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, Wednesday, 9/20

Hey Folks,

I had a copyediting job come in, so I decided I’ll work on that during the early morning hours. I seem to do most of my own writing in the late morning and early afternoon anyway.

Worked on the copyedit (an excellent memoir) for a few hours, then to the repair shop to pick up my no-longer-busted lawnmower, then back here.

I should have gone straight to the novel, but I didn’t. I played with creating a new meme that has a half-crazy pic of yours truly. I posted it to Facebook.

That was fun. Now to fetch some iced tea, then to the novel. It’s not quite 10:30.

(I like that word, “fetch.” It’s an Auld English word that, roughly translated, means “Hey, brang me some’a that!” Or maybe not.)

Well, I sat down, looked at the novel, got up and went out to mow the back yard. And now it’s 11:30. (grin)

TOPIC: Process Stuff

This isn’t really a planned topic, but I thought it might make a good topic for some of you.

Um, realized I hadn’t put together a reverse outline for this thing. No wonder I was getting lost. So I spent the next 40 minutes glancing through chapter starts and ends plus any significant events and created two-thirds of a reverse outline.

And a glaring error popped out at me. The chapters go from Friday to Saturday, then back to Friday, then to Sunday. So more shifting of components is in my future. Very weird novel.

Took a brief break to fill the mower with gas, then back here to finish the reverse outline. Then I’ll read over it as a whole document and maybe start rearranging some things in the timeline.

Finally started putting new words down at 1:30. It doesn’t look like a lot, but MAN did I get a lot done today! And the novel’s back on track.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see Anne Allen’s “Want to Increase Your Blog Readership? Kill that Popup!” at http://annerallen.com/2017/09/increase-blog-readership-kill-popup/.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Hyphens, Em Dashes, En Dashes—Everything You Need to Know” at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2017/09/hyphens-em-dashes-en-dashes-everything-need-know/.

Fiction Words: 1149
Nonfiction Words: 370 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1519

Writing of Loose Ends (novel)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827
Day 13… 1747 words. Total words to date…… 32574
Day 14… 1012 words. Total words to date…… 33586
Day 15… 1149 words. Total words to date…… 34735

Total fiction words for the month……… 41816
Total fiction words for the year………… 421436
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11820
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 148220
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 569656

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 661 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, 9/19

Hey Folks,

For awhile, occasionally I’ve included links to articles on Science Alert. Recently I’ve come to believe it’s more of a populist rag with sensational, click-bait headlines than a valid source of stimulating information.

So I looked around.

If you’re interested in space and science, try https://www.space.com/. If it looks interesting to you, you can sign up for any or all of three separate newsletters:

Space.com newsletter, headlines about the space program, space tourism and more.

LiveScience newsletter, the day’s science news covering space, animals, health, environment, technology and history.

TechNewsDaily newsletter, technology news and information for non-geeks.

If you’re interested in exploring our own solar system, I recommend Solar System Exploration at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/. I didn’t see a way to subscribe, so I’ll be visiting this one regularly.

And finally, you can find all things NASA at https://www.nasa.gov/.

All three of these are listed with the subheading Science under Writers’ Resources in the left sidebar of my website.

If you haven’t visited in awhile, that would be a good place for you to explore too. A lot of great stuff there. Just sayin’.

***

An early trip to the grocery for stuff for supper tonight, then home. But I spent a lot of time just playing, on my website, then on FB.

Finally to the writing around 10. For at least the first part of the writing day, it will be the same process I was following yesterday.

Well, when I get to the novel it will be the same. (grin) I spent the next hour and a half writing a nonfiction article called “On Addiction.” I published it as a note on Facebook.

I’ve decided I have to give up smoking cigars, and I decided to make the decision public so it will maybe help other addicts too. If you don’t do Facebook and you’d like a copy, send me an email.

In fact, a little later I think I’ll come up with a cover and distribute it to Smashwords, Amazon and D2D as a free publication. I’ll also add it to my main website as a page under the Free Stuff tab.

Now, a little before noon, I’m finally opening the novel. I’ll be doing more adjusting and stitching together, so I expect a low word count for today.

But that’s all right. Just the way this one’s going together. And I have a feeling once the stitching is finished and I have the timeline right, it’ll be a race to the finish.

