The Journal, Friday, January 19

Hey Folks,

Well, the ending of The Origin Novel snuck up on me this morning. I figured it would be at least a few more days, but I turned a corner and there it was.

It’s now titled The Keeper of the Promise, with The Origin Novel as the subtitle.

As you know, much of the process on this one was me cycling back through stuff I’d already written. I started with five short stories. When the dust cleared, I had cut two complete short stories that didn’t figure into the novel (or did so only peripherally) plus about another 3,000 words.

Then I added another 33000 new words to round the story out into a novel.

Now, unlike my usual process, I’m going to sit on this one for a few days, then read over it again to make sure it all flows. (Because of all the stitching together.) I might add or cut another few words here and there, but for the main, it’s finished.

This was an interesting exercise, but not one I’d like to repeat in the future. (grin)

Anyway, I already have an idea in mind for the next novel with all-new characters. But for the rest of today, I have household chores to catch up on, and then some reading.

With any luck, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Nothing today that I could find, but I do encourage you to visit The Killzone Blog at https://killzoneblog.com/ and Jordan Dane’s website at http://jordandane.com/.

Fiction Words: 1042
Nonfiction Words: 250 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1292

Writing of The Keeper of the Promise: The Origin Novel

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 11… 1358 words. Total words to date…… 58305
Day 12… 2840 words. Total words to date…… 61145
Day 13… 2615 words. Total words to date…… 63760
Day 14… 1857 words. Total words to date…… 65617
Day 15… 1042 words. Total words to date…… 66659 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 37703
Total fiction words for the year………… 37703
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6870
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 6870
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 44573

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 1
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 28
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, January 18

Hey Folks,

Be sure to hit the “Of Interest” section below. There’s a lot there. It will seem overwhelming, but I read all of the info there in less than an hour. Either way, you don’t want to miss it.

***

Well, the water heater started leaking last night. One of those times I’m glad I’m renting instead of buying. The owners know us well and trust us, so we do pretty much anything we want to the house and the property, but when big expenses come up (like replacing a water heater) that’s on them. It’s all good.

I moved out to the Hovel a little early this morning at 5. I put down about 600 words then headed back up to the house to shower and spend some time with my wife before she heads off to work.

Still chilly here, in the low 20s overnight and with around 60 for a high, with a cold north wind that feels like it’s blowing off a block of ice. I count my blessings though, that I’m here and not on the icy plains or in the refrigerator of the midwest.

***

Well, kind of a slow day for writing. I got one more good session, then helped the landlord install the new water heater, then ran back out to hammer away a little more. Not the day I’d hoped for, but I’ll take it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

For a much more in-depth explanation of Dean’s new coast workshop see “I Wasn’t Clear” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/i-wasnt-clear/.

See James Scott Bell’s “What’s the Deal on Dreams in Fiction?” at https://killzoneblog.com/author/jimbell.

See John Gilstrap’s “Internal Monologue” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/internal-monologue.html. I especially like this one because he talks in some detail about italicizing unspoken thought.

Then see Jordan Dane’s “5 Key Ways to Balance Internal Monologue with Pitfalls to Avoid” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/16773.html.

Finally (for The Kill Zone blog) see PJ Parrish’s “The Agony and Ecstasy of Starting Over” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/the-agony-and-ecstasy-of-starting-over.html.

See “How To Brief A Cover Designer” at https://kobowritinglife.com/2018/01/16/how-to-brief-a-cover-designer/.

As a resource, see the list of “The Book Designer” article categories at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/articles/.

And strictly for nostalgia, see “Goin’ by Fats’ House” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/goin-by-fats-house.html.

