The Journal, Saturday, 9/30

Hey Folks,

Rolled out slightly after 3 this morning and went straight to email and then Facebook.

As a result of one article in one of the several e-newsletters I receive each morning, I found a topic.

My reading and then writing the topic below formed the start for the day.

We have a trip planned to Sierra Vista a little later this morning. Between now and then, I hope to write a bit of fiction.

Topic: Try And vs. Try To

First, a disclaimer — When people are speaking in real life (or characters in dialogue in a fiction) and they use the “try and” structure as a colloquialism, it doesn’t bother me.

In fact, I usually don’t even notice. If I do notice, I assume the structure is necessary to that person’s (or character’s) manner of speech.

In a real life conversation, the usage is unintentional.

In fiction, the usage is usually intentional as it speaks subliminally to the character’s level of education and/or ignorance.

But when the structure appears in a nonfiction article or book, it slaps me right out of the topic. Most of the time I stop reading.

That happened this morning.

I was reading “Astronauts Are Roasting B.o.B’s Flat Earth Satellite And It’s Amazing” by Jacinta Bowler. Here’s the offensive passage:

“[B.o.B] … is currently crowdfunding to TRY AND get a satellite out to space….” (emphasis added)

How much credibility does the author really have if she doesn’t know the difference?

The article didn’t allow comments. If it had, I would have left one.

My comment might have been a snarky “Try and? Really?”

Or perhaps the more specific and illustrative “Your ‘try and’ grabbed me and tossed me right out of your article. I hope you’ll ‘try to’ do better next time.”

I like to think I’d have left the second comment instead of the first. Maybe it would help this hapless writer.

Am I being nitpicky? Not really. It wasn’t like I was looking for a fight. Shrug. I just wanted to read the article.

The author’s use of the phrase was her choice. It was a result of her ignorance, not my reading. It affected me so strongly I was unable to continue reading the article.

Fortunately, there was an article on the same topic by a different author in a different newsletter. I read it all the way through and never noticed what sort of grammar or syntax the author was using.

There’s a lesson here for fiction writers.

Readers don’t read critically. They don’t read for words or phrases or sentence structure. They read for Story. They read to be entertained.

We all have our little writing quirks. When you’re fortunate enough to have one pointed out, consider it and learn from it.

If readers are often suddenly shoved out of your story by boredom or an awkward construction, it’s your fault, not theirs.

Again, readers only want to read and be entertained.

Whether they read YOUR work is important only to you. So the question you have to answer is this: How important is it?
***

I didn’t get enough done to cause a ripple in a pond before we left. We were gone longer than we expected, and when I got back, I worked on my website. Basically, I changed the home page. Check it out at HarveyStanbrough.com.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Mars Colonization in Five Years? See https://www.livescience.com/60560-elon-musk-spacex-fly-people-to-mars-2024.html.

Here’s one on Musk’s vision for both the moon and Mars: https://www.space.com/38310-elon-musk-moon-base-mars-city-images.html.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 590 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 590

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 54526
Total fiction words for the year………… 434146
Total nonfiction words for the month… 16283
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 152683
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 586829

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 671 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 9/29

Hey Folks,

Looks like I updated my website to include a page dedicated to bundles just in time. A new bundle started today.

I only have a short story in this one but still. (grin)

Well, I signed up this morning to support the restart of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. There are some really cool “rewards” for pledging to the Kickstarter campaign.

I won’t tell you which one I pledged, but I do encourage you to at least go take a look at the various offerings. You can find those at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403649867/pulphouse-fiction-magazine.
***

On a day when I could as easily have slept-in until 4 or even 5, I rolled out on time. Go figure. The little girl likes going outside early, so….
***

On her blog, Linda Maye Adams referenced an article that seems to prove Hemingway did not write the original six-word short story that many claim he wrote. You can see the proferred “proof” at https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/09/24/for-sale-baby-shoes-never-worn-tracing-the-history-of-the-shortest-story-ever-told/.

I choose to believe he wrote the story. The fact that it closely resembles advertisements that were published earlier doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. To paraphrase Uncle Hub from Secondhand Lions, I believe he wrote it simply because it’s one of those things that are worth believing in. (grin)
***

Smith’s Monthly is a monthly magazine in both ebook and print in which DWS fills every issue with his own work: a full novel, a novel serialization, short fiction and poetry.

