A Final Word

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* A Final Word
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“All human-generated fiction begins in one of only two places: Block-by-careful-block, step-by-polished-step Construction comes from and through the conscious, critical mind. Unique, original Creation comes straight from the creative subconscious.” from “A Final Word” by Harvey Stanbrough

A Final Word

Earlier today I wrote in a last-ditch comment on another website,

“All human-generated fiction begins in one of only two places: Block-by-careful-block, step-by-polished-step Construction comes from and through the conscious, critical mind. Unique, original Creation comes straight from the creative subconscious.”

Didn’t make a dent. I’m the Saul turned Paul of fiction writing and they are Corinthians who have no ears to hear. (Or something. Shrug. I dunno.)

Much as I enjoy talking about fiction writing with others, it’s both silly of me and a ridiculous waste of my time and energy to testify anyplace other than right here in the Journal to the zen-like freedom, incredible power, and unique originality a writer can achieve by writing into the dark.

The effort is especially futile at sites like The Passive Voice or Kill Zone blog. Oh, my comments maybe pique the interest of some of those who only lurk but never join in the discussion, but since they very seldom or never speak up, that’s difficult for me to know.

I’m sure many don’t speak up in support of me because they don’t want to end up at the bottom of the sam dogpile (with my apologies to dogs everywhere).

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten a follower for the Journal by commenting at either Kill Zone blog or The Passive Voice. I’m pretty sure the only followers who came to me from another blog are the rare few who came from one comment or another that I left on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog.

So I’m wising up, finally. From now on I’ll leave the battle to others.

Which of course means there won’t be any battles. They’ll all join hands, agree with each other that writing by committee and constructing stories with their and others’ conscious, critical minds is far slower and therefore far superior to trusting in their own abilities and creating with the creative subconscious.

And off they’ll go in joyful lockstep, marching away to write one or (at the most) two novels per year, all the while outlining, revising, seeking critical input, rewriting, “polishing” (I still don’t know what that is) and proclaiming themselves and each other to be prolific.

And that will be that. Shrug. Their loss, not mine. And seriously, what do I care?

Come to think of it, more power to them. Less output and the resulting smaller body of work from self-defeating folks who are up to their ears in fear only means less competition and more readers for people like me, who are turning out multiple novels and dozens of short stories per year and getting 700,000 or 800,000 or a million words of practice per year instead of 120,000.

I’m exhausted from talking with people whose arguments don’t have even a passing acquaintance with logic and are powered by unreasoning fear. Every. Single. Time. And the kicker is, they know it. They’ll never admit it because it’s embarrassing, but they know it. Some of them break out in beads of sweat when they even think about WITD, much less talk about it.

Sigh. Fiction writing is one of the very few, if not the only, art or craft forms in which novices and even would-be writers believe they actually know as much or more than those with far more experience.

In fact, it’s one of the few, if not the only, art or craft forms wherein newbies, even as you open the box and toss aside their wrapping paper, spring up bright eyed and Ready to Instruct Others, often without ever having written a word of fiction themselves.

Maybe they should be required to wear one of those little conical green or red satin hats with a little furry ball at the top. (grin) Nah. Only joking.

But seriously, even as a 10-year old kid, on the rare occasion when my paternal grandpa wanted to tell me about his adventures as a US Army quartermaster in France during World War I, I was smart enough to shut up and listen. He knew things I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have dreamed of correcting him with my vast knowledge of World War I.

Joe Konrath knows what I mean.

JA Konrath, a very prolific professional fiction writer, used to post fairly often at his blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. With his final post on Friday, July 19, 2019, he left writers with “Six Things Writers Need to Stop Worrying About.” You can read that wonderful post at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2019/07/five-things-writers-need-to-stop.html. I recommend it, even if you’ve seen it before. It is very good stuff.

I never saw myself writing a final, goodbye post like that for the Journal and just walking away, but I guess maybe that time has come. As I wrote earlier, I’m exhausted.

