Writer’s Log

  • Apocalyptic Scenario 8.b (3/29/2020) - This is an experiment to see whether a Published Google Document can be easily embedded and read in a wordpress post:
  • Writer’s Log: 2184 Writer’s Workshop 2 (3/7/2020) - Yep, I’m organizing another workshop; getting together a bunch of folks who’ll have me drone on about this or that. I’ve already received numerous, secondary submissions which I’ve edited. Sheesh, to endure this whole thing a second time? Writers! Albeit, I’ve created another slide deck to dazzle them: GDocs to the rescue… (Realize, this deck … More Writer’s Log: 2184 Writer’s Workshop 2
  • Writer’s Log: 2182 (3/6/2020) - I’ve been reading a few writer’s craft books. One recommended by our favorite Writer’s Grinch, The Lie that tells a Truth. The other is the Twelve Key Pillars of Novel Construction (links below). The first so far, feels like being tormented by my personal writer’s cheerleading demon. “Write this, write that. Come on Duffy, get … More Writer’s Log: 2182
  • Writer’s Log: 2170 Workshop Review (2/6/2020) - My Writing Workshop was a success. Two hours, the first one with me power-driving through the strategic and tactical slides. Then an hour of presenting some of the participant’s work and walking through edits I’d made. No one wanted to go home despite the late hour. Writers, sheesh. They don’t know when to quit. I … More Writer’s Log: 2170 Workshop Review
  • Writer’s Log: 2166 Story Essential (1/24/2020) - Story Essential means every word counts. Every word moves your tale forward. Nothing is included just because you like the way it sounds, the way it feels—its literary bells chiming in the chapel. But here’s another way to look at this concept. It’s math, so brace yourself. The average page contains 200-250 words. We’ll settle … More Writer’s Log: 2166 Story Essential
  • Writer’s Log: 2163 Workshop slides (1/18/2020) - Writers Unite! Or, at least agree that we are never done perfecting our craft. Here’s the PowerPoint that I’ll be using as fodder for my assault against my Writer’s Workshop class: GDoc Slides I’ll continue to tweak it in the coming two weeks, but if you read it and want to add or correct something, … More Writer’s Log: 2163 Workshop slides
  • Writer’s Log: 2158 Writer’s Workshop (1/11/2020) - In my desire to learn to write well, I’ve decided that I’ve reached a point where my limited skills can be shared. So, I announced that I will be offering a Writer’s Workshop at my place of work; a couple of hours, after 5:00 pm on a weeknight within our same building (so that people … More Writer’s Log: 2158 Writer’s Workshop
  • Writer’s Log: 2144 (12/14/2019) - Phil Huston says, “Let your characters speak. Let them tell the story. Tune into the Cosmic Radio and dictate their words.” Many authors admit, that to write a story, a full and complete story, you must write swiftly, get it out and down on the page before you move on to other endeavors. Why? Because, … More Writer’s Log: 2144
  • Writer’s Log: Time & Calendars (11/30/2019) - Do your stories transpire in hours, days, weeks, months and years? Do your characters say, “give me a minute,” or “just a second?” Are your characters old if they have reached the “age” of 80 or more? Your answers might vary if you’ve every tried to write a science fiction or fantasy tale. Humanity’s time … More Writer’s Log: Time & Calendars
  • Writer’s Log: 2140 (11/23/2019) - Writing is caring. Writing is, above all, work. But in order to write you have to care, care enough to put pen to paper. Care enough about your characters, your story to do them justice—to write them real. But if you don’t care, about anything, that’s a problem. Recently, in a comment to TomBeingTom, I … More Writer’s Log: 2140
  • Writing is a river (10/6/2019) - We’re paddling downstream, to our right are boulders, sand bars and thickets full of snags. To our left, a mud bank that stretches on for miles. Sometimes the water is deep and dark, others times shallow. Sometimes it’s clear like glass or muddy and polluted. There are rapids and smooth stretches; occasionally a waterfall rumbles … More Writing is a river
  • Writer’s Log: 2130 (9/29/2019) - By quick reckoning, he figured this was his eighth jump. Driven to near insanity by the previous seven, and embroiled in the failed life of the last consciousness, a miserable life indeed, he’d expected oblivion. What else but oblivion—one doesn’t leap off a downtown Denver skyscraper expecting anything but. The fact that he could smell … More Writer’s Log: 2130
  • Writer’s Log: 2123 Willfulness (9/12/2019) - Back when I sucked at writing (much more than I do today), I was, what I’d call, story willful. I wrote with willful intent to put story to paper. And the stories flowed. (The writing was awful, but the stories were solid.) In trying to coerce better writing from my fingers, I’ve transitioned into technically … More Writer’s Log: 2123 Willfulness
