The Journal: Turn the Fear Around

In today’s Journal * February’s Gone Already * Topic: Turn the Fear Around * Of Interest February’s Gone Already Wow. February was like a streaker at an old folks’ home. It flashed by, I hardly noticed it, and I didn’t really care. Also it dawned on me that I’m keeping my hand in writing (fingers and keyboard limber, etc.) with this little Journal. Of course, that doesn’t add to my fiction output, but with every passing day, that day is drawing closer. Anyway, with today’s Journal, I’ve written 42143 publishable words on the year, though most of that is nonfiction. … Read more

The Journal: Trademark Stuff

In today’s Journal * Topic: Trademark Stuff * Who’s the Projectionist? * Of Interest Topic: Trademark Stuff Not much in today’s post. It’s all pretty much an expanded “Of Interest” section. According to Dean Wesley Smith (awhile back in one class or another), registering a trademark for practically anything is a waste of time and money for a writer. Primarily that’s because if you have a trademark, you are required to defend it, and defending it can get costly. Especially in addition to the original cost of filing for trademark in the first place. Besides, in any trademark dispute, first … Read more

The Journal: The Inappropriate Use of “Gave”

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: The Inappropriate Use of “Gave” * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “[T]he old Hollywood wisdom still applies: Just tell the story. If you want to send a message, go to Western Union.” James Scott Bell on writers who inject their political opinion into their fiction “‘Said’ is not a dirty word: But ‘argued,’ ‘whined,’ and other dialogue descriptives usually are. A typical rookie mistake.” Marilynn Byerly Topic: The Inappropriate Use of “Gave” A few days ago, the topic here was “Glitches in Writing.” That was based on James Scott … Read more

The Journal: Nora Roberts (AKA JD Robb)

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Missing the Point * Nora Roberts (AKA JD Robb) * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “So who do I listen to? I listen to the characters–and myself. If I listened to the readers I’d go slowly mad as it’s impossible to please all as one readers says this, another says that. Often with equal passion.” Nora Roberts on readers’ opinions “[T]he big (and simple) and sweeping thing is this: If I didn’t think of it, I’m not going to write it.” Nora Roberts in response to “Can I share my … Read more

The Journal: Glitches in Writing

In today’s Journal * A Bit of Fun * Topic: Glitches in Writing * A Storyteller * Of Interest A Bit of Fun For a bit of fun, check how well you really observe. See “The Changing Room Illusion” at It’s a very short video. Topic: Glitches in Writing This topic is based on James Scott Bell’s post (see “Of Interest”) and his question: “What little things bug you when you see them in a book?” I’ve talked before about studying the language and the craft and using both to convey the story to the best of your current … Read more

The Journal: Challenges on the MidWinter Sale

In today’s Journal * Challenges on the MidWinter Sale * Speaking of good deals * Of Interest Challenges on the MidWinter Sale I wasn’t going to post today, but I was interested in getting Dean’s post out to you. It’s about the MidWinter sale again, but this time he talks about the challenges he’s offering on Teachable. His challenges usually cost $600, but during the sale they’re only $300. Best of all, they’re completely win-win. They cost you $300 right now, but if you complete any entire challenge, you get your choice of a lifetime subscription. If you FAIL to … Read more

The Journal: Know What Stuff Is

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Know What Stuff Is * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” Marcel Proust I like that quote. I’ve often told others that memoir is closer to fiction than to nonfiction because it’s a writer remembering what happened at a point in time. Fiction is a writer remembering something that could have happened at a point in time. “If you’re a good writer and want to write literary magazine material, start a blog, tell all your friends … Read more

The Journal: Responsibility, Some Don’ts, More King

In today’s Journal * Today’s post * The Fiction Writer’s Responsibility * Don’t Be Critical * Studying King * Of Interest Today’s post, as my posts so often do, started as a response to a post on the Kill Zone blog. At the end of the post, the author asked a series of questions. The first was, “Are you a ‘rules were made to be broken’ sort of writer, or do you prefer to stick with convention?” That question deserves a separate answer: Writers who have learned that fiction writing is all about Story (not grammar or syntax or punctuation) … Read more

The Journal: The Snowflake Guy and Stephen King

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * The Snowflake Guy * Topic: Stephen King * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “If you like to know approximately where you’re going before you start writing, then the Snowflake Method is designed for you. If you don’t, then it’s not for you.” Randy Ingermanson, AKA The Snowflake Guy “The Three Rings of Power [for marketing] are useless unless you also master the One Ring that Rule Them All. That One Ring is copywriting. The ability to write good headlines, strong sales copy, and a compelling call-to-action, all without smelling like … Read more

The Journal: Very Short Post

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Very Short Post * MidWinter Workshop Sale * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food.” Douglas Adams “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” Stephen Fry Very Short Post Today I like the first quote of the day. I especially like that if you replace “print” with “ebooks” the quote means exactly the same thing. Either way it brings cool, calm reasoning to the pbook vs. ebook argument. It also points out the category mistake most people … Read more