The Journal, Friday, 7/14

Hey Folks,

Probably another full day of editing in my camp today. Then that will be behind me and I’ll turn my hand back to fiction.

Topic: POV—It Belongs to the Character, Not the Writer

This is massively important.

Summed into one sentence, Everything in every setting in your story or novel must be described through the POV character’s senses and flavored with the POV character’s opinions of the various aspects of that setting.

The POV character’s description of a setting enables the reader to see (hear, smell, taste, feel) it. The POV character’s OPINION of that setting brings it to life.

Combined, the POV character’s description of the setting and his opinions of that setting ground the reader in your story.

When the writer intrudes, inserting something himself rather than filtering it through the POV character, the passage often feels external to the story.

That’s because it is. It’s boring, uninteresting, and most often called an info dump. Most often, writers make such insertions to educate the reader, bring in back story, etc.

And every time they do, it’s unnecessary. Every time, that passage can be deleted without adversely affecting the story.

This is a master’s level difference in narration that took a long while (and a few hundred thousand words of fiction writing) to sink in for me, especially that “opinion” part.

I still practice it, and the most-often heard comment I get on my stories is, “I felt like I was there with the character.”

To make it easier, here are a couple of examples. The setting in both is a private library in a mansion in which the owner occasionally smokes a pipe. In an actual story, there would be more to it, but I think these will suffice as basic examples.

POV Character 1

The door squealed on its hinges as it opened. A couch and two wingback chairs came into view, both upholstered in a dank, forbidding, dark-brown leather. A bear skin rug glared menacingly up at me. Dark wooden shelves covered every wall from floor to ceiling. They were tight, and crammed full of books.

The dim, recessed lighting coupled with the stench of tobacco smoke only enhanced my impending sense of doom. The poor sap probably died just to escape the necessity of ever again entering this room.

POV Character 2

The door swung open easily, the hinges announcing me as if to invite me in. A couch and two wingback chairs came into view, both upholstered in a warm, chocolate brown. The shelves beyond were impressive, and economically spaced to house a voluminous collection of books.

The room was subtly, quietly lit with recessed lighting and aromatic, sweetly scented with a hint of black cherry pipe smoke. This must have been the decedent’s favorite room in the house.

Both POV characters provide the same description of the setting, but each has a very different opinion of the aspects of that setting.

I hope this helps.

Today, and Writing

I knew going in there would be no writing today unless a story insisted. I won’t finish the edit today either, but I’ll finish it tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice and from the Better Novel Project, see “How to Write a Fight Scene (in 11 Steps)” at http://www.betternovelproject.com/blog/fight-scene/. I was happy to see that apparently I’ve been doing it right for awhile now. (grin)

From Linda Maye Adams, several interesting items in her Around the Web post at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/07/14/this-week-around-the-web-july-9-14-2017/, including one on an attractive looking course for writers. It costs less than many books, so I spent the $22. I’ll report later. UPDATE: I checked it out. It seems term-ridden. Not really of much use to me, but I encourage you to at least check out the courses. Maybe they’ll be right for you.

Via The Digital Reader, Bookbaby just published the results of a survey on self-publishing. You have to give them your contact information to download it at https://www.bookbaby.com/free-guide/official-self-publishing-survey-results/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 650

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6290
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 114120
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 456965

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 596 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

The Journal, Thursday, 7/13

Hey Folks,

Wow. Again today I almost forgot to even start this Journal entry, much less post it. Not sure what’s up with that.

I carried my new portable swamp cooler out to the Hovel, added water and fired it up. The thing works. It cooled the Hovel from arounf 94 down to 80 in about 15 minutes. Very comfortable.

I have a very good topic for you that I stumbled across during the current edit. I started the Journal entry too late to include it today, but I’ll put it in here soon.