Plus I’m not getting any younger. I really need to turn all my remaining energy to my own fiction. Writing fiction both energizes and exhilarates me.

On the other hand, writing blog posts begging people to just TRY writing into the dark so they can gauge for themselves what it can do for them is tiring. Especially when they make it obvious they believe I’m trying to con them. As if I will somehow benefit from them putting out far more stories of much higher quality.

And as I said at the outset of this post, commenting on others’ sites about WITD is nothing short of exhausing. A real energy drain. Writing the Journal practically every day is almost as rough. Besides, it’s all here for you even when I’m not.

You can always visit Archives, Gifts, and DVDs at https://hestanbrough.com/the-daily-journal-archives-gifts-dvds/ to download the completely free and searchable Journal archives in PDF, as well as “What Heinlein’s Rules Mean to Me,” “My Best Advice for Fiction Writers,” and other freebies.

Frankly, I don’t know why everyone hasn’t already done that. Shrug. You can lead a horse to water….

So anyway, that’s it, folks. I guess I’m done.

Well, or I might be if it were any day other than today. Happy April 1. (grin)

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Challenge Starts!” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/challenge-starts/. Here’s another challenge you can shadow if you want. (I will be.) Just keep track of your numbers.

See “Mathematicians Excited About New 13-Sided Shape Called ‘the Hat'” at https://gizmodo.com/new-13-sided-shape-the-hat-tiles-aperiodic-monotile-1850268575. Just kind’a neat.

See “Marketing” at https://killzoneblog.com/2023/04/marketing.html.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1110

Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)

Day 1…… 3231 words. Total words to date…… 3231
Day 2…… 2990 words. Total words to date…… 6221
Day 3…… 1805 words. Total words to date…… 8026
Day 4…… 2025 words. Total words to date…… 10051
Day 5…… 1451 words. Total words to date…… 11502
Day 6…… 1886 words. Total words to date…… 13388
Day 7…… 2002 words. Total words to date…… 15390
Day 8…… 1060 words. Total words to date…… 16450

Total fiction words for March……… 13364
Total fiction words for 2023………… 66188
Total nonfiction words for April… 1010
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 63270
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 129458

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 2
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 219
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: Because It Makes Sense, I preach trusting your characters to tell the story that they, not you, are living. See https://hestanbrough.com/the-daily-journal-archives-gifts-dvds/ for free stuff on writing.

7 thoughts on “A Final Word”

  1. I’m a product of what happens when you learn to fully trust your creative subconscious and just write into the dark. For example, yesterday I submitted a short story to a members-only, online club that is publishing essays, short fiction, poetry, and visual art – The Soaring Twenties Social Club.

    I wrote the story in a day and a half before deadline, not having full confidence in it whatsoever. Still, I wrote it and gave it the editor. Once again I was surprised at the reception. Comments from readers offering high praise, telling me it was my best work yet.

    For anyone who is reading this, TRUST your creative voice. Just write, have fun, and publish the damn thing! Harvey’s right, you have nothing to lose! I’ve only become more confident in my storytelling skills and I’m not resting anytime soon.

    Just write!

  2. I found you through your comments on TKZ. And it wasn’t just one. I noticed you showing up again and again and one day I thought, I want to see what else this guy is saying.

  3. I was scared until I read the end (grin). I know one day you’ll leave us to devote all your writing energy toward fiction (and that’s way more important anyway), but I’m just glad that day’s not today.

    Today I finished my second short story for the Bradbury Challenge. It’s continuing to be such a fun, freeing thing. It reminds me of being a kid and just writing whatever, just because it was fun. Never stopping to question a word choice or wonder what was coming next—just fingers to the keyboard constantly, writing, writing, writing, and having a blast. I feel closer to the kid version of me as a writer now more than ever before. Lately I’ve been waking up excited to write, straining at the leash to jump back into my stories. It’s been great. Thanks for helping me reignite that joy, Harvey.

    • Exciting for us all who dive in, Chynna. Congratulations. Now never let that exhilaration and excitement go.

Comments are closed.