And apparently he has a boatload of subscribers. Which means he’s not only filling the magazine, but he’s accountable to subscribers for filling the magazine.

Ever since I first heard of that insanity, I’ve wondered what it would be like to actually fill a magazine with my own work every month.

After all, I started this Journal to help increase my productivity by making myself accountable to others. (And Marines, as it turns out, need a place to report.)

Don’t worry. I’m not going to start a monthly magazine and go begging for subscribers.

But in this lax time after I just finished a novel, I’m using that as a model to think up a really good challenge for myself.

One that won’t create unnecessary pressure, but one that pushes me to produce and one for which I can duplicate the results month after month to create a streak.

Stay tuned.

Well, an old friend dropped by today. We enjoyed a good visit. No writing today, and no regrets.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For those of you who are bent that way, take a look at StoryShop (Lite), a new free writing tool that allegedly removes all distractions and better enables you to write. You can see it at https://storyshop.io/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 450

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 54526
Total fiction words for the year………… 434146
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15693
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 152093
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 586239

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 670 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 9/28

Hey Folks,

Well, I can recommend about 2/3 of James Scott Bell’s book on “dazzling dialogue.” I picked up a couple of things from it. If you buy it, I strongly recommend you don’t read the section on punctuation.

Sorry to have to say, but the guy has no idea what he’s talking about in that regard. None. Much of what he writes in the last segment of that book (from the bit on punctuation to the end) is actually harmful.

The section rekindled within me the desire to update Punctuation for Writers and publish a new edition. I’ll be doing that soon.

I can’t and don’t recommend his book on “Voice.” It might work (by which I mean, make sense) for some, but not for me in any way. It left me a little disappointed, frankly.

I hope the marketing book will be more helpful.
***

Rolled out around 3, spent some time reading and some time on the Internet. Then I worked on my website a bit. I moved “Short Fiction” under “Books” in the menu and created a dedicated page for bundles I’m currently in.

I still want to add descriptions to that page, but otherwise I’m pleased with the result. It’s a step toward a writer’s website rather than an instructor’s website. (grin)

Finally got the page updated and finalized a little before 9.

I started writing a little after 10 and finished the last two chapters right at noon. This one’s finished.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Pulphouse Kickstarter is Live” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/pulphouse-kickstarter-is-live/.

Just incredible. See “It’s Official: Russia And The US Will Work Together on The First-Ever Moon Station” at http://www.sciencealert.com/russia-and-the-us-are-going-to-space-together-again.

And for any horror writers out there, “This Newly Discovered Giant Rat Species” at http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-discovered-a-new-species-of-giant-rat-and-it-s-so-cool.

Fiction Words: 1559
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1859

Writing of Loose Ends (novel)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983
Day 18… 3723 words. Total words to date…… 40706
Day 19… 1650 words. Total words to date…… 42356
Day 20… 1422 words. Total words to date…… 43778
Day 21… 2108 words. Total words to date…… 45886
Day 22… 1554 words. Total words to date…… 47445 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 54526
Total fiction words for the year………… 434146
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15243
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 151643
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 585789

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 669 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 9/27

Hey Folks,

First, for any veterans out there, beginning on November 11, 2017, the online Exchange System (PX) is open to all veterans who served honorably regardless of length of service.

Note that this is only the ONLINE exchange. Still, they lists tons of stuff, and it isn’t all high-ticket merchandise. Great discounts.

To qualify, visit https://www.shopmyexchange.com/veterans. Again, you don’t have to have a current ID card, and you don’t have to have retired.
***

Also too important to be shuffled down to the “Of Interest” section…

Much as I (and other amateur photogs) like to think we can always take pics that are good enough for our book covers, that just isn’t always the case. (grin) At least in my case.

Before this, I’ve bought cover photos from sites like Bigstock.com and Canstockphoto.com. I paid only a pittance since I had a subscription each time(around 56 cents per pic), but Free beats a pittance every time.

Now, via The Digital Reader, comes “Fifteen Free stock photo sites that will keep your website sizzling” at http://valiantchickendigital.com/blog/15-free-stock-photo-sites-will-website-sizzling/.

