View in browser
Website    Facebook    Goodreads
The Gangster Speaks

Who knows laws the best? Judges, lawyers, cops, criminals. First three are obvious. The last one maybe not so. A criminal needs to know exactly what law they’re breaking and how much time they’re looking at doing if they get caught. Decides everything about the crime, how far they’re willing to go. They need to be able to talk to cops. They need to know their rights. Criminals know the law as well or better than the police.

There are laws of society and there are laws of writing. Things you just don’t do when you’re writing a book. But if you know these laws well, and you know how they’re applied and why, you can teach yourself when to break them. What laws are we talking about here? The law of backstory: No reader wants to read backstory. Keep me in the plot. Keep me in the story. Let’s not slow down to look back. There’s the law of adverbs: Adverbs are weak all the time. They’re slapped on at the end of a dialogue tag as a way of explaining how a person delivered a line. The law of adverbs says never, says it weakens the dialogue. You shouldn’t have to describe how a person said a thing if you choose the right words spoken and you have those words in the right context. There’s the law of passive voice: Shouldn’t be allowed ever. We should never hear passive voice in a story at all. ‘X had been done’ is always inferior to ‘She did x.’ Description cut short to build urgency. Hard, fast law. If you know these laws well enough, you know when to break them and just how to snap them.

I went to a con on Saturday. Got me thinking about writers’ conventions and pop culture conventions in general. It made me think about the panels of discussion that are often seen at these. Keynote speakers and guest speakers. And in my mind, I began to create a lecture. What if I could take the experience I had in writing, all 6.1 million words of story, and use that experience to craft a lecture to be given at these cons? Because so many writers are taught writing the exact same way as so many others. The judges are publishers, the lawyers are agents, the cops, traditional writers, and the gangsters of literature, the self-published writers, are all trying to follow the same laws. But me and my indie writer brothers and sisters are outside of their laws, or we can be. I don’t have the lecture written yet, just ideas and smoke from the cigar of writing rebellion, but I’m putting my lecture together and we’ll see what the writing world thinks of my crimes.  

Geekmas Follow Up

Was at a convention Saturday, December 11, 2021. It was called Geekmas. I was forced to pack up my booth hours before I expected to. If anybody at the con was interested in buying my books and wasn’t given the chance, here’s a link to my Amazon Author page. If you buy any of these books and want them signed, I can meet you somewhere for coffee or a beer, sign the books, and maybe we can get to know each other.

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Download this free ebook available exclusively through my newsletter. This short story collection includes "The Banshee," "The Slave," "The Gilded Mares," "Son of the Demontser," and the most recent addition, "The Forge of Souls."



Jesse Teller


September | October | November 

Share to Facebook Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Twitter Forward email Forward email

Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

Tired of hearing from me?