Writer’s Log

  • Writer’s Log: 1734 – If only… (5/20/2018) - For those of you who care to follow my writing progress, here’s a brief interlude: #1: https://goo.gl/Jsj7nn #2: https://goo.gl/YjLJC3 If I could slap a button, big, round and red, and send myself back to such a time – POOF! That would be the end of me. POV: First Person Era/locale: 25,000 years ago, North American […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1732 Neil Gaiman (5/18/2018) - EXCERPT FROM “The View from the Cheap Seats”: “I was, as I said, twenty-five years old, and I had an idea for a book and I knew it was a real one. I tried writing it, and realized that it was a better idea than I was a writer. So I kept writing, but I […]
  • To live is to lie (4/29/2018) - Fiction is lying. The fabrication of a make-believe story, perhaps without a shred of substantiation in the real world, is, in all meaningful ways, a lie. Some archeologists believe that the ability to lie, to tell stories, may be what set Homo Sapiens Sapiens apart. The imagining of an untrue event or situation is effectively […]
  • The Writer’s Stew (4/11/2018) - Imagine a tasty stew. Savory meats, root vegetables, maybe some thick noodles or dumplings, a fine rich stock all simmering for hours on low. The aroma and unctuous anticipation of slipping some of that luscious meal down your throat just makes your mouth drip like Sobaki, Pavlov’s favorite dog. That is how I think writing […]
  • A themed universe (4/9/2018) - Something jelled recently. Those of you who read Sci-Fi will know the name Larry Niven. He’s most famous for his novel Ring World. But more than that, what he created was a broad context for (nearly) all of his stories. It’s what he calls “Known Space.” What’s curious about it is that it’s fully cogent […]
  • Club Internet (4/8/2018) - If you have a raw nerve exposed, you can bet I’m going to be one of those who tries to tweak it, maybe shock it. Certainly pinch it a bit. OUCH! Yeah, sorry about that. (But not really.) And this is of course an exaggeration. I recently, yesterday or something, wrote about all of us […]
  • 100% of you are bloggers (4/7/2018) - Consider this: A small town newspaper, with one reporter, one editor, one distribution manager, one advertising manger and one printer (all of whom are the same person) produces one edition per day. The ONLY people who read this edition are the OTHER small town newspapers (those that also have a single reporter, editor, etc. all […]
  • I self published a novel (4/4/2018) - I just self-published a novel through https://www.draft2digital.com/. (ebook only.) The process, which in and of itself was a piece of cake, took me a half-dozen tries to get the format right (downloaded from GDocs as a .docx) to make the title and copyright and all that work out correctly. D2D then gave me a 6×9 […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1570 (3/22/2018) - Writing keeps me alive. The experiment continues. A couple of months ago, death and its long ivory fingers reached unerringly for my throat. Writing, the act of writing, held them off. The effort of putting words to paper continues to do so today. The stories that I wish to tell implore me — do not […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1562 Golf (3/15/2018) - Learning to write fiction is like learning a difficult technical and physical game. Take golf for instance. A few decades ago I decided to learn to play golf. It looks easy, right? The game itself is simple (except for all the USGA rules), the equipment obvious — used clubs can be had for a song, […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1523 To all new authors (3/2/2018) - To all new authors out there, (here’s a shaker of salt, spread that around first won’t you…) Now, to all authors who are starting out on their first novel. STOP! I mean, don’t like, STOP completely. Only stop and listen to this short public service announcement: DO NOT WRITE A COMPLETE NOVEL WITHOUT PROOFING IT […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1522 Staying on the Clock (2/24/2018) - One of the more difficult aspects of writing, I find, is remaining cognizant of clock and calendar time within the story. Imagine if your story’s internal time frame spanned only a single day. But, it took you a number of months to write it. Here you are on chapter 7, maybe 30,000 words in and […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1488 Nuances of clause placement (2/22/2018) - ‘Milly paused, wiped her lace handkerchief across her brow, and looked up, startled, to find Antonio sitting upon the impatient stallion, staring intently at her, later that afternoon.’ I’ve been editing Blue Across the Sea, my first, anxiously anticipated novel and, as I do so, I find numerous occasions where I flip, mix, or bludgeon […]
  • Versus: The love I remember (1/27/2018) - Two people sitting on a bench. He turns to her. “If this is what addiction is about, then I can understand why it could be a problem. But for me, addicted to you is the only cure for loneliness I could have hoped for.” “Just a touch, from the tip of you finger, and I […]
  • Wax on, wax off (1/27/2018) - This is a continuation of the topic of of unlearning how to write poorly. Mr. Miagi, I want to learn how to write narrative fiction. Anonymole-son, you must first learn wax on, and wax off. No, no no. Not like that, like this. Ah, better. Now keep going. (later) How’s this Mr. Miagi? Very nice […]
  • Learning to unwrite, writing to unlearn (1/26/2018) - As I learn to write narrative fiction, what I find to be the most frustrating aspect and what I continuously ask myself, over and over, is: WHY THE HELL DIDN’T I LEARN TO WRITE THE RIGHT WAY TO BEGIN WITH? I can write. I write rather well. But not narrative fiction. I was taught, primarily, […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1401 (1/24/2018) - When you build a home, a building, a bridge, a road — things, substantial things, that take months, years to construct, you follow a design. That design has patterns. And for the most part you replicate those patterns, over and over. Framing a home’s floors, walls, rafters, joists – becomes easy be cause you repeat […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1400 what we remember (1/23/2018) - Update: I’m back on my first manuscript, Blue Across the Sea, rewriting it for self-publishing on Draft2Digital here soon. This story portrays a designed environment, a bucolic dis-utopian future set in the Great Basin (which is now the Bonneville Inland Sea). I had a great time writing it, but my skills were pitiful — and […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1382 Suffer the children (1/5/2018) - Can you create characters to which your readers feel emotionally attached? What are the tricks to getting someone to care about your main character (or supporting characters)? This is the heart of good story telling. When you, as a reader, care about someone in the story, you emotionally invest yourself with the character’s plight, their […]