Don’t let the “keep your website sizzling” admonition fool you. Many of these are cover-quality photos. Some are operated by pay sites, but the pics are still free on the specific free sites.

Some also are public domain picture sites. Be sure to read the terms of use/service on each site before you join.

Hey, if you find even one good cover pic, the time you spend searching will have paid for itself. And even if you don’t do your own covers, you can get TONS of story ideas from checking out stock photos.

In the first half-hour after I started searching through just one site, I had added around a dozen prospective cover pics to “lightboxes” to download later. Just sayin’.
***

Rolled out late this morning, intentionally. I had a Negra Modelo (with lime!) with my enchiladas yesterday, and I’m not used to alcohol anymore. So I let it steep appropriately. (grin)

I won’t get to the novel until around 9 this morning. There’s a good chance I’ll finish it today, though I kind of hope the characters come up with a twist that keeps the story running a little longer. We’ll see.

Finally to the novel a little after 9:30.

Writing, a few chores and moving the water around on the yard. At 2000 words so far today I’m rapidly approaching the ending. Taking a lunch break at 12:15.

At 12:45, I think I know the ending now. If so, it shocked the tar out of me. (grin)

I’m always trying to learn more. Because I like the way he teaches and because much of what he says/writes makes sense to me, I ordered three of James Scott Bell’s Kindle ebooks today: Voice: The Secret Power of Great Writing, Marketing for Writers Who Hate Marketing, and How to write Dazzling Dialogue.

Yeah, I think I’m pretty good at dialogue. But I want to see whether maybe there’s something I’m missing.

I was headed back to the novel at 2 p.m., but I think I’ll wait and finish it tomorrow. I have a few more chores to do, and frankly I’m a little out of sorts today.

Either way, I’m kind of excited.

This will be my 27th novel, and it will have been written all in this month. So in the 9th month, I will have written 9 novels on the year. Woohoo!

Maybe I ought to read Bell’s marketing book first, eh?

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For what it’s worth, see “The Weapon of Surprise” by James Scott Bell at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/09/the-weapon-of-surprise.html.

Fiction Words: 2108
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2688

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983
Day 18… 3723 words. Total words to date…… 40706
Day 19… 1650 words. Total words to date…… 42356
Day 20… 1422 words. Total words to date…… 43778
Day 21… 2108 words. Total words to date…… 45886

Total fiction words for the month……… 52967
Total fiction words for the year………… 432587
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14943
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 151343
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 583932

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 668 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/26

Hey Folks,

Well, I expected this to be a nonwriting day, frankly. But the subconscious mind is an amazing thing.

I knew I’d spend much of the day in Tucson today, so my characters woke me up early. I spent some time doing nothing, then moved to the novel at 4 a.m.

Quick Update: I posted this at about 8 a.m. this morning. Been to Tucson, where we thought the doc would schedule me for surgery to replace my pacemaker. Found out I don’t expire (okay, my PM battery doesn’t expire) for about another year. So SCORE! (grin)

This morning so far I did a little cycling, then wrote, then basically recst two chapters (only about 1400 words). Each time through was in creative voice (no ‘thoughts’ given to sentence structure, what to add or omit, stuff like that).

If I had the whole day to play (not sitting all day, but coming back all day) I probably would finish the novel today. But I don’t. So probably the novel will finish tomorrow.

I’m not going to try to push anything, so I’ll post this now. Leaving for Tucson in about an hour.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

From a friend, see “139 Old Norse Words That Invaded The English Language” at https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/139-norse-words.

Fiction Words: 1422
Nonfiction Words: 170 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1592

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983
Day 18… 3723 words. Total words to date…… 40706
Day 19… 1650 words. Total words to date…… 42356
Day 20… 1422 words. Total words to date…… 43778

Total fiction words for the month……… 50859
Total fiction words for the year………… 430479
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14363
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 150763
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 581242

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 667 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 9/25

Hey Folks,

“Many would-be novelists never get around to writing a novel for the same reason nobody ever gets around to eating an elephant.

“Wrong focus. To eat an elephant, you have to take one bite at a time. Focus on the bite.

“It seems impossible to write a whole novel, but you can write a scene. So just write a scene. Then write another scene. Then write another one. Forget about writing a ‘novel.’ Lather, rinse, repeat.”