  • Writer’s Log: 2113 (8/24/2019) - Back cover blurb: In the far reaches of the Arctic an artificial intelligence micro-ticks its time away. While it waits, it collects data from its few remaining brethren circling in geosynchronous orbit. The AI then processes the gigabytes of data downloaded from its brothers. Data that catalogs the demise of the human species that built … More Writer’s Log: 2113
  • Writer’s Log: 2112 Instinct (8/11/2019) - My latest WIP has failed to gel within my mind. I continued to force my main character into the lime-light. Time and again, the fellow held up his hands and shied away. Wrong protagonist. I knew this instinctively, but kept to my plans with the boy, Rogan, and his character arc. I thought I wanted … More Writer’s Log: 2112 Instinct
  • Writer’s Log: 2055 Needs vs wants (6/26/2019) - Every story told comes down to the most basic of themes: Characters attempting to fulfill wants and needs. (My wife actually personified the difference between a want and a need when she related her eighth Christmas telling her parents: I want a record player, but I need a wagon.) I went searching for inspiration along … More Writer’s Log: 2055 Needs vs wants
  • Writer’s Log: 2048 Disturbing Content (6/9/2019) - All of us can dream up some pretty ugly scenarios. Depraved, disturbing, deranged. I’d wager you could come up with some horrific scenes with some downright criminal activity. Stuff you’d feel you could never put to paper. So, how is it that some authors can actually write that stuff and not be thought of as … More Writer’s Log: 2048 Disturbing Content
  • I am so tense (6/2/2019) - What the hell does Past Simple / Past Perfect / Past Continuous even mean? Oh, I’ve done the research, and *know* what their usage is. But what sucky names. • Renny held the chicken to the block, waited for it to calm and swung the cleaver neatly removing its head. To me I’d call this … More I am so tense
  • Writer’s Log: 2041 Two Points (6/1/2019) - No, this is not a basketball post. (Yes, this is just two hours — subjective time — after my last Writer’s Log. And I really did spend the time on my writing.) Point 1) The sense that I’ve progressed comes with the trepidation that I may regress. Point 2) The just-plain-raw-excitement I feel when sitting … More Writer’s Log: 2041 Two Points
  • Writer’s Log: 2039 (5/30/2019) - No, I’m not quite back in the saddle. But, the nag I’m riding trods steady, buckless in fact. All I have to do is stay awake and vertical while she stumbles along, finds a creek, drinks her fill and gobbles some grass. Hopefully, both my ride and seat come together in a synchronous duet. Fuck, … More Writer’s Log: 2039
  • Good Villain: Good Hero (5/26/2019) - Less than a year ago I wrote this: Villains 1882 and promptly forgot about it. Age, decrepitude, life’s problems commandeering center stage — you know, excuses. Then, having begun YAAS (yet another apocalyptic story) I found myself stumbling along, hero in mind, a theme, a setting, an era but, I struggled to jell the story … More Good Villain: Good Hero
  • Writer’s Log: 2017 Jack (4/24/2019) - Writing is like: Riding a unicycle, on a guywire, juggling apples and alligators, while simultaneously, planning your next act, with seven other players, in a circus you’re designing for the next town, as you remain cycling to and froe, twisting a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue, which you spit into a glass … More Writer’s Log: 2017 Jack
  • Writer’s Log: 2014 Criticism (4/9/2019) - Take this you worm! Your writing lacks… Everything. You use too many adverbs. You use handicapped dialog tags. You coat your characters with pointless attributes. You head-hop. You write in passive mode. You inject author-speak. You divert the action with inane description. Jeezus-bloody-christ, but you wear me OUT with your failure to focus on your … More Writer’s Log: 2014 Criticism
  • Writer’s Log: 2013 Edge (4/7/2019) - You, the writer, are a razor slicing down through words to the tender page, leaving a gaping wound that is your story. Your blade can be dull and the cut you produce nothing but a bruise: bloated writing, wandering plot, pointless details, backstory, telling. Or your blade can be keen yielding a deep slice exposing … More Writer’s Log: 2013 Edge
  • Silver Gypsy Maiden (4/3/2019) - The cafeteria hushed as Jacob strolled through the double doors. He glared at the cheer-table occupants, rolled his tongue across his teeth and made for the corner of the room. His back smoldered from stares of contempt. With a tilted chin he let his backpack fall and hit the table, trays rattled. Bethany cursed, “Watch … More Silver Gypsy Maiden
  • Writer’s Log: 2007 The Spiral (3/10/2019) - [REF: my comment on Zarah’s blog] I’m of a mind that, like many endeavors, the process of learning to write is a spiral. Learn -> apply -> review … Hopefully, at each loop, one expands the spiral outward with the assembled knowledge and skill from the inner circles. For writing, the complexity of the inner … More Writer’s Log: 2007 The Spiral
