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Welcome to Words Deferred. I’m Sam Johnston. I write software by day, and fiction by night.

I post about the art and craft of writing fiction. I also post serial fiction – novels, one bite at a time – and take you behind the scenes to look at my writing process.

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Recent Words

New blog posts every Monday morning. New serial fiction or writing process journals every Friday morning. Other stuff on Wednesdays, sometimes!

Razor Mountain — Chapter 4.1

Razor Mountain is a serial novel, with a new chapter published every week. For more info, visit the Razor Mountain landing page. When Christopher woke, light was streaming from the slats in the ceiling. He felt as though he had slept for days, though he had no way of actually knowing. As far as he […]

The MICE Quotient

The MICE Quotient is an idea that originated with Orson Scott Card, in his books on writing: How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Character and Viewpoint. It has been updated and expanded by Mary Robinette Kowal, one-time student of Card, and award-winning author in her own right, who is one of the main […]

Razor Mountain Development Journal — Chapter 3 (Redux)

This is part of an ongoing series where I’m documenting the development of my serial novel, Razor Mountain. You can find my spoiler-free journals for each chapter, my spoiler-heavy pre-production journals, and the book itself over at the Razor Mountain landing page. Since I ended up posting the Chapter 3 episodes last week and this […]


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