I posted that to FB this morning, spurred by my 15 year old granddaughter’s complaint (via email) that her teacher had assigned her to write “a 150 page story.”

Such an assignment forces the student to focus on the page count.

My granddaughter wrote, “I’ve written 984 words on my story so far, but it’s only 3 pages.”

Poor kid. Angry grandpa.

I suppose learning to pad a paper has its advantages.

Wait. No, it doesn’t.
***

I have stories or novels in five bundles now. The latest is Without A Clue in the Gumshoes Bundle. As the name implies, this bundle is all mysteries, all about detectives and the crimes they solve.

To see all the bundles my stuff is currently in, check the right sidebar at http://HarveyStanbrough.com.
***

Rolled out a little late, and I’m back on the Internet, but learned a lot this morning, so it’s all right.

My wife looked out her window and noticed the neighbors’ horses were out, and one was growling at something out in the mesquites (probably the cattle out there).

So we went out and put them back in the corral, fed them, and secured the gate. Interesting start to the day.

After that, a lot of little niggling but necessary things to take care of. Finally to the novel at 10:30 a.m. Some cycling over the chapters I wrote yesterday first.
***

Before she left, my wife reminded me I have a doc appointment in Tucson tomorrow. Gotta get the battery replaced in my pacemaker.

It occurred to me, I can recharge the battery in my phone and all sorts of other devices wirelessly, but for this I have to have invasive surgery. Reckon maybe the priorities are a little skewed somewhere? (grin)
***

This morning as I cycled back through the chapters I wrote yesterday and glanced over my reverse outline, I realized I have to enhance a character.

I almost wrote “add” a character, but the character himself is already in the book. I have to let him talk with me a bit, name himself, let me know what he does for a living (he’s old and wealthy), etc. All of that’s to bring him into the fold, so to speak.

That’ll take probably two more chapters earlier in the book. (Told you this one’s writing weird.) Anyway, either this guy or another guy who’s already developed in the book is the antagonist.

Then it’ll be a rush to the finish and I’ll be done.

Well, another light day for word count, though it doesn’t really reflect how much I accomplished today. (grin) But that’s all right. The novel still feels good.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

From The Digital Reader, see “The HTTPocalypse is coming – Is Your Website Ready?” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/09/24/httpocalypse-coming-website-ready/.

Read This: “Michael Hyatt Has Something To Sell You” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/michael-hyatt-has-something-to-sell-you/.

Fiction Words: 1650
Nonfiction Words: 560 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2210

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983
Day 18… 3723 words. Total words to date…… 40706
Day 19… 1650 words. Total words to date…… 42356

Total fiction words for the month……… 49437
Total fiction words for the year………… 429057
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14193
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 150593
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 579650

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 666 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 9/24

Hey Folks,

Rolled out on time this morning, spent some time waking up, then hammered out around 1500 words by about 7:30. Some time off for family stuff now, and back to the novel later in the day.

Around 10, back to the novel.

Another break around 11, then some baseball and back to the novel. Turned out to be a pretty good day, especially for a Sunday.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

More comments on Dean’s Sacred Cows post at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/#comments. To see the new stuff, scroll down to K. Vale Nagle.

Via The Passive Voice, see “7 Free Online Tools for Writers and Authors” at http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/7-free-online-tools-for-writers-and-authors/. (I haven’t checked this personally yet.)

Fiction Words: 3723
Nonfiction Words: 120 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3843

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983
Day 18… 3723 words. Total words to date…… 40706

Total fiction words for the month……… 47787
Total fiction words for the year………… 427407
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13633
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 150033
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 577440

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 665 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Saturday, 9/23

Hey Folks,

Rolled out a little late this morning even though I went to bed on time. Catching up, I guess.

I actually wrote a little on the novel (after breakfast the usual early morning wandering around the Internet), but my wife’s ready to head for SV soon, so it’s a shower and a shave and be back in a bit.

Well, “a bit” turned into about five hours. Then Internet to square away a botched order, etc. Finally back to the novel at 1:40.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

I recommend reading the comments on “Beta Readers” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/#comments/.

And do see “Well, That Was Fun” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/well-that-was-fun/. It’s a very short continuation of yesterday’s post.