Fiction Words: 1857
Nonfiction Words: 360 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2217

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172
Day 4…… 2525 words. Total words to date…… 43697
Day 5…… 2609 words. Total words to date…… 46306
Day 6…… 2455 words. Total words to date…… 48761
Day 7…… 1341 words. Total words to date…… 50102
Day 8…… 2354 words. Total words to date…… 52456
Day 9…… 1194 words. Total words to date…… 53650
Day 10… 3297 words. Total words to date…… 56947
Day 11… 1358 words. Total words to date…… 58305
Day 12… 2840 words. Total words to date…… 61145
Day 13… 2615 words. Total words to date…… 63760
Day 14… 1857 words. Total words to date…… 65617

Total fiction words for the month……… 36661
Total fiction words for the year………… 36661
Total nonfiction words for the month… 6620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 6620
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 43281

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, January 3

Hey Folks,

I’m constantly amazed at the variations among writer experiences.

In that regard, there are several informative comments on Dean’s post from yesterday. You can see those at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-few-words-about-starting/#comments. I was gratified to see that a couple of commenters on Dean’s post took away some of the same things I got out of it. Amazing. We aren’t quite as insulated and alone as we sometimes believe we are.

I also get an occasional blog post from a young writer named J.R. Murdock. You can see his latest at https://jrmurdock.com/2018/01/02/looking-back-moving-forward/.

Like some of the folks who commented on Dean’s post, J.R. experienced a major life event, the near loss of his job. J.M. Ney-Grimm, an experienced professional fantasy writer who commented on Dean’s post, lost her mother in October. Those are massive life rolls.

In the case of J.R., I exceeded his word count goal although I fell far short of my own annual goal. (I wrote 75% of the 12 novels I planned to write in 2017, but only 60% of my extended goal (15 novels). Yet I wrote only 41% of the overall annual word-count goal I hoped to reach.

Yet J.R. reached almost 74% of his own annual word count goal.

What does all of this mean? Only that goals, discipline, and life rolls are very personal things. I’ve always believed in comparing myself to others as a way of stretching myself. Dean has been the dangling carrot to my mule for years.

But the only truly valid comparison (the excused absence granted by life rolls aside) is comparing your own production with your own realistically set goals.

J.R. set a much lower goal than mine last year, and he missed it, though in my book at 74% he did pretty well. Especially considering that he has a stressful full-time job, still has children at home, and lives in Southern California, which perhaps holds the crown for the most attractive-nuisance distractions per capita. I applaud the guy, and I’m pulling for him.

I’m always surprised a little, in a good way, at the energy pouring out of the new starts we make at major junctions, like the recent beginning of the new year.

You saw that same thing recently from me (http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-friday-december-29/), despite my cynicism regarding the way humans think about Time. I’d like to hear about your writing goals too, if you have time to add a comment below.

***

Despite rolling out at 3 a.m., I didn’t get started on the novel today until 9 a.m. That’s fine, in keeping with my new, more-relaxed attitude toward writing.

My daily word count goal drives me to the computer, but once I’m there I trust that I’ll get the words I need. So driven and relaxed. The best of both worlds.

In the first two sessions (still cycling) I added just over 1200 words in the Hovel. Up to the house for early lunch and to spend a little time with the baby (my cat).

I went back to play. I didn’t really think I’d hit the word count goal today, but I actually exceeded it. Man that feels good!

Back soon.

Of Interest

See John Gilstrap’s “Note to Copy Editor” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/01/note-to-copy-editor.html.

Some of the other posts at The Kill Zone blog might be of interest and/or useful to you as well: https://killzoneblog.com/.

See Dean’s “I’m Back Writing As Well” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/im-back-writing-as-well/.

See “The Kindle for Nonfiction Already…” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/01/02/kindle-non-fiction-already-exists-might-not-recognize-not-book/. Excellent, insightful article.

Kevin Tumlinson, who is a major mover at Draft2Digital, is also a good thriller writer and a podcaster, among many other talents. Check out his site at http://kevintumlinson.com/. He also personally answers his own email.

Fiction Words: 3189
Nonfiction Words: 620 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3809

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172

Total fiction words for the month……… 8514
Total fiction words for the year………… 8514
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1910
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 1910
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 10424

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Saturday, December 23

Hey Folks,

I’m psyched. Even yesterday, in 20° weather, I was thinking what a wonderful day it is to be alive. The same holds true today.