Today, and Writing

Today I’m pressing through on an edit. The story, even though it isn’t in my favorite genre, is very good. And the storyteller is very gooder, so there isn’t really a down side. (grin)

My own writing is still in the back of my mind. I’m not panicked at all. I know it’ll kick in when it’s ready to kick in. So I just keep running ideas through my head, writing down the ones that strike me as really interesting.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

More comments on Dean’s “Writing A Novel From a Cover” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-a-novel-from-a-cover/#comments/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 200 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 200

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5640
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 113470
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 456315

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 595 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

The Journal, Wednesday, 7/12

Hey Folks,

Sorry. Just not much to talk about today, and I almost forgot to even file this report. (grin) So kind of a placeholder post today.

Today, and Writing

I worked on the edit today off and on. No fiction writing, but several ideas popping into my mind through the day. That’s a good sign.

I think part of the problem is that I’ve been looking for ideas. A friend helped solve that problem earlier this afternoon when he tossed out a very vague, very general idea.

I have an idea that’s what I’m gonna go with for my novel for this month. I know it’ll make a novel, I know it’ll write fairly quickly (so I’ll get my novel in for July), and it might even lead to a series.

Back tomorrow. See you then.

Of Interest

Some good comments on Dean’s “Writing A Novel From a Cover” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-a-novel-from-a-cover/.

In Dean’s “Novel Two: Day Four” there’s a segment titled “A Point on Rest” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-two-day-four/. I recommend reading it.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 180 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 180

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5440
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 113270
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 456115

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 594 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

The Journal, Tuesday, 7/11

Hey Folks,

I started the day a little after 3 with a soft rain falling. Very nice.

As I posted on FB, I was sitting under the carport on a folding chair between my Tacoma and my wife’s Avalon. I had a lapboard on my lap, my ‘puter on it, a mug of coffee on the hood of the pickup, and a passably good cigar. And I listened to the rain pattering on the tin (these days, aluminum) roof. I was in hebben.

Great start to the day.

The landlord (and friend) is supposed to come over sometime this morning to inspect the swamp cooler on the roof. Sounds like the bearings are going out. So I’ll work on the edit this morning straight through until he’s finished and gone. Or maybe even longer.

Today, and Writing

No fiction writing today. Back to it tomorrow maybe.

See you then.

Of Interest

Check out Dean’s “Writing A Novel From a Cover” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-a-novel-from-a-cover/.

If you’re following his progress on his challenge, there’s a separate post for that just below the “Novel from a Cover” post.

If you want what’s (to me) a tongue-in-cheek look at how NOT to do something, check out “Pantsing Meets Plotting…” at https://theverbs.com/pantsing-meets-plotting-a-roadmap-to-finishing-your-book-5aa1187fca65/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 210 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 210

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5260
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 113090
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 455935

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 593 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

The Journal, Sunday, 7/9

Hey Folks,

Doing very little thus far this morning but relaxing my way into the day.

And did very little the rest of the day so far too. Puttered around outside, a little yard work, a little more on the Hovel, some automotive stuff.

The highlight was a trip to the store for tea and locking gas caps. (Hey. There’s a title for you. “Tea and Locking Gas Caps.)

Today, and Writing

Nothing today. Unless a plane lands on my house tonight and I’m in it (plane or house) I’ll be writing fiction tomorrow. Probably all day.

See you then.

Of Interest

From yesterday, see Dean’s “Novel One: Day Seven…Finished” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-one-day-seven-finished/. Go on and read today’s post too. (grin)

Via The Passive Voice, see Kris Rusch’s “Business Musings: Define Your Target Audience: The Intermediate Stages” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/07/05/business-musings-define-your-target-audience-the-intermediate-stages-brandingdiscoverability/.

Fiction Words: 1512
Nonfiction Words: 140 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1652

Writing of OPENING for “Marshal Garrett”

Day 1…… 1512 words. Total words to date…… 1512 (fizzled)

Total fiction words for the month……… 3818
Total fiction words for the year………… 341775
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112230
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 454005

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 591 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

The Journal, Friday, 7/7

Hey Folks,

Long post today. Sorry about that. But I think you’ll like most of it.

I’ve been a bit remiss in not mentioning another bundle that contains one of DWS’ SF books. The Sci-Fi July Fever Fun bundle is on sale at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/sci-fi-july/. I’m not in this one, but if you enjoy great SF, it’s bound to please.

