The Journal, Sunday, 9/25

Hey Folks,

(The following two paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

Thanks for your patronage in following my ramblings. Even if you visit less often than every day, please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are the reason I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

I trust that I awoke in one of the more beautiful spots on Earth, about 500 feet above the Gila River about 20 miles north/northeast of Lordsburg NM.

Probably last evening my buddy and I set up camp, then smoked cigars, talked writing, and generally slathered philosophy all over the southwest desert.

Yep, it all worked out that way. I did little other than read while we were out there. I’m back at home now. Taking the rest of the day to recuperate. Back at it tomorrow.

Topic: More Real Dialogue Tips

In the previous post I mentioned the nuances of the stuff between the quotation marks. Here’s a second installment on dialogue tips. This is all about the nuances. If you have questions about any of these, please ask in the comments section. Thanks!

Well-written dialogue should

  • be colorful, especially the dialogue of flat or secondary characters, and even more especially if the flat or secondary character is used to foreshadow a later event. Strive to write each line of dialogue so well that the reader will remember it.
    • why? because flat or secondary characters, if they’re in a story at all, are there to serve a specific purpose, like foreshadowing for example. They or what they say should be memorable.
  • differentiate the characters from each other and enable the reader to identify the same characters in different situations. (A character will act and speak differently in different situations.)
  • have the rhythms, the immediate give and take, of real speech. Also, the use of contractions is important, just as it is in everyday speech, unless your character is a librarian who Speaks. Very. Succinctly. And. Precisely. With. No. Contractions.
    • I don’t recommend having a character like that. If you do, I recommend letting her hang around only as long as is essential to the story.
  • be emotion-laden, both on and beneath the surface.
  • reveal the character’s relationship to the various people with whom he or she talks.
  • give the reader a sense of time and place.
  • reveal the character’s reaction to his surroundings and to the other characters with whom he shares the scene.

General dialogue techniques

  • Use dialogue to reveal the character of the character — who the character really is, how he feels about a particular situation or another character — not always with what is said, but with how it is said, and often with what is not said.
    • “You lied to me! You said you were going for a drive.”
    • “C’mon, Baby. I didn’t say I was going alone.”
  • Allow characters to interrupt each other. This keeps the reader involved in the conversation, as if she’s eavesdropping. (To form an em dash to show interrupted dialogue, use either two unspaced hyphens — like this — or an em dash — like this. Do not use an elipsis… unless dialogue trails off or a character’s speech is halting. See examples above.)
  • Allow characters to answer a question with a question. This technique is excellent for subtly setting up, or hinting at, a conflict.
    • “If you knew she’d be there, why did you go?”
    • “What difference does it make who was there?”
  • Use ragged, non-linear dialogue. Use sentence fragments. The most common is the sentence with the implied you or I as the subject.
    • “Stop!” “Don’t even think about it!” “C’mon, give me the gun.”
  •  Avoid using substitutes for “said” in tag lines. (You’ve heard this before, yes?) “He said” or “She said” is usually the best choice except when the tag line can be eliminated in short passages. (The definition of “short passage” is left to the discretion of the writer.) Sometimes eliminating the tag lines will cause the reader to pay closer attention to the story. (Witness Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.”)

Next time we’ll discuss the use of verbs, especially action verbs. They are essential to the wellbeing of your story.

Of Interest

Be sure to check Dean’s site.

You might also want to scroll back through a few posts here and check some of the other sites I’ve mentioned recently. I’m not sure why they make it difficult (or impossible) to subscribe.

Today’s Writing

I’ll resume this segment when I get back.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 560 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 560

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 18720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 210930

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 788524

The Journal, Saturday, 9/24

Hey Folks,

(The following two paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

Thanks for your patronage in following my ramblings. Even if you visit less often than every day, please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are the reason I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

I trust that I awoke in one of the more beautiful spots on Earth, about 500 feet above the Gila River about 20 miles north/northeast of Lordsburg NM.

Probably last evening my buddy and I set up camp, then smoked cigars, talked writing, and generally slathered philosophy all over the southwest desert.

Back on Monday, 9/26.

Topic: Real Dialogue Tips

Because dialogue comes directly from the character’s mouth to the reader’s ear, no other part of your story is more intimate with the reader. No other part of the story will do more to engage the reader directly.

Dialogue dialogue consists of three elements: two parts narrative and one part nuance. The narrative parts are tag lines and brief descriptive narrative. Nuance is composed of the subtleties of implication. What your character says is never more important than how she says it, as dictated by your use of punctuation, word choice, and sentence structure.

Tag Lines

The purpose of tag lines—Tag lines exist ONLY to let the reader know which character is speaking. (Some call these narrative beats.) They do not stand alone. They consist of either the character’s name or the appropriate personal pronoun and a simple intransitive verb that indicates utterance. The best verb to use is “said.”

More exciting tag line verbs—If someone tells you to use more exciting tag line verbs they don’t know what they’re talking about. Always using “he said” or “Susan said” is boring, but that’s a good thing. Tag lines should be very brief and boring so the reader can skip quickly over them and get back to what matters. An “interesting” tag line will pull the reader from the story line.

Reverse constructions—There is never a good reason to use a reverse construction (verb first) in a tag line, said Harvey. Again, that calls attention to the tag line. And again, the tag line exists only to let the reader know which character is talking. It doesn’t set mood, tone, or any of those other literary terms.

Punctuation with tag lines—When the tag line occurs before the sentence, or when it occurs after a sentence that would normally end with a period, the tag line is always attached to the sentence with a comma.

Brief Descriptive Narrative Passages

Descriptive narrative passages sometimes are confused with tag lines, but the key word here is descriptive. Also, BDNs stand alone. They are complete sentences, separate of the line of dialogue. The descriptive narrative passage enables the reader to see a bit of the scene.