It’s almost 2 p.m. now. I think a lot of the stitching is finished, and I’ve added only about 200 words. That’s good, though, because I didn’t have to stitch much. (grin)

I also think I’m going to have to cycle all the way from the beginning and read through to get back into the flow of the story.

Welp, I always feel like crap when I don’t get much writing done. I did a ton today but very little was in new fiction words. There’s (almost) always tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Guy, see “Where Crime Fiction Meets the Talmud” at https://electricliterature.com/where-crime-fiction-meets-the-talmud-6f62214a5da8.

Articles to titillate the imagination. See LiveScience at https://www.livescience.com/.

More articles to titillate the imagination. See Space.com at https://www.space.com/.

Fiction Words: 1012
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal) 1230 (“On Addiction”)
So total words for the day: 2790

Writing of Current Novel (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827
Day 13… 1747 words. Total words to date…… 32574
Day 14… 1012 words. Total words to date…… 33586

Total fiction words for the month……… 40667
Total fiction words for the year………… 420287
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11450
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 147850
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 568137

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 660 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, 9/17

Hey Folks,

Up a little earlier than usual this a.m. and was at the novel by 4. I did some cycling, then some writing into the dark, finishing a chapter and starting another chapter.

And that was both “into the dark” and in the dark at my outside desk. Something peaceful about the only light in the universe being my computer screen. Maybe I need to write an SF novel next. (grin)

It occurred to me this morning I might actually be writing two novels concurrently: a noir PI novel and a crime novel. Remember awhile back I mentioned this might be the first novel I’ve written that’s separated into “parts”?

Well so far, Parts 1 and 3 appear to be a crime novel. Part 2 wants to be a PI novel, albeit one working with the police. We’ll see. For now I’m just going to keep writing the story. After the smoke clears, I should be able to tell fairly easily whether the PI novel needs to be separated out.

I can write the noir hardboiled PI stuff, and I can write the crime stuff (that’s from the POV of the criminal[s]). I’m not so much on writing police procedurals. Been out of the business too long to include any level of detailed modern procedures required.

Anyway, it’s kind of exciting to know I might be writing both at the same time. I could even end up with two novels about the same crime, albeit one from the PI’s POV and one from the criminal’s POV.

As usual, I worked on the novel intermittently. Around 5:30, the hummingbirds reminded me I forgot to take their feeders down last night. The bats spilled it all out, so I refilled them. Annoying, but not as annoying as a hungry, ticked-off hummer buzzing your head at a b’jillion miles per hour.

Back to the novel, and sometime later I emptied the dishwasher and started filling it again, then revised my website a little. I removed a menu item, made the remaining menu items and the space between them a bit larger, and changed the colors.

Now it’s a little after 7 and I’m back to the novel again after a brief break to let my wife know I’m still here. (grin) We’ll probably walk in a little while, and then I’ll be at the novel off and on through the day.

Had a pretty amazing day. I didn’t write again until around 2, and hammered out a lot of words before I stopped because I was running out of time.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you’re interested in seeing some very old magazines, check out https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008893741?type%5B%5D=all&lookfor%5B%5D=Black%20Cat&ft=ft.

Fiction Words: 3452
Nonfiction Words: 450 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3902

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320
Day 8…… 3147 words. Total words to date…… 19467
Day 9…… 2780 words. Total words to date…… 22247
Day 10… 3614 words. Total words to date…… 25861
Day 11… 1514 words. Total words to date…… 27375
Day 12… 3452 words. Total words to date…… 30827

Total fiction words for the month……… 37908
Total fiction words for the year………… 417528
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9270
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 145670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 563198

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 658 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, 9/12

Hey Folks,

Okay, I mentioned a couple of times a workshop I’m taking with Dean. It ended this morning, so here’s my report.

On the Online Workshops tab of his website, the title (if you want to read about it) is officially “Writing Mysteries.” If you’re interested, I encourage you to read the writeup there.

First, I found that the actual workshop more than nailed the description on the website.

This is an actual writing workshop. He teaches you how to write mysteries in the ten most popular subgenres. Plus there are extensive notes on writing Thrillers (used to be a subgenre of Mystery, but is now on its own).

