The Journal, Thursday, 8/17

Hey Folks,

Do Yourself a Favor and please read “Voyage to the Otherworld: A New Eulogy for Ray Bradbury” (via The Passive Voice) at https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/08/15/voyage-to-the-otherworld-a-new-eulogy-for-ray-bradbury/.

***

The workshop yesterday was SUCH a blast! Everybody was on time, attentive, and hungry to learn. What can be better than that?

I’ll definitely do this one again in a month or two, but on a Saturday. Mostly so some of those who wanted to attend this time but couldn’t can do so.

I think of this as a “master’s level” workshop. It was a lot of things I’ve learned and made my own through hundreds of thousands of words of practice in stories and novels over the past almost 3 years. I’m thrilled to be able to pass along some of that.

***

I planned to write today. I did write an opening, but it didn’t work so I tossed it out. Then I thought (it was early) I’d go out and mow the yard while it was cool.

Mower wouldn’t start.

I began reminiscing about my days as a fairly good shade-tree mechanic.

I had an old ’64 Ford Falcon back then. Some days I fixed it at night so I could drive it to work the next morning, then fixed it at lunch so I could drive it home after work.

Hmm. Guess I wasn’t all that good or I wouldn’t have had to keep fixing it.

The poor thing was held together with spit and bailing wire. It had a brake cable off a bicycle for a throttle cable.

So anyway, I started “fixing” the lawn mower.

Now it’s almost 1:30, and I just got it back into good enough shape to take it to a lawnmower repair guy. Sigh.

Frustrating day. I’m gonna call it and go read.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, an extremely important post: See “5 Ways a Book Cover Could Hurt Sales — And How to Fix It” at https://insights.bookbub.com/ways-book-cover-hurt-sales-fix/. Not kidding. Go read this.

Via The Digital Reader, “Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Grew in July 2017 as the Per-Page Rate Dropped” (and, ahem, writers are abandoning Kindle Unlimited as a result) at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/08/16/kindle-unlimited-funding-pool-grew-july-2017-per-page-rate-dropped/.

If your head is a little off, via The Passive (?) Voice, see “What if Tarantino Made Spaghetti and Meatballs?” (film) at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/08/what-if-tarantino-made-spaghetti-and-meatballs/.

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

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… 8770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 127880
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 504439

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 629 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)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Wednesday, 8/16

Hey Folks,

I’ll be off to teach my workshop this morning at around 9, so I’ll post this early. Looking very forward to seeing some old friends again, and making one new friend. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the workshop goes. (grin)

UPDATE: Well, I forgot to post it early. The workshop went even better than I expected. I’m psyched. (grin)

As a reminder, in the workshop, I’ll cover Hooks, Openings, Grounding the Reader in the Story, Physical and Emotional Cliffhangers, Pacing and Endings.

At the end of the workshop, I’ll also talk a bit about Process. There will be some discussion of the conscious vs. the subconscious mind (their roles), trusting the subconscious, cycling and some other stuff.

I’ll off this workshop one more time, on a Saturday, probably in September or October. The room holds only maybe ten people max, and I currently have six who are interested.

I’ll announce the specific date here later.

Back to writing tomorrow!

***

If anybody else out there is hyper-interested in mob stuff, check out “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt. Absolutely excellent.

This is about real gangsters and real life, not the droopy-pants wannabe “gangsta” brats roaming around being annoying.

Specifically, if you want to learn what really happened to Hoffa and JFK, buy the book. This stuff isn’t opinion or conjecture.

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction that isn’t about writing, but “I Heard You Paint Houses” was excellent both as a research resource and to satisfy my morbid curiosity.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, If you’re still using Smashwords, see “Smashwords Introduces “Special Deals”- Automated Merchandising of Onsale Ebooks” at http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/08/smashwords-introduces-special-deals.html.

(For Bonnie ) via The Passive Guy, “Why Note-Taking by Hand Is Better for Your Brain” at http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/why-note-taking-hand-better-your-brain/. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 310 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 310

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… 8400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 127510
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 504069

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 628 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)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Tuesday, 8/15

Hey Folks,

Via The Digital Reader, The Huffington Post (whom I would never and am not now promoting) published an article titled “The 4 Great Myths of Book Publishing.”

You can read the full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-4-great-myths-of-book-publishing_us_5988e9ebe4b08a4c247f252d/, but I’ll save you the trouble.

There are actually a lot more myths about traditional publishing than four, but we’ll go with the ones they list.

According to the article, the myths are that a traditional publisher will

  1. aggressively promote your book to the widest possible readership,
  2. ensure your book gets on the shelves of all the nation’s bookstores,
  3. print your book’s text in exactly the way you conceive and arrange it, and
  4. provide you with a sizable monetary advance.