Use action verbs in descriptive narrative passages. When you use action verbs, you will automatically use fewer adjectives and adverbs. Any unnecessary adjectives and adverbs will fall away of their own accord.

Because it will set the tone or mood or voice of the dialogue to come, the brief descriptive narrative passage should appear before the dialogue:

An impish smile creased her lips. “Almost finished there?” (This way we see the smile and hear her tone as she speaks.)

Most often, if the BDN appears after the dialogue, the reader will back up and re-read the dialogue with the new information in mind. This is an interruption in the flow of the reading, and every interruption is a chance to stop reading your story or book.

Brief interruptive narrative passages are used in the midst of dialogue to enhance the rhythm or to give the reader a brief glimpse of a changing setting. Dialogue is wonderful but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

In this excerpt from “Mama’s Taste in Men,” a short story, you’ll find no tag lines at all and only necessary brief descriptive narratives. Study it to see why the BDNs are where they are:

My fist relaxed and I reached for Joe Ray’s hand. “Mean it or not, you shouldn’t say bad things about my mama.”

He took my hand and I helped him to his feet. “I just said she had bad taste in men,” he said, wiping cow spit off his face with one hand and dusting off his coveralls with his hat. “Besides, it was only a joke.”

“Well, some things you just don’t joke about. Besides, that ain’t exactly what you said. You said if Mama’s taste for men was in her mouth, her breath would smell like dung.”

“That was the joke part.”

“Well, in the future, keep your stupid sense of humor to yourself.” I thumped his chest with my forefinger. “Else you could wind up covered with cow slobber. Besides, Jake’s okay. He just ain’t got no nose holes.”

“Nostrils.”

“What?”

Sam spoke up. “Nostrils. Nose holes are called nostrils.”

“How do you know?’

Lester, who generally knows what everybody knows, put in his two cents. “Everybody knows that, Vernon. Nostrils is short for nose holes.”

I snorted. “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”

“Maybe dumb and maybe not so dumb, but it’s true all the same.”

Lester was tired of arguing, so Sam closed in for the kill. The Broden Brothers Tag Team. “We’ll wait ’til school and ask Miss Durb. She knows all about such things.”

That was my cue to end it. “Fine. We’ll ask Miss Durb. But school ain’t ’til Monday and Mama’s wedding is tomorrow. So we’re on truce ’til Monday.” I stuck out my hand, palm down, offering them the sign of the truce. “Agreed?”

And the nuances of dialogue? That’s just how your character delivers the part within the quotation marks. The voice should be unique from one character to another. It’s whether the character says “Do you want to?” or “Do y’wanna?” or “You wanna?” It’s whether the character speaks tersely or succinctly or vaguely.

The character should always speak the way a REAL person (of the same gender, same race or ethnicity and same education level) from the same area in the same situation would speak. Not complicated at all, is it? (grin)

Use tag lines only when it’s absolutely necessary to let the reader know which character is speaking.

Use brief descriptive narratives (introductory or interruptive) to enhance the scene for the reader.

Follow these brief tips and your dialogue will be miles ahead.

Of Interest

Again, be sure to check Dean’s site.

You might also want to scroll back through a few posts here and check some of the other sites I’ve mentioned recently. I’m not sure why they make it difficult (or impossible) to subscribe.

Today’s Writing

I’ll resume this segment when I get back.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 970 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 970

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 18160
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 210370

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 787964

The Journal, Friday, 9/23

Hey Folks,

(The following two paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

Thanks for your patronage in following my ramblings. Even if you visit less often than every day, please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are the reason I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

I trust that I awoke in one of the more beautiful spots on Earth, about 500 feet above the Gila River about 20 miles north/northeast of Lordsburg NM.

Probably last evening my buddy and I set up camp, then smoked cigars, talked writing, and generally slathered philosophy all over the southwest desert.

Back on Monday, 9/26.

Note: Because these are placeholder posts, I thought I’d run some old topics I know very well. These are basics, but a good review never killed anyone. Hope the help in some way.

Topic: Copyright Schmopyright

No, I’m not saying copyright isn’t important. I’m saying that, like global warming, it exists without you doing anything at all. Let’s get right to it.

I received an email from a former editing client. The subject line was “intellectual property?” His entire email read

Do you know anything about intellectual property rights and trademarks?

The title of my book was part of the book’s Library of Congress copyright some ten years ago. If a company wanted to use the phrase for commercial purposes—say, “[It was a sentence, not a phrase, and I deleted it to maintain the anonymity of the former client]” in response to something [they were developing]—would I have any intellectual property rights with respect to this phrase?

Or could it be trademarked?

Instead of inserting only my very brief response, since I decided to use this as a blog post that others might find cynical, humorous, and maybe even informative and useful, I also decided to enhance my response a bit. So here’s what I told him, plus some other stuff:

First, I am not an attorney or lawyer or legal counselor or other monkey pro tem of regalia. I don’t pretend to be, and I don’t even play one on television.

What I’m about to tell you is true, if perhaps a tad snarky. But that doesn’t mean someone with more money than sense couldn’t use the courts to twist it all out of shape and make your life a living H E Double Toothpicks. Now to the guy’s questions…

The fact is, your work is copyrighted, meaning it’s recognized the world over as your intellectual property, the moment it’s in fixed form (manuscript, analog or digital recording, whatever).

The copyright applies only to the work as a whole, and you cannot copyright the title. (Let me say that part again. You cannot copyright a title.)

Your work is copyrighted even if you don’t register the copyright with the copyright office.

Also note that the Library of Congress has absolutely nothing to do with it. The title of your book was and is part of the overall work, and the overall work was and is copyrighted in your name.

But it wasn’t “the book’s Library of Congress copyright.” There’s no such thing. If you believe obtaining a Library of Congress Catalogue Number (LCCN) registered your copyright, well, it didn’t.