He doesn’t teach plotting, but he does teach what’s required in each subgenre of Mystery (in other words, How To Write it).

In each subgenre, he provides instruction on five areas:

1. Focus-of and details-about the sub-genre.
2. Types of writers best suited to write the sub-genre (with examples).
3. Can it be used in other genres?
4. Focus on the POV character “type” needed and the focus of the POV character.
5. Focus of the opening. What needs to be in the opening. What will draw readers in.

Those five areas make this workshop pretty much invaluable if you want to learn to write mysteries. It’s also a good idea to study those five areas of any genre you’re interested in writing. Just sayin’.

The weekly assignments were also good. I won’t comment specifically on those because how well they work for you will depend on your level of skill. If you’re a beginning writer (a few novels/a couple dozen short stories under your belt), I have no doubt you’ll find them all very useful.

So I recommend this workshop if you

1. Want to write in a Mystery subgenre, or
2. If you want to learn Mystery elements to include in other genres (SF, Young Adult, etc.).

***

Started cycling through what I wrote yesterday at about 8:30. Allowed myself to touch the manuscript, but very lightly, always looking forward to resuming the story.

By 9:30 I was through cycling. During that hour I also answered some email, etc.

One of the emails I worked with was the notice that the next bundle my work is included in, Death Before Defeat, a 10-book SF omnibus, is available for presale at only $2.99. For details, see https://bundlerabbit.com/b/death-before-defeat/.

Too much playing. By noon-thirty I’d written only a little over a thousand words. My fault. When I pay attention to it, the novel’s flying.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/. PG’s response is priceless. Of course, in his posting of the article you can also click through to the original post.

Via The Diginal Reader (and strictly for fun), see “10 Books That Were Written on a Bet” at https://electricliterature.com/10-books-that-were-written-on-a-bet-5e0343dd3030/.

Also via The Digital Reader, for anyone who believes publication in TradPub is a golden ticket, see “Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/09/11/publishers-now-shedding-best-selling-authors/.

Anybody need an SF novel idea? See “We Can Finally Read The ‘Clock’ That Tells How Long Human Cells Have Left to Live” at http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-can-now-check-how-long-live-human-cells-have-left/. This could go in MANY diferent ways.

Dean posted “Some More Challenge Details” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-more-challenge-details/.

Fiction Words: 3775
Nonfiction Words: 530 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4305

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545
Day 7…… 3775 words. Total words to date…… 16320

Total fiction words for the month……… 23401
Total fiction words for the year………… 403021
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 142980
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 546001

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 654 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, 9/11

Hey Folks,

Well, have you guys heard me whine enough?

The thing is, I’m either a writer or I’m not. For awhile now, I haven’t been. Not really. So I’ll see about cutting down on the whining, and instead go back to tending to business.

I am somewhat heartened, because in the original essay in which Robert Heinlein laid out his Business Habits for Writers, he mentioned that he himself had violated his own rules on occasion.

***

Today in “Of Interest” you’ll see that Dean’s going to offer his services as a first reader again in two challenges, short story and novel. Something to consider.

Even if you don’t want to take advantage of his generous offer (if you finish the challenges or opt out after paying, you still get two online workshops), it still might be a fun challenge for some of you to do on your own.

***

I’m going to read back on my novel start to see where I took a wrong turn and get back to writing.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “New Story and Novel Challenge For You” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/new-story-and-novel-challenge-for-you/.

See “Humans Have 27 Distinct Emotional States” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/09/humans-have-27-distinct-emotional-states/. The Passive Guy’s take is excellent in my opinion.

Do yourself a favor and visit Science Alert at http://www.sciencealert.com/. Several stories today that might be of interest to writers. Read Skeptically. For example….

If you want a laugh and an example of Orwellian Doublespeak, see “The World Is Facing a Global Sand Crisis…” at http://www.sciencealert.com/our-world-is-facing-a-global-sand-crisis-because-we-re-mining-way-too-much-of-it/. (One of the major ways nations are using mined sand is to repair beaches. So picking it up, then relocating it, and putting it down.)