Of course, the article goes on to say no, they won’t. Because No, They Won’t.

The “remedy” the author of the article recommends for points 1, 2, and 4 (3 is just silly) is to do it yourself. But still use a traditional publisher.

So let me get this straight:

According to the author of the article, you should develop your own promotion plan, promote your book aggressively yourself to ensure more people order it in bookstores, “be flexible” regarding layout, and “be grateful if you’re offered any advance at all.”

So in addition to writing the book in the first place, you have to do everything else too. Okay, I’m good with that.

But in return for your effort, you should still give ALL RIGHTS FOR THE LIFE OF THE COPYRIGHT to the traditional publisher and receive around 12% of the net royalties for as long as they decide to sell your book.

Oh, and if you also have an agent, he/she gets 15% of that 12%.

Uhhhhh, no.

This is it, folks. This truly is your forehead slapping moment. Please don’t pass it up.

If you have to do all that anyway, Publish It Yourself and pocket 100% of the net royalties.

And MOST importantly, Keep Your Copyright (your property) for the rest of your life plus 70 years.

You STILL have to develop your own promotion plan, aggressively promote your book, and you can do the layout yourself (or pay to have it done — see https://covertoupload.com/).

Of course, you’ll have to forego receiving an advance you wouldn’t have gotten anyway. Darn it. Oh, and somewhere, some village idio— er, agent — will go a little hungry. But so what?

Copyright is property, folks. Your property.

Don’t give it away, and don’t sell out for a pittance.

***

I got up a little late this morning, looking forward to the second session of the workshop I’m taking with Dean.

Then I checked my email and was slapped around by the article referenced above. I wrote the post above, then posted it to the main site to go live next Tuesday.

Now to immerse myself in the workshop. Ahhhhh.

Well, I fully expected to write fiction today, but I didn’t. I have the seminar tomorrow, so that will be a long day. So today I took a day off just to read and enjoy.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “The definitive guide to SEO for authors” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/08/the-definitive-guide-to-seo-for-authors/. This is something at which I need to get a LOT better.

Via The Digital Reader, see “6 places to find free and discounted ebooks” at https://www.cnet.com/how-to/6-places-to-find-free-and-discounted-ebooks/. I list this one only so you can check to see whether your books are listed illegally.

See “WMG Publishing Bought a Bookstore” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/wmg-publishing-bought-a-bookstore/.

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

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… 8090
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 127200
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 503759

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 627 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)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Monday, 8/14

Hey Folks,

I know at least one writer who still does extensive research before writing.

That said, most of us use the hunt-and-peck method.

In the midst of a story (sometimes a sentence) we pop online for a moment, do some quick research on the type of tree the hero is leaning against, which months a particular river flows, etc. Then we pop back into the story, add what we learned and move on.

Most often, that search is accomplish on Google or Bing or one of the other popular search engines.

For us, now there are a lot more resources. Check out “Of Interest” below.

***

If you know me at all, you know I’m dead-set against exclusivity in book selling — specifically, distributing only through Amazon.

For yet another take on why, see “The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About” at https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/ (via The Digital Reader and David Gaughran).

***

I spent some time going back over the first session of the workshop I’m taking with Dean. Didn’t find what I was looking for.

Also read the first few pages of the James Patterson novel Private. I hoped to be impressed. My intention was to be impressed so I’d want to go back through it later and learn from him.

But I wasn’t impressed. A few years ago I said I thought he wasn’t a very good writer but he’s a masterful marketer. I thought I’d give his work another shot, but my experience today only bolstered that negative opinion.

On the upside, it was unimpressive enough that it made me think more highly of my own work. So there’s that. (grin)

Finished the handout for Wednesday’s seminar. Also got some laundry done, used the string trimmer on some unruly grass alongside the carport, etc.

Of Interest

For those of you who like reading about other writers’ process, see “Business Musings: The Third 2017 Process Blog” at http://kriswrites.com/2017/08/02/business-musings-the-third-2017-process-blog/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “The state of ebooks: Anti-DRM sentiments…” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/08/the-state-of-ebooks-anti-drm-sentiments-at-worldcon-75/.

Via The Digital Reader and Paul Biba, check out “Ten search engines for researchers that go beyond Google” at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/ten-search-engines-for-researchers-that-go-beyond-google-11-jul-2013/.

Additionally, be sure to see these “more well-known search engines and databases” at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/ten-search-engines-for-researchers-that-go-beyond-google-11-jul-2013#/.

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

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… 7500
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 126610
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 503169

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 626 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)……………………………… 181

The Journal, Friday, 8/11

Hey Folks,

I did pretty much nothing writing related today other than working on the handout for the upcoming intensive. Did a lot of stuff outside and around the office.

Man, I’d forgotten how difficult it is to put on one of these things and prepare for it. (grin) But it’s all good.