Back when I started writing, as soon as I finished writing ANYTHING, I’d race down to the post office, pick up a copyright registration form, fill it out, and mail it along with a $25 check and one copy of the completed work to the copyright office.

All of that is completely unnecessary, and I suspect it costs a good deal more now too.

If you insist on registering your copyright with the copyright office, I suggest you do so once a year.

For example, gather everything you’ve written from January 1 through December 31 in a given year and register it for one fee under the title Literary Works of [Insert Your Name], whatever year it is.

Is that legal?

Absolutely. In fact, if I wanted to register my copyrights beginning right now (which I don’t), I would fill out one form and compile one massive document titled Literary Works of Harvey Stanbrough, 1957–2016, and send it off, still under that one fee.

If I were paranoid enough, I might even add a picture or my Social Security number or something to be sure some other Harvey Stanbrough couldn’t pop out of the woodwork and claim ownership of my work. (After all, my work is so very goshdarn special that simply everyone who’s anyone in the world of literature is falling all over themselves wanting to claim it as their very own!)

Then I could start fresh with 2017, 2018, et cetera.

However, please note that I no longer register my work with the Copyright Office because, in my opinion, doing so is a waste of money and time. It’s also a waste of my well-groomed and highly valued ego.

That brings us to the Library of Congress and the vaunted LCCN.

The LCCN—Library of Congress Catalogue Number, which 99.83652987% of novice authors fret over (a recent study estimates that 99.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot)—doesn’t even ensure that your work is in the actual Library of Congress.

Most novice writers, from what I’ve been able to discern, believe they either “have” to have an LCCN or that having one will somehow cause their work to be enshrined in the Library of Congress. Neither case is true.

Requesting and purchasing (yep, it costs money) an LCCN only ensures a listing in their catalogue, which again does absolutely nothing to benefit the author or the work.

For all I know, they might even take your money and say your work is listed in their catalogue when it actually isn’t. Who knows? Have you ever seen an actual copy of the Library of Congress Catalogue? In fact, if any of you have acquired (bought) an LCCN, do they even tell you that your book is now listed in the Catalogue? I don’t know, but I’ll bet not.

As I mentioned earlier, you cannont copyright a title.

Now, you can TRADEMARK your title if you want to, if it hasn’t already been trademarked, but I understand registering a trademark costs a boatload of money. To research the possibility, I recommend the second link below (if it’s still valid). They’ll have all the information you’re looking for.

Okay, that last paragraph was what I actually told the guy who asked my advice, except that I told him to just key in “register a copyright” and “register a trademark” (at different times) into a search engine like Yahoo or Google. Doing so should lead you to a government site.

I searched for those terms myself in preparation for this post, and I suspect there are many scam outfits out there who are ready and anxious to take your hard-earned cash and then tell you that your copyright or trademark has been registered. I suggest you stay away from all sources other than the actual federal government websites.

Here are a couple of links for you:

US Copyright Office http://www.copyright.gov/

US Patent and Trademark Office http://www.uspto.gov/

Okay, I guess that’s about it for this time.

Of Interest

Be sure to check Dean’s site.

You might also want to scroll back through a few posts here and check some of the other sites I’ve mentioned recently. I’m not sure why they make it difficult (or impossible) to subscribe.

Today’s Writing

I’ll resume this segment when I get back.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1170 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 1170

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 209400

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 786994

The Journal, Thursday, 9/22

Hey Folks,

(The following two paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

Thanks for your patronage in following my ramblings. Even if you visit less often than every day, please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are the reason I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

Well, yesterday first, I guess. After I shut down here, I had a rough time just watching a ball game.

So I compiled, formatted, created a cover and prepped my third collection of 10 stories. It’s titled “PSYCH!(otic?)(osis?)” Then I uploaded it to Amazon, D2D and Smashwords.

Then I saw that “S,F&H” had some autovetter problems on Smashwords, so I redid that one and uploaded it again too. Not a big deal. Took about a half-hour.

Then I hopped into my go-buggy and drove to the PO to pick up a brand new shipment of cigars. I am in hebben.

You can get “PSYCH!(otic?)(osis?)” at Smashwords or at Amazon. (grin)

Looks like I’ll be leaving late this afternoon for the camping trip instead of tomorrow morning. Yay! I’ll be taking along my ‘puter just in case.

So today I’ll put together a few of topics for you for today, tomorrow, Saturday and maybe Sunday.

I also plan to compile, format, create a cover and distribute a 5-story collection of western stories today, including the novelette, “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen.” In fact, the theme of that one suits the collection, so I’ll call the collection “Turning Points.”

Topic: The Only Five Comma Rules You’ll Ever Need

This is gonna sound WAY oversimplified, especially given the nineteen PAGES of comma rules in the HarBrace College Handbook, but it’s true. If you use these five rules, you can’t go wrong:

1. Never put a comma between a subject and its verb or between a verb and its object.

Also you must realize that a subject may be compound, as in “John and Ray went to the store and bought a television and a radio.”

In the example, “John and Ray” is the subject. “Went and bought” is the verb. “A television and a radio” is the object.

Of course, you can also add to the size of the subject, verb or object and you can detract from the size of the subject verb or object.

2. When a subordinate clause introduces an independent clause, separate the two with a comma.

If you aren’t sure about clauses, Rule #2 is an example of itself, as is this explanation.

A clause has a subject and a verb but doesn’t stand alone, meaning it doesn’t make sense by itself.

In Rule 2, “clause” is the subject and “introduces” is the verb, but “when” keeps the clause from making sense by itself. Therefore it is “subordinate.”

3. Do NOT use a comma to separate the clauses when a subordinate clause follows an independent clause.

In Rule #3, “Do not use a comma” is an independent clause and the remainder is a dependent clause. This rule, again, is an example of itself.