Topic: “Real” Books vs. Ebooks

On my Facebook pages, I recently announced the BundleRabbit bundle (Guns of the West) that includes two of my books, two of DWS’ books, and one each by five other writers. (You can see it at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/guns-west/.)

I’ve had a great response thus far, and I know at least 20 people have bought the bundle as a result of my letting them know it was available.

I hope the old “80-20” rule holds true in this case. (grin) And if you’re one of those who has already plopped down $2.99 (no tax) of your hard-earned cash for the bundle, thank you.

But this morning, I checked Facebook to find this question and comment:

“Can’t I buy the actual books? I don’t like reading on line. I like to hold the real books in my hand.”

This question/comment is flawed on at least three levels, which I find amazing in our current age of technology.

This is like saying you’d rather watch a “real” film in a theater for $15 a pop instead of buying it on DVD for $5 or $6.

“But the movie is the same on DVD or in the theater,” detractors say.

Yes. It is.

And the ebook is the same as the paper book. Every word.

Okay, so here is my response to the three flaws in the question/comment:

One, ebooks ARE “actual books.” Every word of every story or novel is included in both ebook and paper editions. The assertion that a paper edition is “real” intimates that the ebook edition is not, and that’s an insult to the author.

Additionally, the ebook edition often contains little extras that are not available in paper editions (just as the DVD of a film often does). In my ebooks, I include those extras as a special Thank You for not insulting me and for being wise with your money.

Two, you don’t have to read ebooks “on line.” To continue the analogy with film, this is like saying “I don’t like to watch movies on my TV.”

You can read ebooks on your phone unless it’s the kind that’s permanently tethered to the wall. You can also read them in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (Apple, B&N and others), or .pdf formats on dedicated e-readers or tablets made by numerous manufacturers.

If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a dedicated e-reader (I don’t blame you), you can download a free app for your phone or your tablet or your computer and read them on that. You can find links to a few free e-readers on my website under the Readers’ Resources tab in the left sidebar.

But with current novel prices at around $16 and up for paper books and $5 for ebooks, a dedicated e-reader pays for itself pretty quickly.

Three, it really isn’t that difficult to find out whether a title is available in both paper and ebook. Simply key a title or author that interests you into any search engine (or Amazon or Barnes & Noble) and see what pops up in paper and ebook editions.

Identical titles are most often displayed alongside each other, which I particularly like as a writer and as a proponent of ebooks because it gives the reader an immediate price comparison.

If you key in “Harvey Stanbrough The Right Cut” for example, the first four entries are Amazon Kindle, Amazon paper edition, Smashwords (ebook only but with a link to the paper edition) and a single entry for Barnes & Noble.

Then the listings continue with Amazon UK, Amazon Japan, etc.

At B&N, you DO have to click one more time (See All Formats and Editions) to learn that the book is available in both ebook ($6.99) and paper ($15.99).

And that’s just for The Right Cut, the last book in the Wes Crowley Series.

You can also buy the entire 10-novel series in paper for around $150, or you can buy all 10 novels in one big volume (but still with all 10 covers plus the cover for the compilation) in ebook for $20.

As an added bonus, if you’re going on vacation and you don’t want to limit your reading choices, you can carry an extra bag with several of your wanna-read-someday paperbacks, or you can simply slip your e-reader (or phone) into your bag and carry them all that way. I prefer less weight.

Finally, Support Your Favorite Authors.

Strictly as an example, if you buy the ebook version of The Right Cut, I’ll earn 70% of the purchase price. You’ll spend $5.99, and I’ll get $4.19.

But if you buy the paper version for $16.99, I’ll earn about $2 per sale. Yes, that’s two dollars. It’s also very bad math from a standpoint of personal economics.

(Yes, writers who are dedicated to publishing only paper editions, I can earn more per sale if I want to order a stack of them myself, then schlep them around in the bed of my pickup or sell them at book signings, etc. But I’d really rather be writing, wouldn’t you?)

So the upshot is, the reader spends a lot more per book for the paper edition, and the author gets a lot less. As Yakov Smirnov used to say, What a country, eh?

