the universe to the people of Earth.

I’d like to find myself a large number of readers who are able to finish the book in a fairly timely manner and willing to give me their honest opinion. More than anything, I’m really looking to see if I’ve written an enjoyable story. Specific expectations will be provided for people that are seriously interested in beta-ing before I give them the piece (so you can have time to think about it before committing). You don’t need to have any kind of skills or experience to help, but a rudimentary knowledge of the elements of fiction and a love of sci-fi is always wonderfully helpful.

If you’re interested or have questions about the book or anything else, please, shoot me an ask or a fanmail, or you can send me an email @  Also, feel free to peruse the Insomnia Project tag on my blog for a better idea of what you might be getting into.  Signal boosting is also very appreciated!

Thank you, and stay neat!!

19/8/2014 . 11 notes . Reblog

I just updated my projects page with everything I plan on writing for the next 3-5 years in case you want to see how fucking busy I aspire to be.

18/7/2014 . 3 notes . Reblog

belayer said: 10, 20, 23, 35, 47

10: What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?

Purple prose / needlessly high vocabulary.  I get it.  You’re smart and use lots of big, pretty words.  Good for you.

20: What’s your favorite writing program?

I just kind of used whatever I had access to for the longest time (word on my first few computers, then pages on this one) but I’ve been a big fan of LibreOffice since Max turned me on to it.

23: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?

God, there isn’t much I don’t like about creating characters.  I’m a character-driven storyteller, and it’s the most enjoyable and essential part of my process.  I guess my least favorite part is actually sitting down and trying to list their traits, because characters aren’t the parts themselves, but the sum of these parts.  Which is probably why my favorite part of creating characters is actually working with them, listening to where they want to go with the story.  When Stella Lundegaard threw her first punch in Insomnia, after going into the story deciding that she was going to be a flight > fight kind of gal, is when I fell in love with her.

35: What’s your favorite time of day for writing?

6PM - 4AM, with peak efficiently from 9PM-12:45AM.

47: If you could steal one character from another author and make then yours, who would it be and why?

I don’t like this question because it feels like I’m stealing someone’s child D:  But if I have to pick, I’d take Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, since I need to write more stories about people who are just plain good.

12/7/2014 . 1 note . Reblog

When newer writers get nervous about whether or not their story is “original,” I like to point out that Deep Impact and Armageddon are movies that both came out in Summer of 1998 with the same basic plot (asteroid is coming and we’re all gonna die so let’s send a bunch of dudes to space to blow it up), but through their execution (characters, setting, tone, all that stuff) they tell their own special and unique stories and feel very different from each other.

10/7/2014 . 5 notes . Reblog

sleepypod said: Hi Max! So I've been having some real writers block as of late. I used to write constantly, as in up to 4am on a school night constant, but now I can't even get out a paragraph. It's gotten really frustrating because whenever I sit down and try to make myself write I can never think of anything or be happy with what I've written. And for when this creative dry spell passes do you have any tips for writing dialogue properly on the grammatical side? Thanks and your blog is a gift from above😘


Hello there~ ♥︎

Well, I have covered the issue of writer’s block quite a few times already. I would recommend you take a look at my (growing) collection of masterposts on writing advice. I promise you that you will overcome writer’s block, I know you will :D

Now, if you don’t mind. I’m going to take your second question as a great chance to talk about the grammatical side of dialogue. Before we go any further, though, I need to clarify that the following are not ‘rules,’ they are ‘tips.’ Writers disagree on a lot. What you will find below are the way I do things. I recommend you look around, especially in your favorite books, and see how other people did it. Take what you like, leave what you don’t, and create your ‘style’ c;

Again, these tips are not gospel. They are just the way I keep my dialogue trim & clean. I have them formatted as rules because in my mind they’re kind of unbreakable :p

#1. Dialogue should be encapsulated in double quotation marks. Not single quotation marks, for these are reserved for contractions and titled pronouns within dialogue.

Do not write:

'I asked Liam and he said Zain”s favorite musical was “Rent.”'

Do write:

"I asked Liam and he said Zain’s favorite musical was ‘Rent.’"

#2. New speaker, new paragraph. Whenever someone starts speaking, you must begin their dialogue in a new paragraph. You are asking to confuse your reader if you don’t show a change in formatting between speakers.

Do not write:

"Liam you’re such a butt," Zain said. "Well, you’re a butt too," Liam replied.

Do write:

"Liam you’re such a butt," Zain said.

"Well, you’re a butt too," Liam replied.

#3. If the dialogue is followed by a tag (X said) then the period at the end of the dialogue should be substituted with a comma, as these are part of the same sentence/thought.

