The Journal, Wednesday, 8/9

Hey Folks,

Well, I guess I’m taking a full-blown hiatus for a week or so. No writing today.

No worries and no reason for concern. I think I’m just a little tired. Doing a lot of non-writing things right now, mixed in with a lot of reading, sitting and nothing.

I think I’m gonna slack off on The Journal a bit too. It had served its purpose on this end awhile back, and I’ve heard from some of you that it’s been a boon on that end.

I’ll keep it going, but maybe not every day. The “streak” aspect of it has become less important. Maybe it’ll become just The Journal or something instead of The Daily Journal. (grin)

I’m also thinking of letting the other URL expire, the URL where it’s physically located now. I think that’s supposed to happen in April. The Journal seems awfully lonely over there.

So if I do that, I might move this back over to the main site if I decide not to post it every day. Maybe I’ll go once a week or something and post it in between regular posts.

Anyway, if I do move The Journal again, I’ll be sure to announce it here for those of you who subscribe via RSS.

I’ll keep up the word counts and all that, just in case some of you get something from that other than frustration and annoyance.

Of Interest

I figured this one was coming. See “WRITING INTO THE DARK: A New Online Workshop” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-into-the-dark-a-new-online-workshop/. (You can also buy the book. It’s a lot less expensive.)

And if any of you enjoy reading fantasy, see “I Curated THE UNIVERSE BETWEEN Bundle” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/i-curated-the-universe-between-bundle/. I’m not personally into fantasy, but bundles are always a great value.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 290 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 290

Writing of “” ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 13581
Total fiction words for the year………… 376559
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3800
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 122910
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 499469

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 621 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, Sunday, 8/6

Hey Folks,

Not sure what the day will hold, but at least I got some writing done and finished the story.

Today, and Writing

I rose way early, a little before 2, so the girls could spend some time outside before the kids and grandkids get up. (My babies spend all their time under my bed when anyone’s visiting.)

I started writing at 4. Did a lot of cycling back to add in small details (verisimilitude, that) and wrote a little over 1400 words to finish the story. Probably no more writing today, and that’s fine.

After the visit I’ll watch some baseball.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

At Dean’s place, of particular interest, there’s still room in all of the online workshops for August. I can’t recommend these enough, folks. In fact, I’m enrolled in one this month. Details to follow. See http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/store-and-auction/.

Fiction Words: 1450
Nonfiction Words: 150 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1600

Writing of “Going Home” (short story)

Day 1…… 3109 words. Total words to date…… 3109
Day 2…… 0802 words. Total words to date…… 3911
Day 3…… 1450 words. Total words to date…… 5361 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 13581
Total fiction words for the year………… 376559
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2550
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 121660
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 498219

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 619 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, 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, Tuesday, 8/1

Hey Folks,

Well, five are signed up for the writing intensive now. Three slots left, and one more would-be attendee is thinking about it.

Today I’ll endeavor to finish my July novel. (grin) Whenever I finish, I’ll have 8 novels or novellas at the beginning of the 8th month of the year.

With my annual goal of 15 novels or novellas on the year, I’m going to plan to write two novels per month for August, September and October. Absolutely no reason I shouldn’t be able to do that.

During August also I’m prepping for and teaching the intensive, and I’ll begin another online workshop with Dean to keep advancing my own skills. All in all, wow do I ever love this life.

***

I’ve talked a lot about Draft2Digital, a distributor for ebooks. They’ve added Overdrive now to their distribution list, helping writers get into a boatload of libraries. Check it out at https://draft2digital.com/blog/.

Today, and Writing

I started writing (inside) at about 8:45. By 9 I realized the last chapter I wrote yesterday was a false ending. And it was actually longer than the last chapter I wrote today. (grin) Go figure.

I ditched it.

I sat back for a minute, then put my fingers on the keyboard again. A little less than an hour later, I’d written 1118 words and the thing was done. And it’s tight.

I’ll take a break now, then start the next one.