As an interesting side note, the subject in Rule 3 is the implied “you.” The verb is “use.”

4. Use a comma before the appropriate coordinating conjunction to join two related sentences.

The coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Remember the acronym FANBOYS. My female students used to love that acronym.

By the way, you very seldom need a comma AFTER a coordinating conjunction, although that is a bad habit that some folks have developed. (See Rule 5.)

5. Trite as it sounds, when you are in doubt about whether to use a comma, leave it out.

Believe it or not, most comma problems arise from the insertion of misused commas, not from their omission.

When I was teaching grunt English in college, I told my student I would take off 1/2 point for every misused comma or for every comma that was omitted but should have been there. Very soon I was getting perfect papers. (grin)

That’s it! The five rules of comma use. And really, there are only three.

The first one is necessary, numbers 2 and 3 are the same thing in reverse, and Rule 4 is necessary depending (in fiction) on how you want the sentence to flow.

And of course, the last one isn’t so much a rule as a warning. (grin)

Of Interest

I don’t remember whether I’ve mentioned this before, but successful indie author Edita A. Petrick writes a Marketing Blog that might interest you.

Specifically, check 10 Reasons Why a Book is Not Selling. And there are other good topics there.

Since I’ll be gone, watch for my Free Short Story of the Week tomorrow. It should post live on my website a little after 7 a.m. Arizona time. Or if you’re subscribed, it should come to your inbox at around 5 p.m. Arizona time.

The Day

Rolled out a little before 4 after I stayed up to watch the pilot for Designated Survivor last night. I think that’s gonna be a good show. Reckon I’ll have one late night a week for awhile.

I love psychological stuff, by which I mean when a writer gets deep in the characters’ heads. And this seems a very well-written show.

9:50, just finished uploading my fourth collection in three days (although this one’s only five stories) to D2D, Amazon and Smashwords. Feels good to have those stories out there.

11:05, just finished packing, in case we head out camping today.

Just got an email. We’re heading out today, so I’m gonna post this and then get a few ready for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

See you on Monday.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 860 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 860

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16020
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 208230

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 785824

The Journal, Wednesday, 9/21

Hey Folks,

(The following two paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

Thanks for your patronage in following my ramblings. Even if you visit less often than every day, please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are why I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

I have a camping trip coming up on Friday or sooner. So there will be a placeholder post here for whatever days I’m gone.

Okay, as I promised yesterday, if you enjoy collections of short fiction, you can get Mobster Tales at Smashwords or Amazon.

Likewise, you can get S, F & H at Smashwords and Amazon.

Topic: Why to Buy Ebooks from Smashwords

First of all, no matter where you buy your fiction, especially if you buy MY fiction, thank you.

Second of all, I’m not getting a kickback of any kind from Smashwords. Darn it. (grin)

I recommend purchasing ebooks from Smashwords for four main reasons. Please note that none of these are opinion. They are fact:

1. Once you’ve bought an ebook at Smashwords, you may download it in any electronic format the author has made available: .mobi (Kindle), .epub (Nook/Apple), .pdf, .lrf (Sony Reader), .pdb (Palm Doc), .txt (plain text) and .html (online reader).

2. You may download the formats at any time. You may download one or more formats at the time of your initial purchase, or you may return and download one or more formats later. This is especially handy if someone surprises you with a new reader that takes a different format.

By comparison, at Amazon, you can download only Kindle files. At Barnes & Noble or Apple, only .epub files and so on.

3. Although Smashwords does not currently sell paper copies, they DO offer authors the opportunity to list where the title is available in paperback if that’s your preferred reading method.

So Smashwords will actually direct you to other sales venues where paperbacks are available. They aren’t greedy enough (as is Amazon) to force you to choose between buying from them or nowhere.

4. Finally — and this is especially important if you’re also a writer — on titles offered directly for sale on Smashwords, the author receives the lion’s share of royalties.

One lady, awhile back, said, “I would buy from Smashwords, but they require me to open an account with them.”

Yes, they do. So does Amazon, B&N, and anyone else from whom you’re going to purchase pretty much anything. So I really don’t see the problem here.

You’re spending the same 5 or 10 dollars no matter where you buy. Unless you’re into punishing the author for attempting to entertain you, why would you buy ebooks anywhere but Smashwords?

Okay, end of lecture.

Now, IF you enjoy my work in particular, I recommend you buy direct from me, either by emailing me at harveystanbrough@gmail.com or by visiting StoneThread Publishing. We offer a pretty good discount on any titles ordered direct from StoneThread (or from me). That includes ebooks AND any that are currently available in paper.

You can’t get a better deal anywhere.

Of Interest

Dean’s Back to Regular Fun is pretty good. If you scroll down to The Writing, you’ll see that once again he appears to have been hiding in my closet. Eerie.

The Day

Rolled out a little after 4 (ugh) and was outside by 4:30. I spent a couple hours updating the StoneThread Publishing Facebook page and then decided to give the StoneThread website a similar facelift. Odd how quickly I can become lost in the design process so that I don’t notice time passing. (grin)

Around 8:30 I started looking around the web and found Dean’s coming back to the writing life. Also put on a couple loads of laundry, later folded and put away the first while the second is in the dryer.

1:45, well, I’ve decided this is gonna be another non-writing day. I wrote a couple of openings, but neither one felt like it wanted to run.

It’s about 1:45. I’m gonna close this out and post it.

Back tomorrow.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 600 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 600

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15160
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 207370

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 784964

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/20

Hey Folks,

(The following few paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for the next few days. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

If you take a few minutes each day to read these ramblings, thank you. Even if you’re only glancing at the Topic and Of Interest section. That’s fine. That’s what it’s for.