For one thing, I decided to scrap the nonfiction book idea for now. That will come after the seminar(s) is over, if at all. Right now I just wanna teach a good class.

Today I did a lot of back-and-forth stuff, going from the handout I’m preparing to various stories and novels for examples, and so on. Time-consuming stuff.

Of Interest

See Linda Maye Adams’ “Adventures around the web August 5-9, 2017” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/08/11/adventures-around-the-web-august-5-9-2017/. Lot of good stuff there. Take the article on Legal Myths with a grain of salt. I commented on that one in the Journal a few days ago.

For fun, via The Digital Reader, check out “I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe…” at https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-a-google-manufacturing-robot-and-i-believe-humans-are-biologically-unfit-to-have-jobs-in-tech/. Pretty funny.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: XXXX (170, Journal; 1000, Handout)
So total words for the day: 1170

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… 6850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 125960
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 502519

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 623 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, Thursday, 8/10

Hey Folks,

I don’t remember whether I’ve mentioned this before, but if anyone would like to read “The Fiction Factory” (being the Experience of a Writer who, for Twenty-two Years, has kept a Story-mill Grinding Successfully) by John Milton Edwards, send me an email and I’ll send you a PDF copy. Very interesting stuff. Chock full of gems.

Part of my recent problem (“problem” is too harsh a word) is that my brain is trying to shut down to allow for the new knowledge I’ll absorb during the workshop I’m currently taking from Dean.

Of course, that’s absurd. Nothing I’ve already learned and made my own through application of my fingertips on the keyboard will be replaced or changed. I’ll grow a bit in understanding, but that’s all.

Nothing he says supplants anything he’s said before. Much he says enhances what’s gone before, but nothing detracts. I think that’s why I’ve taken so many of his workshops (10 at this point) and listened to so many of his lectures.

If you’ve never taken a DWS workshop, and if you’d like to try a free one, I still have the URLs for all six weeks of his Originality workshop (he offers it free on YouTube). Email me and I’ll send the whole list. Forty videos in all, probably 7 – 10 minutes each. Please be sure to remind me it’s the Originality video.

Speaking of workshops, I now have 6 hearty souls signed up for Wednesday, 16 August. (That’s next week!) The latest addition was someone I’ve never met or talked with. A friend referred him. Anyway, if you’re local/regional and you want in, there are only a couple of slots left.

If the thing goes even nearly as well as I think it will, I’ve already decided to do it again, probably in October. That session will be on a Saturday. I have a particular writer in mind. I’ll let her pick the Saturday, then announce it.

Well, for the past several weeks I’ve been trying to adapt to my old writing space (The Hovel). I pumped a lot of words through my laptop out there.

I couldn’t quite make it all work out, and finding a nest of wood scorpions out there a couple days ago put a cap on it for me.

What I need is a space, not necessarily that space. This morning, just about the time it got too hot for physical labor, I carried my small desk from The Hovel up to my office. It fit.

My cat has more surface to walk and lounge on, so she’s happy, and it’s comfortable for me. I can switch from prepping workshops, email etc. on this computer to writing on Hal by simply backing up a foot or so and turning right.

I don’t even have to say I’ll see how it goes. It felt right as soon as I put the little desk in place. So The Hovel is once again the storage shed.

I did buy a portable swamp cooler to use out there not long ago. But I’ll transfer it to the camping trailer we use as a spare bedroom for guests. It’s all good.

I’ll spend the balance of today putting together some things for the upcoming workshop. I’ve decided to write a nonfiction book based on the upcoming workshop. I’ll write it first, then deliver the workshop(s), then revise and publish the book sometime probably next year.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “7 Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors” at http://bookriot.com/2017/08/09/ways-to-support-author/.

Some good comments on “WRITING INTO THE DARK: A New Online Workshop” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-into-the-dark-a-new-online-workshop/#comments/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1880 (580, Journal; 1300, Storytelling with Depth)
So total words for the day: 1880

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… 5680
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 124790
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 501349

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 622 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, Thursday, 8/3

Hey Folks,

Well, the curator giveth and the curator taketh away. One of the bundles my work was going to be in was deleted by the curator. I think maybe he scheduled it too soon (August 15). Anyway…

Topic: Creating .epub and .mobi Files… Uh, No

In “Of Interest” today, Nate Hoffelder (The Digital Reader) mentions that Amazon has released a Kindle Create file creation tool as an add-in for Microsoft Word.

He goes on awhile too about creating .epub files, for which there are various programs.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t understand why this would matter, ever, to a writer. Even when I was eformatting for other folks, I did all the formatting in Microsoft Word. I’ve never created a .mobi (Kindle) or .epub (everything else) file.

