These are the things I've written that are tagged "writing"

Zen Writing Mode on GitHub

Github has added a new “Zen mode” button to all text areas on the site, the clicking of which will grow the writing area to the full window size, hiding the rest of the page, so you can focus on writing without distractions.

SEO for Non-dicks

Matt Gemmell: I fully acknowledge the value of, and need for, actual SEO; I just think that in many cases, the tactics employed under that title would better be described as Search Engine Manipulation or even Abuse. A post full of sound advice. Dirty SEO is one of the lamest things I see smart companies […]

H. P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book

From Bruce Sterling’s blog. This list has been floating around for awhile but I enjoyed revisiting in. If you found one of my notebooks it reads pretty similarly, but with more random smatterings of dialogue in search of a conversation.

“Writing on the high seas”

Author Tobias Buckell’s treatise on book piracy and what it means here in the now: A certain book that usually sells about 5,000 copies, locked down and protected, seems to sell the same 5,000 copies as a book with a free giveaway and pirated. The difference, according to O’Reilly and many, will be that the […]

Writing better dialogue

The fourth in a series of “Scriptcasts” by the screenwriter John August. I find that John’s advice in screenwriting applies to writing for the web, as well.

Terry Pratchett on Doctor Who

Terry, who as he says himself was “there at the beginning”: The unexpected, unadvertised solution which kisses it all better is known as a deus ex machina – literally, a god from the machine. And a god from the machine is what the Doctor now is. A decent detective story provides you with enough tantalising […]

Kurt Vonnegut at the Blackboard

KVJ on story structure, Hamlet, Cinderella, and Kafka: But there’s a reason we recognize Hamlet as a masterpiece: it’s that Shakespeare told us the truth, and people so rarely tell us the truth in this rise and fall here [indicates blackboard]. The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what […]

David Mamet’s Editorial Notes To Writers of “The Unit”

Written, as one might hope, in all-caps, laced with profanity, and peppered with utter contempt for network executives. Delicious, and mostly good advice. A sample: ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER “AS YOU KNOW”, THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK […]

The Details Are Everything

A new tumblr created by Me, available from now: The Details Are Everything, sifting the user interfaces and experiences I come into contact with in daily life. It is A) An excuse to write more about semi-work-involved things and B) something I’ve been threatening to do for long enough that I needed to either start […]

Batman: The Animated Series Writer’s Bible

Brought you by the magic of the internet (PDF). Of personal interest to me: NO STORIES ABOUT BATMAN’S ORIGIN If only Hollywood would’ve listened. The document itself is full of reasons why Batman: TAS is still the best Batman-related media outside of the comics-sphere, but the above rings truest to me.

It’s The Same Here, Too

At least half of all writing involves just sitting and staring into space. Letting your brain out to hunt down ideas, bringing them back all warm and bloody between its teeth. — Warren Ellis, on his mailing list BAD SIGNAL

How the Web and the Weblog have Changed Writing

Philip Greenspun: Our literary culture is impoverished when every idea is stretched or amputated to fit the Procrustean bed made up by magazine and book publishers. When an author runs out of relevant stuff to say after 20 or 30 pages, that’s how long the essay should be. Quoting the same passage that Gruber did, […]

Free as in “Me”

I cannot think of a recent read more essential than this lengthy polemic by Merlin Mann. I’d post an excerpt, but it wouldn’t do justice to the thing. Just read it.

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My name is Phil Nelson and I make beautiful objects for a troubled world in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. I'm a designer / developer at Occipital.

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Hey. What're you doing all the way down here? You get lost? Just looking around? Cool. I like you.