Started writing again around noon. All I had was a mental image of two guys in a military truck in a foreign country in a driving rain watching something. The driver wanted to be there. The passenger did not.

A little over 1100 words in the first hour. Then I wanted a cigar so I packed up and headed for the Hovel. Turned on the swamp cooler out there, lit a cigar and hammered out another thousand words.

Then the squirrels who live in the wood and junk pile just outside the door of the Hovel started sounding off with a bark that sounds like birdsong.

I got up and went outside. I said, “Little Bit, are you out here?”

She came walking out from under the travel trailer we use as a spare bedroom. So now I have cat-alarm squirrels.

I packed up and headed back to the house.

At 2:50, I returned to the story.

I wrote ’til around 3:30, then called it. Good day.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Read Dean’s “Novel Four: Finished. Challenge Made!” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-four-finished-challenge-made/. Be sure to read the bold face stuff too below the post. That starts with “Total for Challenge.”

Via The Passive Voice, see “The Power of the Unlikeable Protagonist” at http://writerunboxed.com/2017/07/01/the-power-of-the-unlikeable-protagonist/.

Fiction Words: 3856
Nonfiction Words: 460 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4316

Writing of A Kindness (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2738 words. Total words to date…… 2738

Writing of The Implications (formerly tentatively titled Graham’s Road)
362978
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
Day 14… 1118 words. Total words to date…… 30171 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 3856
Total fiction words for the year………… 366834
Total nonfiction words for the month… 460
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 119570
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 486404

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 614 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, Sunday, 7/30

Hey Folks,

Cool. I woke this morning to a request to include yet another of my books, Rise of a Warrior, in a bundle at BundleRabbit. Not only is it a good stand-alone novel, but it’s also the first book in the Wes Crowley series. Uh, yeah. I’ll do that. (grin)

If you don’t have your work listed with BundleRabbit yet, why not? Check it out at http://bundlerabbit.com. The account is free, and every time your story or book is bundled, you gain access to new readers.

And yes, you can upload short stories and collections as well as novellas and novels. Just do it already.

***

Still a few slots open for the writing intensive. As a reminder, it’s on Wednesday, 16 August, here in beautiful downtown St. David.

***

I actually sacked out early last night and rose early this morning. Feels good to be back on track. I spent the first couple of hours playing, looking at parlor-sized (3/4 sized) guitars online.

But I don’t think I’m gonna buy one just yet. I still have stories to tell, and I really don’t have time for more than one passionate pursuit.

Today, and Writing

To the novel at 6. I’m getting anxious to have this one over and done. That string of three-digit word counts is bugging me.

Ran into another problem with the situation. I know the end is close, but I also don’t have a clue where it is. Exciting but frustrating too.

I’m pretty sure now I won’t wrap this one until tomorrow. I won’t rush the ending either, but I don’t think I’ll need to anyway. As I said, it feels like I’m in the proximity.

Worked on it off and on during the day, mostly in 15 and 20 minute bits. Around noon I took a couple hours off to watch the Cubs play the Brewers. Then around 2:20 I headed out to the Hovel (first time since I’ve been back) to put in at least one solid session today.

Little girl’s been really needy today, following me around and so on. Right now she’s under the bed (thunder in the area) so I went to the Hovel.

I have to find a way to get to the Hovel more often. All day in those short bits, I wrote about 1700 words. In one hour and a half session in the Hovel, I wrote the rest. Wow. That’s the power of having a place where your subconscious is trained to write.

I think I could have written more too, but I worked myself into a corner and ran out of time. I might need to rethink what time I post the Journal. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via Linda Adams on her Facebook page, you’re cheating yourself of a great time if you don’t read “Self Publishing Destroys the Universe at https://medium.com/@kevintumlinson/self-publishing-destroys-the-universe-9b4cb0276518/. It’s a little long, but a ton of fun.

See Dean’s “Novel Four: Day Four” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-four-day-four/. Incredible. Here I am struggling to finish a single novel of only around 30,000 words (maybe) and he’s about to finish his fourth 40,000+ word novel of the month.