  • Grave of a child (1/6/2019) - I’ve stopped reading and writing. My kindle is chock full of “To Read”s yet, there they sit. I’ve got a dozen story ideas listed on a whiteboard each one glaring down at me. My blog inbox is bulging. My outbox is crickets. My fingers creak as I write these words. In fact, penning this post … More Grave of a child
  • Telling is easy, showing is hard (10/22/2018) - Kill me now. Right fucking now. Alright, wait a moment, but just a moment. Have that shiv ready. I’ve said it before. As have a million bloody armchair writer/teachers. I’ve said it to myself a dozen-fifty times. The truth is: this is a truth that never stops being true. And you can beat your head … More Telling is easy, showing is hard
  • Writer’s Log: 1885 Pedalin’ (10/10/2018) - Back when I used to ride a street bike through the hills of Marin County. Pedalin’ I pedaled long, barbed fence after fence raced my fleeting form. I pedaled smooth, muscled metronome, one revolution per second. I pedaled steep, shady redwoods grew at impossible angles on the mountain side. I pedaled quick, a blue Mercedes … More Writer’s Log: 1885 Pedalin’
  • Writer’s Log: 1885 Floatin’ (10/9/2018) - Back when I used to strum a 6 string… Chords are: E then A (repeat), Chorus is B7, A, and E, then B7 — E Floatin’ Lazy we’re layin’, an afternoon snooze. Cast the balloon, our inflatable cruise, begins with a whisper, the touching of lips; sparkling smiles that launch fantasy ships. Floatin’, floatin’ with … More Writer’s Log: 1885 Floatin’
  • Writer’s Log: 1884 PBBFH (10/8/2018) - This is a bit I wrote at the end of a vicious emotional extraction, e.g. breakup, way back in my mid-twenties. PBBFH = Psychotic Blond Bitch From Hell ~~~ Twilight finds me dyin’ from the daggers thrown by you. Insinuation, lies, deceit flowin’ blood, I’ve paid my dues. I see a tear fall from a … More Writer’s Log: 1884 PBBFH
  • Writer’s Log: 1882 Villains (9/22/2018) - What makes the best stories? I would wager that the best stories have the best villains. Sure you need a good hero/protagonist — or at least an adequate one. But without the threat of a convincing villain, how can the conflict truly escalate? With this in mind I wonder if the approach I’ve been using … More Writer’s Log: 1882 Villains
  • Writer’s Log: 1881 (9/17/2018) - I picked back up on Shadow Shoals, another 10k words. Recently I tried to perform that character shift that I mentioned a few weeks ago: Start with a character’s persona on one side of a paradigm — evil say — and then try and convert that character to good. I had to be subtle, dropping … More Writer’s Log: 1881
  • One man band (9/11/2018) - In Pleasant Grove Utah, there is (was?) a small restaurant called One Man Band that served breakfast/lunch for a small Mormon town. On Sundays we’d go down there and have the place to ourselves. On Sundays, a slow day, there truly was just one guy doing everything: orders, cooking, billing, cleaning up. Slinging eggs and … More One man band
  • Writer’s Log: 1852, Time (9/3/2018) - * A Writer’s Level Four topic. I picked up the axe and swung it as if I could split the world. It arced through the air and plunged toward the white aquiline neck that lay outstretched before me. Only the day before, that same neck had twisted and her eyes had glared at me, her … More Writer’s Log: 1852, Time
  • Writer’s Log: 1846 (9/1/2018) - [RE: Iced, in reply to my editor…] This story is one where I’m trying to put my big-boy pants on and write to a bit higher age level. It’s still not fully “adult” yet, despite the cursing. There is one writing factor that I’ve recently been trying to internalize which I’ll be attempting to apply … More Writer’s Log: 1846
  • Writer’s Log: 1845 (8/30/2018) - I can fuckin’ write. (And so can you, probably.) Here’s the thing — just a short note — reading back stuff (buku stuff from my past, recent and ancient) I come across and find some turn of phrase, some eloquent flourish of words I may have (yeah it was me) penned in the past, and … More Writer’s Log: 1845
  • Writer’s Log: 1844 Level three (8/29/2018) - The problem with learning to write is there’s no set program. No prospectus. No itinerary. Every writer has to create and follow their own learning schedule. “Just keep writing,” they say. No, I’m afraid that doesn’t work. Not really. You could beat the crap out of a golf ball or flail the brush with your … More Writer’s Log: 1844 Level three
  • Elder centers: beta reader bonanza (8/14/2018) - I wonder if there are any elder care centers around that might entertain the idea of creating a beta-reader club. Here’s a population of folks with time on their hands. They have organized activities, book-o-the-month clubs, social gatherings and whatnot. They sound like the perfect victims for assaulting with the likes of a poorly written … More Elder centers: beta reader bonanza