When I upload my MS Word document to Draft2Digital, D2D automatically generates a clean, validated .epub file and a clean .mobi (Kindle) file that I can use any way I like. In fact, that .epub file is the one I upload to BundleRabbit.

The fact that you can upload your .doc or .docx file to D2D is exactly why I wonder why ANYbody in this day and age would opt NOT to publish to ebooks as well as paper.

Yes, I DO understand that if you create your own .epub and .mobi files manually, you can control more of the formatting, etc. Like adding drop caps, etc.

But I also know that on most e-readers, final formatting is up to the reader. So all the hours the “writer” (turned “formatter”) spent formatting his .epub or .mobi file can be negated in half a heartbeat. Dropcaps gone. Orientation changed. Font faces and sizes changed.

Besides, I’d rather spend those hours writing. Or, you know, rolling a sheet of paper into a cone and poking myself in the eye.

If anyone out there knows what I’m missing (i.e., a good reason to spend time creating .epub and/or .mobi files), please let me know.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little early this morning. Even after doing the email and Facebook thing (and writing the above), I turned to the novel for the first session at 3:30 a.m.

Well, this is gonna be one of those books. I wrote most of a new chapter, then just stopped. There were a few interruptions, but I’m used to those. I can be interrupted, take a few minutes to an hour or longer off, and come right back to the novel and pick up as if I’d never left.

But not this morning. What I wrote this morning wasn’t right. Now, this isn’t me reading it and being critical. This is my subconscious, as I’m writing, saying I’m not getting the right words on the page. Or maybe not in the right order.

So I’ll move what I wrote this morning to the end, put it in the “Cuts” section, and make another run at it in a little while.

Nope. The whole time I’ve had in the back of my mind that this would be a novel. It isn’t. It’s about one event. It’s a short story.

Oh well.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “The joys of volunteering for Distributed Proofreaders” at https://teleread.org/2017/08/02/the-joys-of-volunteering-for-distributed-proofreaders/. Just in case it’s your cuppa tea.

Via The Digital Reader, “Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word Released” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/08/02/kindle-create-add-microsoft-word-released/. Note that both tools are currently in Beta (testing) phase.

Fiction Words: 2389
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2969

Writing of “Pancho & Lefty: An Alternate Ending” (short story)

Day 1…… 2738 words. Total words to date…… 2738
Day 2…… 1975 words. Total words to date…… 4713
Day 3…… 2389 words. Total words to date…… 7102 (done)

Total fiction words for the month……… 8220
Total fiction words for the year………… 371198
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1590
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 120700
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 491898

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 616 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, 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, Tuesday, 7/18

Hey Folks,

If you aren’t distributing through Draft2Digital.com (D2D) yet, here’s another reason to do so.

I received an email this morning saying D2D has partnered with Findaway Voices to provide audio books starting, actually, today.

To read about this innovation, visit https://draft2digital.com/blog/d2d-partners-with-findaway-voices-to-provide-an-alternative-to-acx-starting-7182017/.

Of special note, if you use Findaway Voices via D2D, the former even waives their normal $49 admin fee. Worth checking out. Best of all, it gives readers one more way to find your work, and it gives you one more trickling stream of income.

Today, and Writing

I did little or nothing but reading and researching the stuff in “of Interest” below during the first few hours of the day.

I did get a pretty decent photo of the thumbnail moon early this morning and post it to Facebook. You can see that on my page at https://www.facebook.com/harvey.stanbrough/. Worth the effort if you like pictures of Miss Luna.

Went to the grocery at around 7. Then back to check Facebook, email, etc. Mowed part of the yard (the tall part) and didn’t get to the Hovel until after noon.

Man, this story is teaching me what Dean means when he says a novel is “twisted.” Whew!

A pretty good day of writing, though I didn’t hit my daily goal. Just got started too late. But I’ll take it.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “Neo: A Word Processor for Authors” at http://www.hughhowey.com/neo-a-word-processor-for-authors/. Even though Neo is a dream for now, there are some gems in the article and in the comments.

If you’re looking for a distraction-free text editor, check out “7 Distraction-Free Writing Environments for Authors” at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/07/7-distraction-free-writing-environments-for-authors/.

For those of you with WordPress websites, also via The Digital Reader, see “Four things I learned at WordCamp DC” at http://valiantchickendigital.com/blog/four-things-learned-wordcamp-dc/.

See Dean’s “Novel Three: Day One” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-three-day-one/.

I haven’t fully understood it yet, but take a look at “Digital marketing scales…” from Mike Shatzkin via The Passive Voice at http://www.idealog.com/blog/digital-marketing-scales-create-new-opportunities-capable-publishers/.

Fiction Words: 2675
Nonfiction Words: 320 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2995

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 10575
Total fiction words for the year………… 348532
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7530
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 115360
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 463892

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 600 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, 7/14

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