For any SF writers out or would-be moon colonists out there, see “What is Space 4.0?” at http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Ministerial_Council_2016/What_is_space_4.0. Tons of interesting links there too.

And via The Passive Voice, see “Starting Your Day on the Internet Is Damaging Your Brain” (grin) at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/starting-your-day-on-the-internet-is-damaging-your-brain/. You can click through but The Passive Guy’s take on the article is excellent. NOTE: I DID find this interesting enough to consider altering my early morning ritual. If you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Also via TPV, see “Danielle Steel’s Desk Is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen” at https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/09/danielle-steels-desk-is-unlike-anything-youve-ever-seen.

Fiction Words: 1102
Nonfiction Words: 220 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1322

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881
Day 17… 1102 words. Total words to date…… 36983

Total fiction words for the month……… 44064
Total fiction words for the year………… 423684
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13513
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 149913
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 573597

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 664 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 9/22

Hey Folks,

Rolled out on time this morning, then spent an enjoyable hour or so talking via email with my young granddaughter, Taylor.

By the way, just in time for my topic today (see below) DWS is finally back to busting myths with another Killing the Sacred Cows chapter. It’s in “Of Interest” today.

Topic: Lying to Readers

It’s annoying when Dean Wesley Smith is SO right on everything he says. Well, on most things. He does occasionally say he’s going to make me angry when he’s busting some idiotic myth, but that has yet to happen.

But on the other stuff, he’s always right. Always. At least so far.

And it always annoys me a little. Especially on stuff that I initially believe is bunk and later come to learn (through being beaten to a pulp, and therefore gaining enlightenment) is true after all.

My most recent annoyance wasn’t with DWS, but it was based on something I read in his blog a long time ago.

He wrote (paraphrasing), If you want readers to value your work (meaning “buy your books”) you have to lie to them.

I’ve come to understand that’s true.

Readers by the droves automatically assume, sight unseen, that a novel that’s written in a month or two or three is not worth reading.

As you know, I don’t post my numbers as some sort of competition; I do it to illustrate what’s possible if a writer simply spends time in the chair.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t tell anyone how quickly I go from the title to “the end” when I write a novel. And I would revert to using my personas and/or pen names.

Given that I write, on average, 12 novels and scores of short stories per year, I would have at least 12 different pseudonyms for novels and probably three or four times that many for short fiction.

Why? Because of math.

As simply EVERYbody knows, it takes at LEAST a year to turn out a quality novel. And a 2- or 3-year, labor-intensive process will result in an even better novel. Hence, at least 12 pseudonyms for novels.

With those pseudonyms, I could still turn out a novel every month, but each pseudonym would publish only one novel per year (or less frequently).

Gervasio Arrancado would release a new magic realism novel every January. Nick Porter would release a new noir novel every February. Ray Sevareid would release a new SF novel every March. Eric Stringer, bless his heart, would release a new horror/psychological-suspense novel ever April. See where I’m going with this?

And if I had 36 novel pseudonyms, each one would turn out one novel every THREE years. Get the idea?

It’s all in the math.

I write, on average, 1000 polished, ready-to-publish words per hour. That a crawling-on-all-fours 17 words per minute. It gives me plenty of time to find just the right word from the thesaurus (not ‘green stuff on a rock’ but lichen). It gives me plenty of time to jump online to find out the name of that particular cross street on San Antonio Drive in downtown El Paso in 1887.

So say it takes me 100 hours to write a 100,000 word novel.

Okay, so if it takes me 3 years to write a novel and I take two days off every week and two weeks off every year for vacation, that’s 150 weeks or (with two days off per week) 750 days.

So to write a 100,000 word novel in 3 years, I’d have to write an average of 134 words per day. (I refuse to talk about rewriting. Writers are paid to write, not to rewrite. They are paid per word, or per haps, not per endless word-erasure-word-erasure-word.)

To write the same 100,000 word novel in only 1 year, I’d have to write at a blazing-fast rate of 400 words per day.

Well, that wouldn’t be so bad, I guess. At least that’s almost a whole half-hour workday 5 days per week.

But to write the same 100,000 word novel in a 30-day MONTH (4.285 weeks) of 5-day weeks, I’d have to develop an actual work ethic.