  • Writing: a fools errand (12/19/2017) - Are we fools to think that we can succeed at writing? With prompting from Tom-Being-Tom, and my own curiosity over the last two years I thought I’d throw together a spreadsheet that tried to rationalize the numbers involved with publishing a novel. You can find it linked here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1w2SSi5Mv17El3Q-kx2iAiauE1HQscSoqf3Zjl_A9aas/edit?usp=sharing Such a pursuit is fraught with […]
  • Phil Huston slapped me (12/18/2017) - Phil Huston slapped me. “Mole, you don’t need dialog tags to get people talkin’.” The slap was proverbial, but it hurt regardless. “But Phil, there are so many good speaking verbs I can use.” I sloshed more whiskey into mine and his glasses. “When the talking gets heavy and you need to I.D. someone, as […]
  • The guilt of not writing (12/14/2017) - Yes, writing ruined reading but, I’ve since found that I’ve been able to elevate my criteria for selecting reading material so I’m once again reading without too much zoom-out-to-editor-mode. But, now, when I find myself not attending to my endeavor of learning to write well, I feel guilty. If I let a weekend go by […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1359 (12/6/2017) - Continuing the sharing tradition. Shadow Shoals 1.3: https://goo.gl/YiY8Zr If you have beta reading you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to announce it. I’m happy to spend an hour or two in trade, periodically.
  • Writer’s Log: 1354 Narrative Trust (12/2/2017) - Editors cannot trust the author. Readers must trust the author. [This is a reblog of this same post from February — testing the date alteration in WordPress as an experiment…] Editors are there to seek out issues with the writing. They’re not there to get wrapped up with the story flow and character attachment. If […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1348 Intellectual Property (11/28/2017) - Do you feel compelled to sequester and safeguard your intellectual property? Say you write a compelling short story or novel. Are you afraid for its safety as you release it into the world to be beta read, edited, teased? Do you imagine someone stealing it, making it their own, publishing it under their own name? […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1333 (11/21/2017) - “Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?” I love Gene Wilder’s Willie Wonka. It is, in fact, my favorite movie. But of course, this quote comes from Shakespeare (whom I despise). “Tell me, where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?” — The Merchant of Venice [I don’t […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1301 (11/15/2017) - So, yes, I did have to splurge with an extra pint or two of writer’s blood squirted from my wrist-severed arteries at the wall of creativity. Ooh, does that look like Galadrial (Sissy Spacek style…?) And I would say that, looking back at the process that produced this exquisite expose’ of narrative bliss, those that […]
  • Writer’s Log: 1291 (11/12/2017) - I finished the 1st draft of my second novel yesterday. This one is 488% better than the last one (approximately). 70,000 words written on the weekends since April, 2017. That works out to about 1200 words per day. And since I wasn’t /that/ dedicated to the process, I’m sure the day count is fewer and […]
  • Writer’s Log: 852 (8/2/2017) - It’s been a year since I began my writing <quote>career</quote>. (tags intentional) What have I learned? Well, writing is hard. No, that’s not right. Writing WELL is hard. Writing is pretty easy. You just sit and pour your thoughts out and there they are, a scrambled mess. Writing well is a whole other recipe. So […]
  • Writing is War (6/2/2017) - How do you fight a war? (Wait, don’t answer that. Or rather, I’ll answer it for you.) You fight a war strategically and tactically. Strategy = planning, organizing, outlining, envisioning, setting broad goals, marking progress. Tactics = details in execution. In order to write well you must do both. You must strategize and engage tactically. […]
  • On passive vs active (5/28/2017) - It was going to be one helluva day. He was sitting on a bench in the early morning before class. She was standing next to the trashcan, unwrapping an energy-bar. The sky was blue, like a three year-old would paint it; the sun was just climbing over the university buildings. It was then he saw […]
  • Writer’s Log: 637 (5/28/2017) - In my 10,000 hour long task of learning to write I find myself struggling with the craft. And in that struggle, accept, I think, that because I struggle I’m getting better. Last summer I wrote a novel. 1000-3000 words a day for 70 days. POW! Done. Of course what followed was dozens of hours of […]
  • Writer’s Log: 588 Now vs Then (5/10/2017) - Flashbacks in narrative may be a necessary device to retain the attention of a reader. ~~~ Harold crept to the edge on hands and knees, slabs of shale cracking and shifting beneath him. He had to look, he had to know. The closer he got the more he could see; the base of the cliff, […]
  • Writing ruined reading (5/4/2017) - I’m trying to become a writer. Fiction novels and short stories. I wrote a novel last summer and the process was cathartic. But ruinous. What happened was that although my story held merit, the writing itself was sophomoric — as one might expect given my limited training. So, I endeavored to teach myself how to […]
  • The four act Bond (2/16/2017) - How to write a thrilling story. A typical Bond 007 style sequence: (jeopardy + conflict + risk = penalty/reward) + (jeopardy + conflict + risk = reward) + (jeopardy + conflict + risk = penalty) + big jeopardy + big conflict + big risk = final reward Some family, data or city is in jeopardy. […]


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