If you’re only opening and reading this every every few days or maybe once a week, thank you for that too. But please visit the website and scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are why I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

I plan to make this an admin day, mainly putting together those collections I talked about yesterday. I also plan to format and upload a new version of The Wes Crowley Saga so it will include the tenth novel, The Right Cut. Currently it contains only the first nine.

Someone bought the Saga yesterday, and I feel bad that tney didn’t get the tenth novel with it. (In fact, I’ll probably do that before I beging compiling and formatting the collections.)

I started with admin on my websites, tweaking them a bit. At HarveyStanbrough.com I revised the Novels page. Now The Wes Crowley Series cover leads to a new page on that site. All the Crowley Series novels are on that page. I also added the No Kind’a Time cover to the Novels page.

On StoneThreadPublishing.com I added the No Kind’a Time cover to the Novels page too, then added a page for the book itself. Finally I tweaked the appearance of the Novels page on both sites. I hope you’ll check it out.

Topic: Pricing and Various Sales Venues

It really is attrocious what Amazon does to authors regarding royalties. This problem came fully home to me today (again) when I uploaded the new version of The Wes Crowley Saga (10 full novels in one book) to Amazon and Smashwords.

At Amazon, to get a 70% royalty, a book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99. All other prices glean the author a 35% royalty.

The Wes Crowley Saga is priced at $19.99. (Ten novels for $20 ain’t that bad, ya’ll.)

From Amazon, for each $19.99 sale, I get $6.99. Amazon keeps $13.

From Smashwords, for each $19.99 sale, I get $16.24. Almost $10 more. Can you believe that? Smashwords keeps $2.87 and charges a “billing fee” of 88 cents. Of course, that’s for sales directly from Smashwords.

But from Premium Catalog Retailers (B&N, Kobo, and about 30 others), for each $19.99 sale I still make $11.99. The retailers get $6 and Smashwords gets $2.

And what empowers Amazon to do this? Authors who publish through KDP Select, the exclusive program Amazon set up.

When you publish through KDP Select, not only do you cut off those readers who prefer to purchase from other retailers and read .epub files, but you aren’t even allowed to publish and sell YOUR book on your own website. Did you know that?

Oh, and just in case you wondered, yes, I could lower the price for The Wes Crowley Saga (remember, this is ten complete novels) on Amazon to $9.99 in order to take advantage of the 75% royalty rate. And I’d actually make a few tenths of a cent LESS per sale ($6.993) than I make at the 35% rate for $19.99 ($6.9965).

This is the same reason you can purchase my short stories (from 2000 to 7000 words) at Smashwords and all other e-retailers (around 50 of them worldwide) for only $1.99, but if you go to Amazon the same story will cost you $2.99.

Amazon is a business. I understand that. But their devaluing of authors and their works really chaps my butt. Please PLEASE never cave to Amazon’s KDP Select program. If you do, you’ll add one more straw to the problem.

I’m considering “unpublishing” The Wes Crowley Saga from Amazon altogether and doing a blitz advertisement sending Kindle owners to Smashwords to purchase the .mobi (Kindle) file there. The only reason I haven’t done so thus far is because I don’t want to cut Amazon buyers out either.

Maybe I should write a nonfiction book titled Why I No Longer Distribute and Sell Through Amazon and then offer it for sale ONLY on Amazon. (grin) I wonder whether they would even allow it.

Conundrums, conundrums….

Of Interest

Nada that I could find.

The Day

Rolled out a little before 3 thanks to my little kitten. She was bouncing hard on my legs, then whispering “Da” in her little kit voice. (grin)

Outside by 3:15 and working on the websites, punctuated by a few trips to retrieve the little girl from outside the fence. She does race in on her own, though, when an owl screeches or when a song dog wails.

5:45, checked around the web for items of interest, checked Facebook, fixed a cuppa coffee for my bride.

6:15, started formatting a new version of The Wes Crowley Saga.

8:30, FINALLY got it done and uploaded to Smashwords, Amazon and D2D. Then I wrote the Topic above.

9:05, moving inside to work. I don’t have to be able to see the screen all that clearly when I’m writing, but a bland screen is no friend when I have to pay attention to detail while compiling things.

12:50, wow, I forgot how much work it was to compile a collection of short stories. (grin) Just finished the first one. I’ll stick to my plan to take a day “off” today and do at least one more.

But beginning tomorrow, I’ll write first and do these things when I have more time.It’s better inside anyway where I can see the computer screen more easily.

3:10, two collections down, two to go. I’ll do the others later though. Doing even two in a day is grueling. Ugh.

I’ll announce the two I got done today in tomorrow’s Journal. Both are 10-story collections, and I priced each one at $5.99, so about $1.10 per story. Cheap, eh? (grin)

Calling it a day. No fiction writing today, but I got a ton of stuff done. Back tomorrow.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 920 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 920

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14560
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 206770

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 784364

The Journal, Monday, 9/19

Hey Folks,

(The following few paragraphs will be the intro to this newsletter for a week. So you daily readers, for the time being, please bear with me and skip down to the next bold heading, Today.)

If you take a few minutes each day to read these ramblings, thank you. Even if you’re only glancing at the Topic and Of Interest section. That’s fine. That’s what it’s for.

If you’re only opening and reading this every other day or every few days or maybe once a week, thank you for that too. But please visit the website and scroll back through what you’ve missed. At least scroll back through the Topic and Of Interest sections since you last visited.

If you don’t, you’re missing some very good stuff. And You are why I bother to write the topics and list the Of Interest stuff in the first place.

Today

Today will be a non-writing “admin” day. I just realized I have 40+ short stories that have not been collected. So today I plan to make up at least 4 collections, complete with covers, distribution, etc.

Why? Because short stories don’t sell all that well. But collections sell fairly well, only slightly less well than novels.

While I’m at it, I’ll also work up a few new promotional blurbs to stick in the back of those collections. (grin)

UPDATE: Nope, not a non-writing day. See The Day below. (grin)

Topic: Using Italic Attribute in Fiction

This is a bit of an embarrassment for me.