I have some great things coming up in the new year. They have nothing to do with traditional new year’s resolutions — those always are losing propositions for me, invitations to fail — but the things I’m looking forward to do have a lot to do with writing (of course).

And they’re made bigger and better and more fun by the fact that, other than a few vague ideas floating around in my brain pan, I have no idea what they are.

I almost wish I could go back and write the Wes Crowley Saga again. Not because I want to retell that story, but because I long to be that involved, write something on that scale, enjoy the characters that much.

I have considered writing about Wes’ son or daughter, but I can’t. He and Coralín set them up to become doctors and lawyers and the like, and that just isn’t my bailiwick.

Maybe I’ll happen on a story idea that will carry me that far again. Who knows.

But then, that’s the magic of it, isn’t it? That “who knows” part. Especially when you’re just writing blind, writing off into the dark, letting the characters entertain you with their story. (It is their story, you know, not yours.)

That’s the magic of it and the sheer joy of it. And I wish you much magic and joy over this Christmas holiday and in the new year.

Back soon.

Of Interest

A couple from James Scott Bell:

See “Channeling Your Childhood Heroes” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/12/channeling-your-childhood-heroes.html.

And then see “Writers Need to Be Amphibious” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/12/writers-need-to-be-amphibious.html.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 270 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 270

Writing of “”

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 453762
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4950
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 180503
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 634265

Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Tuesday, December 5,

Hey Folks,

A few days ago, a friend sent me an email: “You think too much.”

I could only respond with a smiley face.

I do understand why “you think too much” would appear to readers of this Journal to be true. After all, the point of the Journal is to bare the most intimate details and thought processes of my writing life, with the ultimate goal of maybe cutting the learning curve a bit for you, the subscribers.

But I assure you, I only think “too much” here, in this Journal. And really, I don’t know that I’m thinking too much as probably sharing too much.

I’m very aware that one of my weaknesses has been conveying too much information (TMI), whether speaking aloud or in nonfiction writing like this Journal. I’ve been that way since my early childhood, so I doubt I’ll change now.

For example, my wife often says I’m “too specific.” When she asks where something is, I might say it’s “near the back right corner of the third drawer from the top in my desk.”

I just can’t bring myself to offer up a soup sandwich like “It’s in my desk” or “It’s in a drawer in my desk.”

I actually want to say “…the third drawer from the top in the pedestal in my desk” but I assume the prepositional phrase “from the top” adequately implies that the drawer is in the pedestal. (grin)

Of course, I’m joking. But I’m not exaggerating. I DO think like that, but I would elaborate on it only here. You know, by way of explanation.

And, as Bill Shakespeare might say, “There’s the rub.”

That “by way of explanation” thing is why I elaborate to such an elaborate degree (isn’t English wonderful?). I prefer to leave no room for misunderstanding, a hopeless goal where human beings are involved if ever there was one.

So think too much? Maybe, maybe not.

Share too much? Definitely. If I didn’t, there would be no basis to believe I think too much. (grin)

***

Thanks to my friend, Robert Sadler, for the excellent poem he wrote as a take-off on my “desk” essay from a few days ago. Absolutely excellent.

I almost wrote a few days ago that Dean seems as stalled as I am. Kind of eerie. You can see the culmination of that in https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/auction-and-other-fun-things-today/.

Then today, he began offering a new nonfiction book (this after he has planned to write two novels in December). This will be an important book for some of us, especially given the gems Dean often drops along the way seemingly without even realizing it.

Dean’s new offering will be a book for writers on ways to beat critical thinking. To see the announcement and the introduction, please visit https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/beating-critical-voice-for-fiction-writers/. He plans to post succeeding chapters on his blog, so I hope you’ll follow along.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t already visit Dean’s site every day as part of your routine, and if you’re serious about your writing, please do so. The existence of this Journal (and by extension, my “Of Interest” section) is not guaranteed.