I don’t compare myself to Dean, but I do use him for inspiration and to realize what’s possible. (grin)

Fiction Words: 3725
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4275

Writing of Graham’s Road (short novel)

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

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……………………………………… 612 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, 7/28

Hey Folks,

I get a lot of questions that I can answer, in general, with this one sentence:

“In storytelling, no single aspect is more important than the ability to pull the reader into the story and keep him there.”

I’m hoping to teach an intensive on how exactly to do that in the near future. The intensive will be geared for no more than 8 attendees. Two writers are already signed up.

I’ll cover

  • Openings,
  • Hooks,
  • Grounding the Reader in the Story,
  • Physical and Emotional Cliffhangers, and
  • Pacing.

Given time, I’ll talk a little about Endings as well.

The intensive will begin at 10 a.m. and run through about 4 p.m. It will be in St. David, Arizona. The cost will be $100.

After spending a few hours wrangling with writers via email (grin), I’m letting the 2 writers who are already signed up pick the date for the intensive.

I’ll pass along the firm date as soon as they let me know. Then if at least 4 writers sign on, the class will make.

I can’t promise I’ll do this again, maybe ever. So if you’re within driving distance and you’re interested, let me know.

Today, and Writing

Got up early (on time, for me) and put together the beginnings of the intensive I’m planning to teach. Information above.

Today is the third to the last vacation day for Mona, so whatever she wants to do is the priority. But I’ll write at least a little today. (grin)

Opened the story at 8:30 a.m. Went to Sierra Vista on a shopping trip at 9 a.m. (grin)

Back at the story after a long session of email, and realized today will be another cycling, cleaning, straightening day on the story. Sigh. A character came up with a new twist, and of course it has to be worked in through the whole book.

But I’m determined this will be the last day for that. Beginning tomorrow I’ll be powering through the rest of the story to the end.

Well, determined or not, I’ll have one more partial day of cycling. This thing is really twisted. 🙂 So tomorrow will be cycling and writing.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Your Book Needs These 6 Psychological Ingredients” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/07/your-book-needs-these-6-psychological-ingredients/. He links from there to the full article.

DWS talks on a podcast about being a prolific writer. Check it out at https://www.theprolificwriter.net/episode-33-dean-wesley-smith-on-the-myths-of-writing-and-publishing/.

If you’re a writer of SF or Fantasy, see Nate Hoffelder’s post on a prestigious new fan-based award at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/07/27/voting-fan-choice-dragon-awards-ends-28-august/.

You can find more information at http://awards.dragoncon.org/faq/candidate-faq/.

Fiction Words: 761
Nonfiction Words: 410 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1171

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 24368
Total fiction words for the year………… 362325
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 118680
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 481005

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 610 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, 7/23

Hey Folks,

Well, my kitten is all right. I won’t go into details, but my wife and I considered putting off our trip (with nonrefundable hotel stays already paid for) to stay here with her. Thanks to my bride for considering doing that. (She brought the subject up.)

I’m always torn when I (or we) leave. It’s better for Bit and the other two babies to stay here in familiar surroundings. But it’s always difficult on me, being away from her for any length of time. I’ve never been quite selfish enough to take her with me, but I’ve been on the verge pretty much every time. (grin)

So anyway, we’re on the road sometime tomorrow morning.

Because you never know what the Internet will do in a strange place, and because my schedule will be all over the place time-wise, I’ll spend part of today pre-posting a few Journal entries as placeholders.

Then if I’m able and if I have anything relevant to say, I’ll update each of those pre-posts each day before it posts.

One of the two major plot points in the WIP novel is resolved, mostly, as far as I know, but I have no idea where the end is in this book. So I also plan to write two or three hours per day while we’re gone.

I don’t want to take for granted that I “might” be able to finish it in only the few days after we get back. (grin)

Topic: A Little More on Cycling

Or maybe on different versions of cycling.

I’ve mentioned that before I start writing for the day, I usually go back about 1000 words and start reading, allowing myself to touch the manuscript as I go.