I used to actively teach that the writer should use italics to indicate the characters’ unspoken thoughts.

When I was actively editing for other writers, I applied that erroneous rule. One time, I even passed up doing an edit for one writer because she adamantly refused to allow me to change characters’ unspoken thoughts from normal typeface to italics. I felt like she was paying me to not do my job, and I’ve never been bent that direction.

At any rate, I was wrong.

I sent a short story to Dean Wesley Smmith one time as an assignment for one of the online workshops I took.

He wrote back that he very much enjoyed the story, but had two complaints.

“Why the italics?” he wrote. “And what’s with the ‘he thought’ tags?”

I explained to him that I use italics to indicate unspoken thought. Sentences contained within quotation marks were spoken thought (dialogue or monologue) and any text that was not either contained within quotation marks or set in italics was narrative.

His only response was, “Well, do what you want, but the italics jerk me right out of the story.”

Wow. The one big overall major concept I’ve always talked about — the one concept that underlies all other writing concepts — is that the writer must never do ANYthing to interrupt the reading of his or her own work.

And here was a writer I highly respect telling me that my use of italics pulled him out of the story.

Now Dean has well over 200 traditionally published novels and around a hundred independently published NEW novels (in other words, not including older novels on which rights have reverted and he’s now republishing as an indie publisher). Oh, and several hundred short stories.

I mean WOW.

And an epiphany hit:

Whether or not you use italics attribute (other than for emphasis) has absolutely no effect on the story itself. So it can’t help, but by disrupting the READING of the story, it can do great harm.

Now I had already decided to trust DWS. He wasn’t trying to convince me of anything. He just wrote, “[T]he italics jerk me right out of the story.” The day after he wrote that, I stopped overusing italics.

But I started rummaging through the works of other writers I respect, older and more recent.

In every book, I found italics used, sparingly, to indicate emphasis. Never, not one time, did I find a successful long-term writer using italics to indicate unspoken thought.

Then it happened.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m currently reading Under the Dome, a novel by arguably my favorite novelist, Stephen King.

And he uses italics not only to indicate unspoken thought, but also over-uses it (in my opinion) to emphasize entire sentences of dialogue when the character is speaking in an excited tone.

For example, one of his characters might put his hands around his mouth and yell, “No! Get back! Don’t go over there! It’s electrified!”

The sentence would be italics AND he would use the exclamation points (arguably correctly to indicate, you know, exclamations).

And every time I encounter it, that use of italics pulls me out of the story.

I’ve already learned a great deal more about writing than I knew just two days ago, only from reading this novel. And his overuse of italics is the only negative thing I’ve learned.

Readers are intelligent enough to know, almost immediately, whether a sentence that is not contained within quotation marks is narrative or the characters’ unspoken thought. You don’t have to tell them with the use of italics. And you might run them off.

While I’m on the topic of things that pull readers out of a story, S. King, at least in this book, also uses bold font attribute when he writes a single letter or when the narrator or character reads a sign.

For example, “The car approached the place where the road T‘ed” or The sign read Dairyman’s Dry Cleaners.

Not kidding. And that use of bold attribute also pulls me out of the story. It’s just distracting and annoying.

Does it make me stop reading? Well, yes, but only momentarily. The story is good enough that I doubt anything could cause me to stop reading completely. But it does make reading the story a lot more difficult.

My point here (aside from explaining why I converted from Saul to Paul regarding italics) is that some otherwise excellent writers will occasionally make a booboo.

So don’t take everything you see for gospel just because a famous (to you) writer does it.

I seriously hope this helps. And yes, this is part of what will be a chapter in Punctuation for (Fiction) Writers.

I’ll create a cover etc. for “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen” this morning first, then maybe do a little reading.

In the past, I’ve been interested in Action/Adventure, Mystery, and Romance, not so much as genres but mixed into whatever else I was writing. King’s Under the Dome is (so far) strong in tension and action/adventure and is leading me to be more interested in that as a genre. Though I will continue to play to my strength (and my overriding interest) in writing psychological suspense.

The mental stuff, getting deep inside the mind of the antagonist and the protagonist, down to the background and motivations of the characters, is especially interesting to me as a writer.

I think I enjoy that process (mind-delving) so much because it seems an exploration that can never be exhausted.

Of Interest

If you’ve thought about getting my SF novel The Advent of Simon Stark but haven’t yet, the folks at BundleRabbit decided to make it and 9 other novels available in a boxed set for one low price.

Even though the bundle is long-since over, you can still get $52 worth of great SF for only $7.99. This set includes novels from “names” like Rob Lopez, Blaze Ward, David Sloma and Stefan Mears. Don’t miss this one folks.

Last day of DWS’ Kickstarter Drive. I don’t mind hawking this for him a little. He gives so much.

If you didn’t look at yesterday’s post, either click the link or be sure to scroll down and read the Topic and Of Interest sections. Really important stuff.

Don’t forget Kris Rusch’s Free Fiction Monday! (grin)

The Day

Rolled out just before 4 a.m. again. Becoming a habit. Oof.

Outside by 5. Internet stuff, then formatting, cover design, etc. for the novelette, “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen” (yeah, I renamed it).

8:40, as my bride was leaving for her day job, I finished publishing the novelette to the website — it will appear in two installments, on Oct 28 and Nov 4 — and distributing it to Amazon, D2D and Smashwords.

Exciting to know that within a few days it will be available in countries all over the world and in 200+ different sales venues. This new world of publishing always amazes me.

9:15 Wrote most of the stuff above and now for a break as I cast about for a new writing project. (grin) As you know from Today (above) I set aside writing in favor of collecting some short stories.