“RIP Jerry Pournelle, the first author to write a novel on a computer” at https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2017/9/9/16279582/jerry-pournelle-science-fiction-author-writing-computers-obituary/.

Fiction Words: 3182
Nonfiction Words: 300 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3482

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601
Day 4…… 2460 words. Total words to date…… 8061
Day 5…… 1302 words. Total words to date…… 9363
Day 6…… 3182 words. Total words to date…… 12545

Total fiction words for the month……… 19626
Total fiction words for the year………… 399246
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 142450
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 541696

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 653 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, Wednesday, 9/6

Hey Folks,

Now I know what the kids mean when they write OMG.

Via The Passive Voice from yesterday, there was this wonderful gem:

“What begins as a raindrop on our heads turns into a cloudburst of rain. If we deny its messages, it becomes a thunderstorm. Still not listening? Look out for a hurricane, a tornado and an accompanying tsunami.”

Are you kidding me? Talk about mixing metaphors. And even mixing them WITHIN a metaphor. This is supposed to be a serious post about what might happen if we “fail or refuse to learn the lessons we are supposed to learn.”

What I saw:

“a cloudburst of rain” — um, as opposed to a cloudburst of what?
And then somehow a thnderstorm is bigger than a cloudburst.
And then a tornado is bigger than a hurricane, and is accompanied by a tsunami. Really?

She might at least have substituted “waterspout” for “tornado” to keep things in the same family. And then maybe made the waterspout smaller than the hurricane. And then done away with the tsunami.

Or at least begin with a gentle ripple that grows to a wave that increases to whatever’s bigger than a wave and then to a tsunami.

I guess I was in a bad mood or something. I actually signed up for Medium (it’s required if you want to view the original post) just so I could leave a comment. And that was, “I laughed so hard at this. Either the first or fourth sentence might be a really good submission to the Bulwer-Lytton contest.”

TPG was silent on this one too, surprisingly, so I also left the comment on his site where he links to the original.

If you want a good chuckle, or if you want to see what not to aspire to as a writer, see the original post at https://medium.com/@literacychampion/you-create-your-own-lessons-378948ad87a8/.

Seriously, OMG. I thought about turning this into a contest to see who could find more category mistakes and/or silly similes and messed-up metaphors. Woof.

***

Rolled out a little late (by plan). My wife bought me a recliner (my first ever), and it’s due to arrive late this afternoon or early evening. I wanted to make sure I’m still awake and coherent when it gets here. (grin)

Today begins my new very low-pressure goals. I’m still feeling a sense of relief. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t write 3,000+ words in a day. It just means I don’t have to. It feels so good to actually relax my way into the day.

Of course, I don’t want to slip too far the other way either. There will be a period of adjustment.

***

I finally started reading over what I’ve written on the novel at around 9, allowing myself to touch it on the way through.

I did notice I’m more prone to cycling more often now that I know I have time. I write what’s flowing at the moment, then run back over it, allowing myself to touch it.

Played an on-again, off-again game of Catch The Umbrella each time the wind came up while I was outside. One of those days when there’s almost no wind, and then a sudden gust.

And then around 10:30, I went inside to turn on the swamp cooler. I noticed the temp in the house was actually climbing. I put my hand up in front of a vent and felt warm air.

So I went outside, put a nozzle on the hose and sprayed the pads on the swamp cooler (it’s on the roof) from the ground. Went back inside to check, and sure enough the air coming out of the vents was cooler.

Got the ladder out, went up on the roof thinking (hoping) I just needed to unclog the spider, but the pump is out. So I came back inside, emailed to ask my wife to pick up a new pump on her way home.

All of that took a little over 2 and a half hours.

If I still had my big word count to worry about, I’d have called the day at that point. As it was, I went back to the novel.

Dean’s been saying for years he doesn’t do word counts for fiction. He just figures out what he wants to do, then determines the number of hours he has to spend in the chair to do it. I have to admit, I like it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Ooh! Check the comments on “A Matter of Perspective” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-matter-of-perspective/#comments/.