I do this with the subconscious, reading strictly for pleasure, but with my fingers on the keyboard. When something needs to be added, I add it.

A few times recently, I’ve talked with other writers about cycling. They outlined what they do and how, and so on. It’s usually something similar.

In the introduction to the library edition of A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway wrote that before he began each day’s writing, he read through the entire novel up to that point, allowing himself to touch it as he did so.

So even he was cycling, if he kept his conscious mind still during those sessions and allowed only his subconscious to touch the work. Except he cycled through the entire thing each day until it was finished.

I just thought that was interesting.

Today, and Writing

Moved out to the Hovel around 8 after all the stuff above and preparing and pre-posting the Journal for the next few days.

I decided for this one I’d try Hemingway’s method, at least for today.

So I started reading at the beginning, allowing myself to touch the manuscript as I read through it.

By noon, including four or five interruptions as I moved from Hovel to house to outside desk and back in, I’d completed the read-through of the first 16,100 words.

That brought me up to the beginning of the last chapter I wrote day before yesterday. In that time, I added around 600 words.

I was glad I conducted this little experiment, but I won’t repeat it for this book. (That is, I won’t read from the beginning again.) From here on out, I’ll begin the writing day by reading over what I wrote the day before, then go from there.

So for now, a quick lunch. Then I’ll begin reading at Chapter 19. At the end of that, I’ll begin writing new stuff again.

Well, I got through the next chapter, then ran out of steam. (grin)

I hope to add more tomorrow but that will depend on how tired I am from the trip.

Anyway, back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Check Dean’s “Novel Three: Day Six” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-six/. An excerpt: “When you don’t know where the story is going, have the characters talk about how they don’t know what to do next.”

Fiction Words: 1207
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1857

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 21419
Total fiction words for the year………… 359376
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9360
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 117190
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 476566

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 605 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, 7/21

Hey Folks,

Nothing much to talk about today. I should be back in a day or two with a topic or three.

Oh, I do have a book in a new bundle. The Dystopia Bundle at BundleRabbit. You can get 11 great stories (so the curator says) for only $3.99. A good value no matter how you cut it.

For details, please check https://bundlerabbit.com/b/alpha-one/. Here’s a picture:

Today, and Writing

Got out to the Hovel a little later than I did yesterday. That, combined with a strange necessity to do very little, slowed the pace of my writing and today’s output.

The novel continues to move at a pace it has chosen, and seems loathe to be speeded along. I had hoped to finish it before my wife and I take vacation (Monday), but apparently it will be a working vacation for me. If you can call this work.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you ever feel time crunched, read the comments on Dean’s Novel Three: Day Three at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-three/#comments. He outlines a quick way to get a handle on it.

Fiction Words: 2543
Nonfiction Words: 150 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2693

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 20212
Total fiction words for the year………… 358169
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8660
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 116490
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 474659

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 603 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, 7/20

Hey Folks,

I’m so excited about this first bit I can barely breathe. Truly a drop-the-mic moment.

Via The Digital Reader (Thanks, Nate!) you can now download and read — FREE — a huge archive of Amazing Stories magazines. They are available in several formats, and both Kindle and PDF downloaded quickly for me.

If you like SF, this is a treasure trove. If you want to study masterful writers, this is an atomic treasure trove.

(And please, if you think you have to want to write SF to learn from masterful SF writers, you shouldn’t have access to sharp objects.)

To take advantage of this incredible opportunity, visit Open Culture at http://www.openculture.com/2017/07/a-huge-archive-of-amazing-stories-the-worlds-oldest-longest-running-science-fiction-magazine-since-1926.html.

***

In response to Dean’s recent comment that he tossed out about 3,000 words on his current WIP, a writer said he’d started a few ideas but they soon ran out of steam, that they didn’t interest him.

That seemed really familiar to me. That’s exactly what happened to me earlier this month. So, he said, he set them all aside.

He mentioned that in addition to the “character with a problem in a setting” starter, he now relies on something called Storymatic for ideas (see “Of Interest” below).