Around 12:45 I finished collecting story titles into sequence beneath collection topics. There will be a new 10-story collection of SF stories, one of psychological suspense, one combining Westerns, War, and Women, and one of mobster stories. I probably won’t do 5-story collections as well, but maybe.

Agh! I realized I have only nine mobster-type stories. I need one more for that collection. As it turns out, I also need a story for this week. So I’ll write one to fit both requirements. (grin) So a writing day after all.

1 p.m., started a new mob story. A short break for lunch, another one to get some water.

All right. Wrapping up at 3:20 with story number 152 under my belt.

Back tomorrow.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: 2715
Nonfiction Words: 1520 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 4235

Writing of “Line of Duty” (story of the week)

Day 1…… 2715 words. Total words to date…… 2715 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 41960
Total fiction words for the year………… 577594
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13640
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 205850

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 783444

The Journal, Sunday, 9/18

Hey Folks,

The temp is hovering around 50 and I’m freezing. 🙂 Ah well. Maybe someday someone will come out with a heated keyboard.

Decided not to do the trip to Sierra Vista today. I plan (and hope) to finish the current story today. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s something more than a short story, but I’ll send it out to all supporters since it won’t be a novel. I might even post it as a future Free Story of the Week.

I started reading Stephen King’s Under the Dome yesterday, and I’m SO glad I did. (My apology for forgetting to add the title to yesterday’s post.) I was drawn into it immediately and can only barely wait to get back to it later today. I plan to devote at least an hour a day to reading it until I get finished.

Even at 9″ tall and 6″ wide (trade paperback), this novel is 1074 pages. Two inches thick. And I already know I’m going to miss the story when it ends. (grin)

Also, on only about page 36, I’ve already learned something new I want to try later in my own writing. Double score. It’s both pleasurable and a course in writing.

Topic: Beware of Rights Grabbers

I really hope I’m preaching to the choir here. Forgive me if that’s true, but better safe than sorry. And if you aren’t currently in the choir, this should convert you.

A new literary acquaintance I’ve never met, Linda Maye Adams (see Of Interest below) commented on DWS blog post from yesterday:

Just passing along another rights grab I ran across. It’s a writing contest sponsored by a non-profit [Story Shares] who is trying to help teens and young adults read. If you SUBMIT to the contest, you automatically give up all the rights to your story and payment. SUBMIT, not win or place.

I emailed Linda to ask her to divulge the name of the particular non-profit. If she does so I will add it to the quote above [in brackets].

Rights grabbers are organizations that take all rights to your work. And folks, even if it’s FOR payment, that’s just wrong.

A major example of this is Reader’s Digest, at least a few years ago. At the time, they offered payment for short pieces in various sections of the magazine. But upon payment, they own all rights to the piece.

Most, if not all, traditional publishers are rights grabbers, but if you sign a contract with one of those— well, frankly, you deserve what you get.

Unfortunately, rights grabs abound in places you would never suspect. And their stock in trade are writers who don’t read submission guidelines and rules of contests.

Like the contest Linda mentioned on Dean’s blog. It’s only a writing contest, right? No biggie. Submit, win or not, then submit elsewhere.

Wrong. Read Linda’s comment above again. If you only SUBMIT to this contest, you forfeit all rights to the work you submitted. You created it. But you no longer own it.

Rights grabbers also appear in other, slightly less innocuous forms. Believe it or not, many subsidy publishers are also rights grabbers. One subsidy publisher whom I used to recommend includes in their contract a “no-compete” clause.

Let’s say you’ve submitted your work to a subsidy publisher and they’ve “accepted” it (they accept everything).

And let’s say later you become unhappy with your contract and are unwilling to pay the exorbitant fee for return of your rights (the fee is in the contract).

If there is a no-compete clause in the contract (and there usually is), you also can’t simply slap another title on the work and publish it as a new book on your own.

They will sue your backside off, and they will win.

Okay, how about you slap a new title on it AND rewrite it thoroughly?

Nope. Again, they will sue. And if they can prove in court that even one passage reads similarly to a passage in the original book, they will win.

How to avoid such pitfalls?

Easy. Don’t submit your work ANYWHERE without reading the submission guidelines, rules of the contest, etc. And if there’s a contract involved, read it thoroughly. Better yet, have a copyright attorney read it.

Of Interest

JA Konrath posted a blog awhile back on whether ebook preorders work. This is Part II, so you might want to click through his link to read the first part too. As always, I also recommend you read the comments on his post. Some good stuff there.

Note: JA Konrath uses KDP’s Kindle Unlimited. I do NOT endorse KU and never will. Or any other “exclusive” program (from which many readers are “excluded” because of their buying or reading preferences).

Over at Dean’s place, he’s posted a Workshop Curriculum as requested by a few readers. Interesting.

Check out Linda Maye Adams’ blog. Interesting stuff. Of special interest to women, but informative, thought-provoking and fun for all. Scroll down a bit when you get there and check it out. It’s also her website, so take a look at her fiction and nonfiction too.

See C. Hope Clark (Funds for Writers) How Dare a Writing Contest Take Your Rights.

Finally, a good newsletter today from Dr. Mardy. A segment on Stephen King.

The Day

Rolled out just before 4 a.m. again. Ugh. I hate getting up late. Again, I planned to climb out around 2 or 2:30 to get a head start on the day.

But I used part of my waking-up hour (and a half) to write the topic above, so all is well. Then I researched and wrote the Of Interest stuff and also added a blogroll to my website (on the right sidebar).

Finally, at 7:40, to the writing.

10 a.m. through with the story. Now for a break, probably shopping, then back to write another story.

12 noon, Well, I read the story aloud to my wife (forgot I’d have to do that). Fixed a couple of weak spots. I formatted it too and will have lunch, then go shopping.

After that I want to read a bit and there probably is at least one football game that will interest me.

Probably I won’t get back to writing today, so I’m gonna close this out for now.