Fiction Words: 1142
Nonfiction Words: 760 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1902

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781
Day 2…… 2678 words. Total words to date…… 4459
Day 3…… 1142 words. Total words to date…… 5601

Total fiction words for the month……… 12682
Total fiction words for the year………… 392302
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 140020
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 532322

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 648 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 9/3

Hey Folks,

I read the story I just finished to my wife yesterday, but she didn’t quite get the ending. I said, “Would it help if I had mentioned perfume” in a particular place in the story? She said it would. That was the one clue that was missing.

This was an interesting story for me. It appears to be very convoluted, but really there are only two major scenes.

And you can tell I’ve been reading a lot of Hemingway recently. This story is very detailed and very strange. (grin)

So I added the bit about perfume this morning. Actually, 18 words in three sentences, and I think it’s finished. And just in time. Today is Sunday.

The alternative was to write a brief prologue to show the crime that’s revealed at the end of the story, but I think it would give away too much. Very fine line to walk.

Still, just to be sure it works I bundled it off to my first reader, Kenneth, to see what he thinks of it. We’ll see what he says.

Today and Writing

I rolled out on time this morning at 3. But I didn’t feel like doing a lot, so I made my way slowly through my rounds on the Internet.

Then, an hour or so into the day, I added a few sentences (and fragments) to “Salvatore” (working title), ran a spell check and sent it off to my first reader.

Now I’m back to doing nothing for a little while.

I didn’t really feel well through the morning. My wife and I walked a 3.6 mile circuit. Then I got a shower and wrote a little, but I didn’t really feel into it. So back to doing nothing.

Around 11 I was thinking of calling this a non-writing day and starting fresh tomorrow.

Around noon a line popped into my head. I happened to be close to my computer at the moment, so I opened a Word doc and wrote an opening scene. Very pastoral in an upper middle-class neighborhood.

Around 12:40 something traumatic happened (in the story). So I wrote a cliffhanger and put Chapter 2 below it. Then I went to make myself some lunch. There might be nothing better in the world than tangy macaroni salad and cottage cheese on the same plate.

So the nonwriting day will end up as a writing day after all, though I can’t be sure how much writing.

But the opening is there and the cliffhanger is there and a second character, who is also affected by the trauma, is there. And the story wants to run, so I only have to write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence.

Oh, I heard back from the first reader, and I am stoked. He wrote, “Good story. The characters are believable and it flows well. It is also demanding of the reader’s attention (maybe not the best descriptor, but it is too aggressive to be called merely compelling). Not something that will allow one (me?) to read only part and put aside to finish later. I enjoyed the mystery of it.”

Yeah. And this is a guy who wouldn’t lie to save himself. I like it. By the way, the title of that one now is “The Tarp.”

So a little after 1, lunch is over and back to the story.

Calling it a day a little early. I haven’t felt good all day. My new WIP is a very interesting thing, very deep psychologically (I love that stuff), and it’s flowing.

I read the first two chapters aloud to my wife and touched it here and there as I read.

Tomorrow morning I’ll begin by reading back over everything up to this point and then writing more. I’m not worried about the light day because, as I said, this one’s really flowing.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Especially if you aren’t in BundleRabbit yet, or if you enjoy DWS’ fiction, see “Bundles in BundleRabbit.com” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/bundles-in-bundlerabbit-com/. And remember, I have a couple of works in the Guns of the West bundle right along with him. (grin)

Fiction Words: 1781
Nonfiction Words: 660 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2441

Writing of Doctor Ramsey (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 1781 words. Total words to date…… 1781

Total fiction words for the month……… 8862
Total fiction words for the year………… 388482
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1480
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 137880
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 526362

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 645 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 8/2

Hey Folks,

There is a LOT of good information in “Of Interest” below. Be sure to check it out.

A couple of days ago I announced here (to my friends) that I had another request for one of my books for a bundle. It happened again yesterday after I filed the Journal for the day. Too cool!

And then today, I received requests to include three more of my books in bundles. WAY cool! (grin)

By February, I’ll have books in

  • Dystopia (current, A Rough New World);
  • Guns of the West (current, No Kind’a Time and “A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen”);
  • Cowpunchers and Gunfighters (August 15, Commanche Fire);
  • Gumshoes (October 2, Without a Clue);
  • Remembering Warriors (January 1, Rise of a Warrior); and
  • Frisky February (February 1, The Overall Effect of Them). I am STOKED!