The guy went to his Storymatic deck of cards, drew two or three, and started writing. (This reminds me of Dean’s penchant for crashing two half-titles together to begin a story.)

I mention this only because I wonder what he’ll do with the story openings he’s already written.

When I finally started writing again, I just went back to the openings I wrote earlier this month, opened one, and made up my mind to finish it. Basically, ever since then, my mantra has been “write the next sentence.”

The story itself interests me somewhat, but I’m still not excited about it. I don’t look forward to getting back to it.

So I’ll be interested to see how this turns out.

I’m a little conflicted. I like adhering to Heinlein’s Rules, and Rule 2 is “You must finish what you write.” I’m certain that isn’t a hard, fast rule so much as a stringent guideline.

But I have a feeling the more times you start and then abandon a story, the easier it gets for the conscious mind to creep in and find a reason to abandon the next one.

That’s the main reason I’m still writing my WIP. That and the bonafide fact that I can’t possibly know what might excite some reader.

I use all the techniques I’ve learned, but beyond that I let the chips fall where they may.

Today, and Writing

I moved out to the Hovel early at around 7:30. Did some cycling to get back into the story, and by 9 I’d written only about 1000 words.

I have a feeling this isn’t one of those novels in which things suddenly break loose and it runs. At least not until it nears the end.

Until then, probably I’ll spend a lot of time piecing together a patchwork of scenes. I’ll have to remind myself to trust my subconscious even when it seems to want to write something that isn’t apparently pertinent.

An incredible day of writing for me, mostly in 15 and 20 minute snippets with a couple of hour-long sessions tossed in.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you’re one who has trouble coming up with ideas, consider Storymatic. You can read about it at https://thestorymatic.com/products/the-storymatic-classic/.

Fiction Words: 4913
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 5493

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 17669
Total fiction words for the year………… 355626
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8510
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 116340
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 471966

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 602 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, 7/19

Hey Folks,

Hemingway has long been my major influence in my writing. The man just has a way with terse sentences, regardless of their length.

I need to read some of his stuff. I thought I had most of his works, so I checked. I have his Complete Short Stories: The Finca Vigia Edition in both paper and ebook, and I’ve read it through several times.

I also have a few of his novels. A few. My library was sorely lacking in that regard.

Yesterday I did a quick inventory, then sat down and ordered The Old Man and the Sea, To Have and Have Not, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and Green Hills of Africa.

Yeah, it was THAT lacking.

I wanted them all in Kindle, but that was not to be. TradPubs jack their ebook prices so high (with practically zero overhead) that it’s MUCH less expensive to buy paper. So I bought paper.

For beautiful, poetic prose I call upon Isabel Allende. (Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Márquez are close seconds, but nothing makes music like Allende’s prose.)

But for terse, tight, attention-grabbing, non-lulling stuff, I always go back to Hemingway. Everybody else whose work I like at all comes in at a medium to distant second. James Lee Burke is right up there too.

Today, and Writing

Got out to the Hovel a little earlier today. The story keeps sticking, probably because of the two major plot lines that are running through it. (grin)

But it keeps moving forward, albeit in bits and spurts, so I’ll take it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See Dean’s “Novel Three: Day Two,” a really good post, at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-two/. (Note too that he has a new bundle out, a really good one if you’re an SF binge reader. I’m a little annoyed that he chose not to promote the Guns of the West bundle.)

From his post, I encourage you to browse The Prolific Writer at http://www.theprolificwriter.net/. Some gems, some not so good things. You decide. I also added this as a link to Writers’ Resources over on the big site.

If you’d like to see a great author website, check out Chris Fox Writes at http://www.chrisfoxwrites.com/.

See “In Praise of the Alphasmart Neo” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2015/11/13/in-praise-of-the-alphasmart-neo/. (But this is exactly why I have a dedicated writing computer. You don’t HAVE to connect to the Internet.)

Fiction Words: 2181
Nonfiction Words: 400 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2581

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 12756
Total fiction words for the year………… 350713
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7930
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 115760
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 466473

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 601 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