I probably won’t be back with another edition of this Journal unless and until I start writing fiction again.

Finally, in lieu of the “Of Interest” section, for an excellent article on scene structure, see “A Scene Template For New Writers” (don’t let the title throw you) at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/12/a-scene-template-for-new-writers.html.

IF YOU HAVEN’T established a habit of visiting the sites I mention regularly here, you can always find them in my Quick Links (left sidebar of my main website) and/or on the Writer Resources page on that site.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 600 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 600

Writing of “”

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

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 453762
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 177513
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 631275

Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, November 10

Hey Folks,

This is mostly a placeholder post, but with some good stuff in “Of Interest.”

It’s early morning and cold (well, chilly at 40°). Let the ladies outside for awhile since they’ll spend most of my sons’ visit hiding under the bed.

Anyway, posts for today, tomorrow and Sunday probably will be pretty sparse. Thanks for hanging in there.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

I’ve been remiss recently in posting items of interest from James Scott Bell. See “Be Productive, Persistent, and Professional” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/11/be-productive-persistent-and-professional.html.

I also recommend “What is Originality?” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/10/what-is-originality.html.

See “Adventures Around The Web November 4-10, 2017” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/11/10/adventures-around-the-web-november-4-10-2017/.

See “Starting Challenge Tomorrow” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/starting-challenge-tomorrow/.

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

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 2238
Total fiction words for the year………… 451680
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 172253
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 623933

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 712 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Sunday, 10/1

Hey Folks,

Hmmm. Strange things going on with the Internet lately. Sites that have been fine for years suddenly not working. Then a few minutes later, they’re fine again.

I’ve encountered problems with some of the plugins on my own site, DWS has encountered several problems recently, and other sites I visit regularly have experienced glitches of various levels of severity.

Just wondering, is anyone else seeing these problems? At this point, I’m only hoping I can access hestanbrough.com (The Daily Journal) when it’s time to post today’s edition. It’s already blanked out on me three times this morning. (grin)

Of course, my security-bent mind goes immediately to hoping some nation or group that’s hostile to the US isn’t behind it.

I also have heard recently about flares on the sun (sorry, but “sunflares” are those pretty flowers with the bright yellow petals) and how those are currently affecting electronics of all sorts on Earth. (For the most relevant events, see https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/news if you are able.)

The bottom line is, what do you do if the Big Plug we’ve all come (more or less) to rely on is suddenly kicked out of the wall?
***

I wrote a start that might go somewhere someday. I was “trying” to write a short story, I think, but as I wrote it felt bigger than that. And I wasn’t in the mood to live with that particular topic for longer than a day. So I’ll sideline it.

Then I started another PI novel. I’m really enjoying writing those right now. I got a good opening written, then decided to take the rest of the day to watch a baseball game. My main goal was to write fiction on the first day of the month. (grin) I hate starting a month with a goose egg.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Herd Your Cats” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/10/herd-your-cats.html.

From Sam Turner, see “Hemingway’s First Short Story Found in Key West” at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/books/hemingway-first-story-found-in-florida.html.

Fiction Words: 2505
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2845

Writing of “Untitled Start” (short story or novel)

Day 1…… 1425 words. Total words to date…… 1425

Writing of “Pulp Novel 5” (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080

Total fiction words for the month……… 2505
Total fiction words for the year………… 436651
Total nonfiction words for the month… 340
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 153023
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 589674

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 672 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 9/27

Hey Folks,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally to the novel a little after 9:30.

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

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

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

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

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

Either way, I’m kind of excited.

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

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

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

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

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

Writing of Loose Ends (novel, working title)

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

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

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

The Journal, Thursday, 9/21

Hey Folks,

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you then.

Of Interest

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

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

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

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

Writing of Loose Ends (novel)

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

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

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

The Journal, Tuesday, 9/5

Hey Folks,

I rolled out a little early today. I spent the first half-hour or so on a little bit of Internet stuff. Then I listened to Week 5 of my online workshop with DWS.