Ebooks are here, folks. They aren’t going away. And they’re a boon to readers, not something we writers do to annoy you.

Chances are you already have the ability to read ebooks in your smart phone or on the tablet you carry with you pretty much everywhere you go. The app is free and the SAME STORIES cost a lot less. What in the world is the downside here?

Please, dive on into the 21st century and let’s get back to things that actually matter, like writing more stories.

Oh, and if any of you writers out there are not publishing your works as ebooks yet, feel free to ask me anything you want. I’ll be happy to help.

Today, and Writing

Today I didn’t write. I know. Massive shock. But I did delve deeper into my own private stock of maladies and figure out what’s wrong.

If my writing had a physical body, it would have started shutting down back when I moved my big desk out to storage and switched everything around. Only I didn’t recognize the symptoms.

Ever since then, confusion has piled on confusion. In addition to my “writer self” dying, I had the thing with Bryan and I’m worried about a couple of uncles in NM (my only remaining links to my dad), and and and. Life stuff.

As a result, I’ve been so overwhelmed that I haven’t been able even to clearly see the problem until this morning. I mean the personal writing problem, aside from all the life stuff. (Can’t do anything about the life stuff but ride it to a standstill.)

Basically, I’ve been in a kind of mourning for the routine I used to have. I think I’ve been sort of hoping something would happen to enable a new routine. But that isn’t what I really wanted, so it didn’t happen. Duh.

Epiphany: What I wanted was the old routine back.

I had (and have) a writing ‘puter. But I also had a writing PLACE. The Hovel. Almost everything I’ve written for the past year or so has gone through my fingers in the Hovel. Then I switched everything around and my previously well-oiled machine ground to a rusty, whining, shuddering, grinched-up halt.

So today I worked hard for about three hours in 100+ degree weather to set things right. Now the massive (too tall to write on) desk that was in the Hovel is in the open storage bay next door. My small writing desk is back in the Hovel. And I will be too, tomorrow morning. (grin)

On top of that, I just ordered a portable evaporative cooler to cool the Hovel. It’ll be here on July 12.

So finally, once I gave the problem the time and focus it needed, everything is back on track.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Linda Maye Adams has become a resource similar to The Passive Voice, The Digital Reader, et al. See her “Adventures Around the Web…” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/07/07/this-week-around-the-web-july-2-8-2017/. Some good stuff there.

See “10 Viral Strategies” at http://www.toddbrison.com/10ViralStrategies/. Some good stuff there too. Of course, you’ll have to translate some of it to your purpose, but….

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1410 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1410

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4140
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 111970
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 449927

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 589 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

The Journal, Thursday, 7/6

Hey Folks,

Topic: On Original Thought

Know what? Anyone who wants to be a writer should strive, every day, to have at least one original thought. On politics, religion, social hot buttons, or whatever.

To become a successful writer — by which I mean a writer who turns out work regularly and that work is regularly sold and read — the writer should strive ALL day every day to have original thoughts.

If you’re mimicking the sound bites that pass for news and social repartéé — well, good for you. But chances are, you won’t be successful, or not as successful as you could be.

So strive to have original thoughts. Then put them in your writing.

Don’t utter them aloud unless you’re among like-minded friends. Or maybe even then.

Really, there are no “like-minded” friends. If the collective of humanity had to be described by only one phrase, it would be “herd mentality.” If by one word, it would be “cliché.”

The cliché — well, you all know what a cliché is. And the herd mentality is an ugly, puke-grey-green-with-yellow-streaks-and-blotchy-pink-splotches communicable and highly contagious disease. It issues forth into the collective from an individual desire for acceptance.

See? Now that’s an original thought. It’s somewhat repulsive, but it’s also enticing. But I’ll bet you’re still reading.

Probably you’re thinking ‘Welp, Harvey’s off on another rant.’ To accompany that, you’re either grinning and wondering whether I’m about to write something with which you’ll agree.

Or you’re frowning a little and wondering whether what I’m about to write will be worth a counter argument on your part.