  • The writer’s mind: a basket (8/7/2018) - The writer’s mind is like a basket. Initially, during the nascent years, the basket holds gross instructions and blatant rules: a. watch your use of passive. b. mind your use of filler words. c. adverbs – don’t! And so on and so forth. Later the basket fibers get infused with the earlier concepts which become … More The writer’s mind: a basket
  • Writer’s Log: 1821 (8/6/2018) - Two years into this writing effort and I’m just now starting to shift from tactics to strategy. I started writing Blue Across the Sea in the summer of 2016. I literally pumped it out in 90 days. I had no idea what I was doing aside from telling a story I’d had in my head … More Writer’s Log: 1821
  • Writer’s Log: 1790 Sentiment Cycle (7/10/2018) - Ready for maths? No? Well, how about pictures? Nice, Mole, what are we looking at? What you see before you is a word sentiment chart of The Gribble’s Eye plotted over the length of the story. This was created using some “R” code and the libraries offered by the professor behind http://www.archerjockers.com/ The pair of … More Writer’s Log: 1790 Sentiment Cycle
  • Writer’s Log: 1782 Cyclical story structure (7/1/2018) - Last night I watched Brandon Mull’s #9 video on youtube (he subbed for Sanderson). Mull is eccentric and idiosyncratic (to say the least). But his thoughts (once they come out) were spot on. From them I designed my own writing organization philosophy. (To be honest, Sanderson also poses similar story topologies.) It goes like this: … More Writer’s Log: 1782 Cyclical story structure
  • Writer’s Log: 1751 Writing Wrong (6/5/2018) - No, not righting wrongs. I’ll leave that to the characters of our stories. What I’m referring to is practicing the craft — but doing so, incorrectly. We all know, a “writer writes” (both Billy and Danny say this in the movie), but what if what you write is wrong? Poor form? Grammatically, technically, logically, or … More Writer’s Log: 1751 Writing Wrong
  • 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: A Paleo Friendship #1: https://goo.gl/Jsj7nn A Paleo Friendship #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 … More Writer’s Log: 1734 – If only…
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1732 Neil Gaiman
  • 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 … More To live is to lie
  • 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 … More The Writer’s Stew
  • 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 … More A themed universe
  • 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 … More Club Internet
  • 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 … More 100% of you are bloggers
  • 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 … More I self published a novel
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1570
  • 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, … More Writer’s Log: 1562 Golf
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1523 To all new authors
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1522 Staying on the Clock
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1488 Nuances of clause placement
  • 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 … More Versus: The love I remember
  • 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 … More Wax on, wax off
  • 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, … More Learning to unwrite, writing to unlearn
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1401
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1400 what we remember
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1382 Suffer the children
  • 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 … More Writing: a fools errand
  • 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 … More Phil Huston slapped me
  • 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 … More The guilt of not writing
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1354 Narrative Trust
  • 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? … More Writer’s Log: 1348 Intellectual Property
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1333
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1301
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 1291
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 852
  • 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. … More Writing is War
  • On passive vs active (5/28/2017) - [Comments disabled – this is a spam magnet for some reason.] 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 … More On passive vs active
  • 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 … More Writer’s Log: 637
  • 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, … More Writer’s Log: 588 Now vs Then
  • 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 … More Writing ruined reading
  • 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. … More The four act Bond