The main topic this week was the primary reason I took this workshop, especially when combined with the main topic in Week 4. So I went back and reviewed a couple of videos from Week 4 as well and enhanced my notes for Week 5.

The topics in Weeks 1 – 3 weren’t really of interest to me, but I listened to them anyway because Dean often drops useful little gems as he moves among topics.

Next Tuesday will be the final week, so I’ll report then on this workshop. It’s the Mystery workshop, by the way, so I took it partly to learn new things and partly to verify that I was on the right track with some things I was already doing.

Topic: New Goals

I have been feeling pressured — pressure is not a good thing — ever since I reset my goals for the last four months of the year.

So I’m going to reset them again. Goals exist to serve me, not the other way around.

It’s important to me to write Every Day. That’s more important to me than numbers.

I’m convinced that some of the stories that have died over the past several months did so because I was away from them for a day or two or twelve.

It’s difficult at best to get back into a storyline after an absence. It’s much easier to just drop it and start something new.

So my “big” new goal is to write Every Day.

To that end, and to make it more realistic, I’m going to reduce my word count goal. Drastically.

Because frankly, with my current goal of 3,000 words per day, if I have only a half-hour or an hour or even two free in a given day, it’s much easier to throw in the towel and just skip it. (That pressure I mentioned earlier.) And then I feel like crap because I had a nonwriting day.

And that is not good.

So I’m going to try a version of James Scott Bell’s weekly goal. I’m going to shoot for 7,000 words per week. That’s only 1000 words a day for 7 days. One hour per day. I might write more than that, but I don’t want to write less than that.

If I find (as I hope) that I’m regularly exceeding that goal, well good. Then I’ll adjust it again later. Or not. Maybe I’ll just roll with it.

Now, if I write only 7,000 words per week for the rest of this year, I won’t reach 16 novels and novellas by year’s end. But so what? I already have 26 novels and 4 novellas. And over 180 short stories.

So I’m good with that. Right now I just want to get back to where I feel like a professional writer, by which I mean a person who sits down and writes every day.

Will I take a day off? In emergencies, yes. And maybe even in a time of no emergencies if I’ve just finished a work. Maybe I’ll take a day off before I start another one.

But in the meantime, I’ll plug along, putting down at least 1000 words per day of fiction.

I’m already sighing with relief. And of course, I’ll still be reporting my numbers below every day.

Now, at least a couple of you felt intimidated in the past. A couple of folks felt I was putting up numbers too big to “compete” with, although it was never meant to be a competition.

So if this method works for you too, and I truly hope it does, feel free to steal it from me the same way I stole it from James Scott Bell. Who, by the way, is in “Of Interest” below.

***

 

This WIP is a truly twisted piece of work. And I don’t mean that in a good way, like convoluted. I mean twisted as in bizarre, ugly, misshapen. Something that might be described as “slouching” toward some holy site. That kind of twisted.

So I’m gonna give it its head and see what happens. (grin)

***

I’m very pleased to report I have a new bundle out. My short story collection Mobster Tales is one of eleven ebooks (I think they’re all collections) in the Another Time, Another Place bundle. Here’s the graphic. It should also be a link. $2.99 for eleven ebooks folks. (If it doesn’t link, go to http://bundlerabbit.com/b/another-time-another-place/.)

Another Time Another Place

Back to my twisted WIP for awhile.

Pretty good day today. I’ll take it.

See you then.

Of Interest

Wow. See Dean’s “A Matter of Perspective” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-matter-of-perspective/.

In The Kill Zone blog, see “Two Writing Mind Tricks to Get You Rolling” at https://killzoneblog.com/2017/09/two-writing-mind-tricks-to-get-you-rolling.html. (I can’t even tell you how much I’m going to take this guy’s advice.)

Some good stuff in The Passive Voice today. See http://www.thepassivevoice.com/.

Fiction Words: 2678
Nonfiction Words: 830 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3508

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 11540
Total fiction words for the year………… 391160
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2860
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 139260
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 530420

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 647 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