Back tomorrow.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: 1491
Nonfiction Words: 1060 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 2551

Writing of “Charlie Pilsen”

Day 1…… 4381 words. Total words to date…… 4381
Day 2…… 3843 words. Total words to date…… 8224
Day 3…… 3798 words. Total words to date…… 12022
Day 4…… 1491 words. Total words to date…… 13513 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 39245
Total fiction words for the year………… 574879
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12120
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 204330

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 779209

The Journal, Saturday, 9/17

Hey Folks,

Well, I thought my WIP would wrap up today, but I guess it’ll be tomorrow. I’m in that stage now where I want it to wrap up so I can get to the next one. (grin)

When I started this one I thought it might run to a novel. Then with the limited number of characters and situations, I thought it might be just a short story. Turns out it’s going to be a novelette (a long short story) of about 13000 words or maybe a novella if it creeps up over 15000 words.

Tomorrow, I plan to finish this one and then write the short story of the week for next week. (My week for that runs from Friday through Thursday night.)

Terminus Loop, my latest SF novel, is available today at all your favorite ebook retailers.

I’m wrapped up a little early today, so I’m gonna see if I can catch some college football action. That or maybe start reading Stephen King’s novel,

Topic: Nothing today.

Of Interest

Nothing much today that I could find. Dean does talk a bit more about workshops and about his Kickstarter campaign for Fiction River. So maybe something of interest there for you.

The Day

Rolled out at 3:30, late for what I had planned today. I intended to roll out around 2 so I could get my writing done before I headed to Sierra Vista. But we put off that trip until at least tomorrow, so not a big thing.

It takes me an hour to wake up, by which I mean clear my head enough to be actually coherent.

6:40, finally to the writing.

8:30, a long break to make a 4-egg omelet (sausage, peppers, red onion and shredded cheese) and share it with my wife for breakfast. Mmm.

9:30, back to writing.

1 p.m., a short break to grab a snack, then back to the writing.

2:05, done for the day. This one will almost certainly wrap up tomorrow. See you then.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: 3798
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 4138

Writing of Marshal Bob Gibson (working title)

Day 1…… 4381 words. Total words to date…… 4381
Day 2…… 3843 words. Total words to date…… 8224
Day 3…… 3798 words. Total words to date…… 12022

Total fiction words for the month……… 37754
Total fiction words for the year………… 573388
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11060
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 203270

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 776658

The Journal, Friday, 9/16

Hey Folks,

Not a lot going on today. Mostly just writing and battling this moronic woodpecker who keeps trying to raid the hummingbird feeders.

Anyway, let’s get right to it.

Topic: Punctuation for (Fiction) Writers

Several years ago, I wrote a book titled Punctuation for Writers. The title was predicated on the fact that, in school, we are all taught how to RESPOND to punctuation as readers rather than how to WIELD punctuation to direct the reading of our work.

It was a very good book, generally speaking, and it’s still valid for writers of scholarly and other nonfiction works.

Parts of it are valid for writers of fiction and creative nonfiction too, but not all of it. There are things I’ve learned since I became a full-time fiction writer that have changed my mind about parts of it.

Because I don’t like spreading misinformation, I’m going to come out with a followup titled Punctuation for (Fiction) Writers.

I will expand on the parts of PFW that are still valid, delete the parts that are not (and explain what I deleted and why), and add some new information.

For now, suffice it to say that punctuation is nothing more than a series of marks that designate pauses of different lengths. That is, each mark of punctuation forces the reader to pause for a certain length of time before he or she continues to read.

For example, have you ever tried to simply “read through” a misplaced comma? It’s impossible. Almost without you realizing it, your mind goes back, “fixes” (moves or deletes) the comma. Then you continue reading. But you can’t simply read through it.

That alone should show you the power of punctuation. And that’s just for the lowly comma, the shortest pause created by punctuation.

Pauses of different lengths of time actually create within the reader different responses.

And even different emotions.

You can actually increase or decrease a reader’s actual physical pulse, his or her heart rate, with nothing more than the knowledgeable application of the various marks of punctuation.

When the book is ready, I’ll let you know. As a thank you for hanging around, I will make it available to all of you at a steep discount. Stay tuned.

Of Interest

Dean talks in a video about his latest challenge. Fun.

Check out my own Free Story of the Week.

The Day

Rolled out a little before 4 after waking at 2 and 3. Moved outside early (it’s freakin’ cold at 52). Checked email, DWS, Facebook etc.

6:30, just remembered the story I wrote yesterday. So off to format that, make a cover, and distribute it. Back in a bit.

7:25, timing myself here. In just under an hour, I formatted the story for D2D and Smashwords, designed a cover, published the story to my blog (scheduled for October 21), and added the photo and link to my Short Stories page. This is short story number 150. (grin) Now off to distribute it to D2D, Smashwords and Amazon.

I hate writing promo docs (scroll down to the topic), but they’re necessary. They enable me to copy/paste instead of reinventing the whole thing for each distributor. Still, I don’t like writing them. Guess that’s why I forgot, initially, to write one. So I did that first.

7:40, NOW to distribute to D2D, Smashwords and Amazon. (grin)

7:48, done. And it took a little longer than necessary to distribute because the servers at the distributors were a little slow. Now I’m off for awhile for a break before I start the writing day.

8:40, to the writing.

2:05, closing it down after a good day. I might finish this one tomorrow or the next day. I suspect it’s going to be no more than a novella.

Back tomorrow.

Today’s Writing

Fiction Words: 3843
Nonfiction Words: 620 (Journal)

So total words for the day: 4463

Writing of Marshal Bob Gibson (working title)

Day 1…… 4381 words. Total words to date…… 4381
Day 2…… 3843 words. Total words to date…… 8224

Total fiction words for the month……… 33956
Total fiction words for the year………… 569590
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 202930

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 772520