So one more reason to be glad I’m writing what I want to write, and writing across genres.

If you aren’t in BundleRabbit yet, get there!

***

Below in “Of Interest” is an article on Legal Myths. I recommend it. However, I disagree with the author re the need to register copyright.

I personally do not register my copyright with the copyright office. If I did, I probably would do so one year at a time.

I would bundle all my writing for 2016 (for example), title it “Works of Harvey Stanbrough, 2016” and register it for one fee. But I don’t even do that. I publish works soon after they’re finished, and the publication date should be ample proof.

Today, and Writing

I worked a little on a handout for the upcoming Storytelling at Depth workshop. Still a couple of spots open.

Did some other stuff, a lot of online playing, etc. Around 10:30 I moved to the novel.

I didn’t feel good about the opening I wrote yesterday, but I wasn’t sure why. This morning I realized I’d started too late in the story.

So today I wrote a new opening, then cycled through the whole thing.

I was also interrupted a LOT today, but all of it was good interruptions.

Three times I was interrupted by curators requesting my books for inclusion in bundles at BundleRabbit. As an added bonus, one of my friend Alison Holt’s books was ALSO requested for one of those bundles! And I think she only uploaded it today. How cool is that?

So not a big writing day today, but I feel back on track with the novel and good about everything else.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “5 Legal Myths That Writers Still Fall For, Debunked” at https://www.bookworks.com/2017/04/legal-myths-debunked-writers-authors/.

Wow. Check the comments at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-four-finished-challenge-made/#comments. There are a lot of “congrats” but a few meaty ones too.

I’m not wild about the full title you’ll find, but check these “10 Brutal Truths” at http://thepowerofideas.ideapod.com/10-brutal-truths-life-will-help-get-shit-together/. Not directly related to writing, but SO pertinent. Well done, other than the title.

Check Dean’s “A New Day” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-new-day/. Toward the bottom, he offers both an audio and a video of a podcast he just did. It’s chock full of gems. I strongly recommend it. (I prefer the video.)

Finally, while I was watching the podcast above, I also stumbled across “Being Prolific as a Fiction Writer” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH1wz-YnFe0/. Again, I strongly recommend it. A lot about the history of writing here.

Fiction Words: 1975
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2525

Writing of A Kindness (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2738 words. Total words to date…… 2738
Day 2…… 1975 words. Total words to date…… 4713

Total fiction words for the month……… 5831
Total fiction words for the year………… 368809
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1010
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 120120
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 488929

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 615 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 8 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 26
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179

The Journal, Monday, 7/31

Hey Folks,

The Last Day of July! Woohoo! Today I’ll finish my 26th novel. With any luck, I’ll begin the 27th. Well, I might wait until August 1 just to be honest about it.

Today, and Writing

Headed out to the Hovel at around 10. Struggling a little as I head for the end game on this one. The characters tossed up one more twist. Very weird.

So I wrote awhile, then cycled back through almost the whole book to make sure everything fit. Then I wrote some more, cycled back some more, and wrote some more.

Well, I found the end, but I didn’t finish. Mea culpa. Guess I’m not as bulletproof as I thought. Tomorrow I will have missed one month in my goal to complete a novel every month. But I think I won’t mourn too long. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Nothing today.

Fiction Words: 4125
Nonfiction Words: 150 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4275

Writing of Graham’s Road (tentative title, novel or novella)

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082
Day 2…… 2675 words. Total words to date…… 6757
Day 3…… 2181 words. Total words to date…… 8938
Day 4…… 4913 words. Total words to date…… 13851
Day 5…… 2543 words. Total words to date…… 16394
Day 6…… 1207 words. Total words to date…… 17601
Day 7…… 0816 words. Total words to date…… 18417
Day 8…… 0869 words. Total words to date…… 19286
Day 9…… 0503 words. Total words to date…… 19789
Day 10… 0761 words. Total words to date…… 20550
Day 11… 0653 words. Total words to date…… 21203
Day 12… 3725 words. Total words to date…… 24928
Day 13… 4125 words. Total words to date…… 29053

Total fiction words for the month……… 25021
Total fiction words for the year………… 362978
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11280
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 119110
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 482008

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 613 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179