The Journal: A Gentle Reminder

In today’s Journal * Topic: A Gentle Reminder * Fiction Lengths * The Numbers Topic: A Gentle Reminder A gentle reminder today not to believe every bit of every article you read about writing. Better to consider each statement and question posed in such articles, then assign each a value. The values I assign personally range from Valid on the high end to Maybe Useful in the middle to PBS on the low end, and I’m not talking about the television network. In my rating system the P stands for “Pure” and the B stands for “Bat” or “Bull,” your … Read more

The Journal: Random Thoughts

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Random Thoughts * In today’s “Of Interest” * Yesterday * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “In my case all painting… is an accident. I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do.” Francis Bacon (via The Passive Voice) “Anything you can make, you make by accident. … you have … Read more

The Journal: Why I Write the Journal

In today’s Journal * A good day * Topic: Why I Write the Journal * The Numbers Yesterday was a good day for me and my fiction. I wrote a short story of 4140 words for the Cave Creek Shared World, spell-checked it and sent it off, then took a short lunch break and added another 2480 words to the novel for a total on the day of 6620 words. Topic: Why I Write the Journal Note: This is a very long post. I won’t apologize for that, and I hope you’ll read it to the end. Slim pickings for … Read more

The Journal: I Have a Question

In today’s Journal * Topic: I Have a Question * Non-writing day yesterday * No “Of Interest” section today * The Numbers Topic: I have a question. Why are writers so insanely frightened of writing into the dark? I don’t mean individual writers being frightened to test the waters. I used to be one of those. I’d almost break out in hives at even the idea of sitting down and just writing without a clue as to which characters would appear or what they would do or say or which twists and turns might appear in the story, unbidden, unforetold … Read more

The Journal: A Minor Glitch

In today’s Journal * For the first time ever * I hit a minor glitch * The Numbers Well, for the first time ever, this morning I came back and deleted a large segment of an original Journal post. The simple fact is, I’m tired of beating my head against a wall. I don’t care how anyone else writes, I don’t care what sort of fertilizer they’re peddling, and I don’t care who buys it. My job as an instructor or mentor is to pay forward what I’ve learned and to help where I can. I do my best to … Read more

The Journal: Focusing Down, Revisited, Briefly

In today’s Journal * Topic: Focusing Down, Revisited, Briefly * I’m in a race * The Numbers Topic: Focusing Down, Revisited, Briefly Hmm. I think there might be a bit of a disconnect between what I mean and what you hear when I say “focus down.” When I say a writer should focus down, I’m going back to emphasizing that it’s the characters’ story as described through the physical and emotional senses of the POV character. It isn’t what the writer thinks (critical mind) to add-in, but what the POV character sees, hears, smell, tastes and touches and his opinions … Read more

The Journal: Focus Down and Mentorships

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Focus Down and Mentorships * Update on my writing * WMG Workshops Half-Price Sale * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” Stephen King in On Writing “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” Mark Twain in Following the Equator “On the focus of a story, she writes ‘…the only remedy is resolutely to abandon the larger for the smaller field, to narrow one’s vision to one’s … Read more

The Journal: Critical Voice vs. Creative Voice

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Critical Voice vs. Creative Voice * Dean’s put out a call * In today’s post at the Kill Zone blog * * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “[N]othing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen “I plucked hissing, thrashing, horned tomato worms off the plants and tossed them in a bucket, secretly terrified of their alien aggression. Every … Read more

The Journal: Not a lot

In today’s Journal * Not a lot * A decent-enough day * The Numbers Not a lot to talk about today. Dean posted Day 2 of his series “Writing a Novel in Half a Month,” but there were no gems, nothing spectacular. I got this from Dave Farland in an email and thought I’d include it here in case anyone’s interested: Announcement: Very exciting news for writers! This next week starting Monday is Fantasy Writers Week at ProWritingAid! Please do not miss out, put it on your calendar! There will be several guests and so much content for free. If … Read more

The Journal: Maybe an Exciting New Source

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Note: Gilbert Bassey * I’m writing again * Dean’s at it again * Sorry about the snow and ice * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Story is about emotional manipulation.” Gilbert Bassey “[S]tories are the most powerful creations of mankind.” Gilbert Bassey “In an era when Woke culture apparently has the power to turn business executives of all sorts into quivering and spineless pools of goo, a morals clause can be dangerous to a traditionally-published author’s financial and emotional health, both presently and in the future.” The Passive Guy and … Read more