I’d have to sit at my laptop and churn out 4,668 words every day for 21.425 days. Still less than a 5-hour workday. And still only 5 days a week.

And many MANY of my novels are in the 25,000 to 70,000 word range. My average is around 60,000 words.

In case you’re wondering, for a short novel of 25,000 words I’d have to write 34 words per day over 3 years or 100 words per day over a year.

For my average novel length of 60,000 words, I’d have to write 80 words per day over 3 years or (Oh No!) 240 words per day over a year. And if I write that novel in a month, I have to actually write 2800 words per 5-day week. Three hours per day.

Again, it all boils down to math. But unfortunately, so does reader opinion. So you have to lie to them.

I’m a resonable guy. It’s true that I tell lies for a living. Still, I don’t like the dishonest feeling of telling someone it took me much longer to write something than it actually took.

So tell me again why, if I churn out a novel over a 3-year period it “just might be a masterpiece”; if it takes “only” a year, I’m rushing it but it “still might be worth a look.”

But if I write the SAME 60,000 words in one month or less, it isn’t worth the time it takes to sniff and turn up a nose.

Sigh.

Okay, so if you’re reading this, and if you’re young (meaning you expect to turn out novels for at least another 10 years or so), and if you have a work-ethic AT ALL, get yourself a stack of pseudonyms.

Just sayin’.

***

I did very little in the early morning other than some Internet stuff and writing the masterpiece topic above (grin, took all of a half-hour), then moved straight to the novel around 9.

In a little over 3 hours, I read the whole thing through, skimming, to correct one more problem, an awkward metaphor that wasn’t working for me. In all that time, I added around 400 words.

Well, something happened to me today that has never happened before on a novel. Sometimes I’ll enjoy writing a short story so much that I really like the story as a reader. So I read it again, later.

That happened today with this novel. As I was reading through it, I was pulled in and actually enjoyed it. So I kept going.

So that’s all the writing I did today. Just little bits here and there. Welp, every novel writes differently.

And tomorrow might be a light day too. I have to go to Sierra Vista tomorrow morning. We’ll see what shakes out.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Beta Readers Help You” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/.

Via The Digital Reader, see Kris Rusch’s “I Spent Decades Developing My IP” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/09/20/business-musings-i-spent-decades-developing-my-ip-contractsdealbreakers/. Seriously, this is a must-read.

Some good stuff on Linda Maye Adams’ blog today. She does an “around the web” thing each week. Check it out at http://lindamayeadams.com/.

Fiction Words: 1146
Nonfiction Words: 1223 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2369

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… 1146 words. Total words to date…… 35881

Total fiction words for the month……… 42962
Total fiction words for the year………… 422582
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13293
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 149693
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 572275

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 663 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 9/21

Hey Folks,

Up a little late this morning. I’ll work on the edit for awhile, then on the yard for awhile, then maybe go play with the novel.

Edited ’til about 8:20, then mowed the front (north) yard and around the north and east sides outside the fence.

Back to the edit a little after 9 while I’m cooling down from doing actual work. (grin) Also running a couple loads of laundry.

Worked on the edit until 10, and now off to fold laundry and put another load in the dryer. While that was working, I mowed a little more, finished the yard. Then it was time to fold another load and put it away.

Now it’s almost 1 p.m. and I’ve been basically screwing off for the past couple of hours. I was reading something on FB and it annoyed me. One of those “why do I bother doing what I do” moments.

Anyway, I’ve decided today will be a nonwriting day. I’ll spend the balance of the day editing a truly excellent memoir and come back fresh tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “How to Prevent Every Writer’s Worst Nightmare” at https://thewritelife.com/losing-your-writing/.

Via Science Alert, you can now create your own nuclear blast scenario at http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/.

At the KillZone blog, James Scott Bell talks discusses “How to Cure Mid-Novel Sag” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/09/how-to-cure-mid-novel-sag.html. As for me, I make sure I have a reverse outline (or I create one) and then I Write the Next Sentence.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 250 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 250

Writing of Loose Ends (novel)

Day 1 – 15……………………… Total words to date…… 34735
Day 16… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 41816
Total fiction words for the year………… 421436
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12070
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 148470
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 569906

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 662 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182