So you’re either about to have a little party in your mind or you’re girding your loins, so to speak, for battle.

But you’re wrong. That isn’t what this is about at all.

I actually have zero interest in causing you to think a certain way, to abide by a certain philosophy.

My only interest is that you be successful. That you experience for yourself a series of one-off thoughts that nobody else who has ever lived on this planet has experienced.

And who knows? Maybe that’s an even better definition of success in general than the one I offered earlier.

Today, and Writing

Probably no writing today. Striving to finish a copyedit of a novel today.

I actually wrote a little today, but just another opening that didn’t work. So I’m not counting it. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

From Digital Book World via The Passive Voice, see “8 Top Publishing Lessons Authors Need To Know” at http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/8-top-publishing-lessons-authors-need-to-know/. (Be careful not to swallow this article whole.)

DWS continues to impress with his current challenge. http://deanwesleysmith.com.

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

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2730
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 110560
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 448517

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 588 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

The Journal, Tuesday, 7/4

Hey Folks,

In addition to being Independence Day, today is the birth date of the most important person in the world to me.

My wife, Mona Gay Griffith Stanbrough (who much prefers to remain anonymous), was born on this date roughly 39 years ago. (grin) Happy birthday, sweetheart.

Wow. Yesterday, not five minutes after I posted this Journal, I ran across this quote from The Passive Voice:

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” ~ Douglas Pagels

I’ll take it.

I only mentioned the slump on here in the first place because this is supposed to be a candid look at my life as a writer. So the “bad” along with the good.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented via the site or emails.

One suggested it’s all right to take a “hiatus.” Another thought I should probably “shake it off” and get on about my business. A few others simply encouraged me to keep at it.

I really do appreciate any concern, but I’m not worried at all. I’m sure this will all work its way out in the wash.

Re the term I used (slump), probably it’s a matter of personal definition. To me, a hiatus is a vacation, something we plan. “Slump” is a term I stole from the baseball world. The guy still has all the mechanics in place, but he finds himself unable to deliver.

During this slump, I’ll continue to think like a writer. I’ll read, I’ll look at cover photos, and I’ll write down the opening lines of narrative and dialogue that pop into my head.

I’ll come up with ideas and write openings. If one takes off, the slump will end. Until then, it won’t. But I’m okay with that.

At least I’m still writing every day, if only in this Journal. (grin)

Today, and Writing

Posting this early, then taking a hiatus from my slump today to enjoy the day with the birthday girl. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Pretty sure during this month DWS is going to lay out his day and report on progress on his challenge each day. Worth following even when I don’t mention him here. You never know what little phrase or sentence he’ll write that will plant exactly the seed you need. http://deanwesleysmith.com.

Linda Maye Adams continues to progress on her own challenge, posting one scene per day at http://lindamayeadams.com.

My friend Christopher Ridge is taking on a challenge this month too, but I’ve forgotten the URL of his website. Chris? Add your website URL to your signature at the bottom of your emails and email me. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 460 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 460

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1840
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 109670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 447627

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 586 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)……………………………… 176

The Journal, Sunday, 7/2

Hey Folks,

I always hate registering a zero for fiction writing for the first day of the month. But it is what it is.

I didn’t clear the decks quite well enough to approach my much-touted WIP challenge in July. My wife’s birthday and vacation are both this month, and my son recently moved to Arizona, so visits will ensue. I’ll get back to the challenge sometime in the future. No rush.

For now I’m going to not think about challenges other than the ongoing novel-a-month thing and just get back to writing.

Yesterday, ideas were lining up outside my mental door and flinging themselves at it. I expect more of the same today.

I’ve also recognized something new about myself. I enjoy writing short stories, but I enjoy writing novels a lot more.

Even when I was writing short stories early last month, some small part of my subconscious was watching and hoping a novel would emerge.

I’m not sure what that means yet, but I suspect it will bode well for me. Stay tuned.

Topic: Writing Prompts

I’m not sure this is really big enough for a whole topic. But the notion of it is big enough that it deserves the tag.

As I looked through some of the writing-prompt sites this morning (see “Of Interest”), a thought occurred.