Do not write:

"Lucian is such a butt I want to kill him." Justine said.

Do write:

"Lucian is such a butt I want to kill him," Justine said.

#4. Henceforth, if the dialogue tag is in between a long piece of dialogue (or same thought) the period at the end should be substituted with a comma, as it is all part of the same sentence. Also make sure to keep an eye for capitalization.

Do not Write:

"Lucian is such a butt I want to kill him," Justine said. "But that would just do him a favor."

Do write:

"Lucian is such a butt I want to kill him," Justine said, "but that would just do him a favor."

NOTE: Keep in mind that both of the lines above are grammatically correct. The issue is that the first portrays a pause in the dialogue and two thoughts, while the second one portrays a single uninterrupted thought.

#5. Not grammar-related, but I feel this is something we need to talk about. Do not fill dialogue tags with adverbs or adverbial phrases just for the sake of not writing ‘said,’ especially if you do not truly mean what they express. Said is king in dialogue tags because it’s practically invisible. The reader gets what you try to say and the story is not interrupted. Aside from that, using ‘said’ reserves more impactful words (such as ‘shouted’ or ‘whispered’) to situations where they could be more effective.

Do not write:

Liam… you have the prettiest blue eyes,” Zain whistled romantically.

There are a MILLION OTHER MORE EFFECTIVE WAYS to express this without resorting to adverbs or adverbial phrases. Unless you truly mean it when a character ‘whistles’ at another, you would do better to go into more detail than just TELL us he did so ‘romantically.’ I consider adverbs to be the most lazy writing there is. You have told the reader nothing. You literally just wrote a word, shrugged your shoulders, and said: “Imagine this character doing this in a romantic fashion, because apparently you should know it but I can’t be bothered to show you what you should be imagining.”

Again. Do not write:

Liam… you have the prettiest blue eyes,” Zain whistled romantically.

Do write:

"Liam… you have the prettiest blue eyes," Zain said.

Or, write:

"Liam… you have the prettiest blue eyes," Zain whispered.

Or, even better, write:

"Liam…" Zain said, cupping his lover’s face with both hands, "you have the prettiest blue eyes."

Play around with dialogue. Please. Write anything but:

Liam… you have the prettiest blue eyes,” Zain whistled romantically.

That should be pretty good for now c; I hope I didn’t get too preachy at the end. Again, these are just the way I do things. I have met writer’s who are okay with not splitting dialogue (and I just don’t read their books because seriously who is talking now? I sure don’t know because you DIDN’T THINK TO SPLIT THE PARAGRAPHS). But hey, you can write however you like. No biggie here c;

I hope this helps! If you have any more questions make sure to send them my way~ ♥︎

3/7/2014 . 1,054 notes . Reblog


Hello, writerly friends!

I got a bunch of questions asking for advice on revision/editing (of which I have plenty) so I thought I would make a TOP 5! The above are my top 5 tips for revising/editing your book. I believe there are plenty of awesome resources out there for editing, but I wanted to talk about a few things that are seldom mentioned!

I hope you all find this post helpful~ ♥︎

If any of you has any more writerly questions, send them my way! And if you want your daily dose of writer positivity and prompts, make sure to follow my blog:!

1/7/2014 . 4,536 notes . Reblog

Also kids don’t drink and write that’s a really fucking bad habit and a poor stereotype that we should probably take into the basement and beat to death with a ball-peen hammer.

23/6/2014 . 4 notes . Reblog
I Think Trigger Warnings Are Okay For Fiction and Here’s Why:

[Apologies if there’s anything in here with botched spelling or if there are any hanging sentences.  Post-concussive syndrome is a bitch]

I think we need to talk or think about trigger warnings for stories, and I think if you’re a writer in this day and age, you need to be aware of what trigger warnings are, what they aren’t, and how they help readers, so you can choose whether or not they work for you and your audience.

My opinion: I am pro-trigger warnings, but at the author’s discretion.  I write about some pretty fucked up stuff, and I enjoy writing about fucked up stuff, and nothing will ever stop me from writing about the fucked up parts of the world because I believe in absolute freedom of speech.  However, if I know I’m going to say something that could potentially hurt someone (not offend, and I’ll make a distinction), I’d like to warn my readers of that.  I don’t want to hurt people.  I want people to enjoy my fucked up stories as much as my fluffier ones.

Read More

23/5/2014 . 2 notes . Reblog

I know I’ve made it as a writer because my mother hates what I write but supports it anyway.

18/5/2014 . 2 notes . Reblog

Help I need Victorian/American Western clothing references stat!

15/5/2014 . 0 notes . Reblog