The Journal, Monday, 7/17

Hey Folks,

For those of you following the saga of Bryan, I finally heard from him. He posted on Facebook yesterday.

That worried me initially because I know he isn’t allowed a computer at Job Corps. So I immediately wondered whether he was still there, etc.

I commented on his post “Bryan! You’re online? How’re you doing?”

And this morning he responded with “Yeah, I’m online. My roommate gave me one of his old phones so that’s how I’ve been online. As far as job corps it’s been going great. I love it here.”

Whew! (grin) So there you have it.

***

My friend Christopher Ridge commented on yesterday’s post. I also received a few comments via email, all helpful. Thanks, everyone.

The conscious mind definitely has something to do with my current slump, as it seems it always does. I’ll shake it off soon.

When I’m writing, I get excited about passing along what I know. So until I’m writing again, chances are these Journal entries will be a bit sparse, but I plan to keep posting anyway. Maybe a tidbit here or there will help someone else in some way.

Topic: Story Starters Revisited

All you need to begin a story is a character with a problem in a setting. That’s it. Everybody knows that by now.

Most often when I start a story, I start with a stark opening sentence. I like to grab the reader’s attention from the first word.

Then, to ground the reader — to pull the reader down into the story — I describe the setting through the character’s physical senses and opinions of that setting.

Then I just keep typing.

I’m not writing the story. I’m only recording it. The character is writing it. I feel fortunate that the characters allow me to run along with them.

That mindset enables me to be down in the story with the characters, experiencing it with them, rather than on a pedestal somewhere directing them.

My problem at the moment is trying to come up with that good, stark opening sentence I mentioned above. Usually they just occur to me. But did you read the first sentence of this paragraph? Lately I’ve been “trying” to come up with one.

As I’ve mentioned to others, any time you’re “trying” to do something, you’re invoking the conscious mind. When you’re “trying,” you’re thinking.

And thinking, where the act of writing is concerned, is never a good thing.

So for now I’m just gonna fuggiddaboudit.

Today, and Writing

Okay, I moved out to the Hovel at around 11.

After pecking about for awhile, I started working with Graham’s Road, an opening I wrote back on the 10th.

With a couple of trips up to the house to get more water for the portable cooler and more tea for myself, I had a fairly good day. At least I’m writing again.

No idea where this story’s going. At present it has TWO major conflicts. One is a dead body on a beach and the other is a return to life (I think) of the police chief’s dead wife. And no, her body isn’t the one on the beach. (grin)

Of Interest

Just because the guy’s amazing, see Dean’s “Novel Two: Day Nine: Finished” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-two-day-nine-finished/.

From BizzaroWorld, “Photographer Broke Due to Copyright Lawsuit by Monkey” via The Passive Guy at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/07/learn-a-language-but-not-a-human-one/. (He gives you a link to the rest of the article, but his take is priceless.)

Fiction Words: 3012
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3592

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

Words brought forward…… 1070
Day 1…… 3012 words. Total words to date…… 4082

Total fiction words for the month……… 7900
Total fiction words for the year………… 345857
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7210
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 115040
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 460897

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 599 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

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