Poets and Writers’ weekly column “The Time Is Now” offers three prompts per week. They emphasize that one prompt is for poetry, one for fiction, and one for creative nonfiction.

I visited the site. As I scrolled down and read over some of the prompts, I got a great deal more inspiration as I read the paragraph beneath each prompt. So that’s one thing. And I actually got more than one idea from most of the paragraphs.

I also got some great, impactful story titles from some of their titles and derived from the paragraphs under the titles.

But another, much bigger relization is that ANY of the prompts can be used for fiction. Or poetry or creative nonfiction, I suppose. And that makes complete sense.

I’ve written several short stories that were based on poems I wrote years ago. I’ve written at least two novels based on poems I wrote earlier as well.

You can check out “The Time Is Now” at https://www.pw.org/writing-prompts-exercises/.

As you browse the list of other websites in the article in “Of Interest,” you’ll find more neat stuff.

Today, and Writing

Nothing again today.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Self-Publishing Does Not Have to Cost You Anything at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2017/06/26/it-self-publishing-does-not-have-to-cost-you-anything/. Amen.

Also via The Passive Voice, see “6 Websites with Great Writing Prompts” at https://medium.com/personal-growth/6-websites-with-great-writing-prompts-1c35288ef91a/. There’s actually more than writing prompt sites. Check out this one.

Have I said lately how much DWS amazes me? Check out “Novel One: Day One” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-one-day-one/.

If you have books available through Smashwords, visit https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos to enroll your books in their annual July Summer/Winter Sale. You know. If you want to.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 490 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 490

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 600
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 446387

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 584 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)……………………………… 176

The Journal, Friday, 6/30

Hey Folks,

Yay! The last day of what turned out to be a major transition month for me. At least as far as life and websites go.

This morning I realized there’s a glitch in my challenge plans.

The challenge is to write a short story every day “in public,” meaning I’ll post it scene by scene over at hstanbrough.com.

But sometimes a story grows into a novel. I usually recognize a budding novel at around the two-thirds point of a story. Last month, in only 8 stories, two also wanted to be novels.

That made me wonder, for a short time, whether maybe I should delay the postings. Maybe wait to begin posting a scene at a time until I’m sure the story will wrap as a short story.

Then I realized that’s my conscious mind again, coming through a side door to try to shut down the process. Silly.

I still wrote 8 short stories last month. I was able to wrap them as stories, so there was no interruption in the process.

So I’ll go with scene by scene in real time and let the chips plop where they wanna.

I’ll also have to work out a schedule, a routine, as I go. The Hovel is out for now. Too hot. So we’ll see what happens in that regard. That’s another major change for me.

Today, and Writing

I rose late, did Facebook and email, wrote the stuff above and started the water on the yard.

I cast about for awhile for story ideas, but nothing came to me. I was still searching old files and my brain when noon rolled around.

I guess the calendar matters more to me than I thought it did. Shrug. So I’ll start the challenge tomorrow.

It’s kind of funny, really. I wrote a book called Writing Great Beginnings, but I’m having trouble coming up with a beginning (an opening line). Go figure.

Anyway, I’ll use the balance of today exercising my idea muscle, getting back into the routine of allowing story ideas to come to me.

Actually, I wrote fiction only 15 days this month and still exceeded 45,000 words of fiction for the month. Somehow I’m okay with that. (grin)

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

A great post if you’re interested in how to plan for a challenge. See “Just Getting Ready For July” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/just-getting-ready-for-july/.

If you’re interested in Orwellian horror/sf come to life, check out “Netherlands Considers Euthanasia…” at http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/30/netherlands-considers-euthanasia-healthy/.

For yet another eye-opener re Amazon, see “Amazon Has a Fake Book Problem” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/amazon-has-a-fake-book-problem/. (Thanks, Alison.)

Alison also introduced me to David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital website. Just remember to take any advice with a grain of salt: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/start-here/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 430 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 430

Writing of

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 45050
Total fiction words for the year………… 337957
Total nonfiction words for the month… 17850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 107830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 445787

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 582 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)……………………………… 176