A Great (and Helpful) Comment

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Clarification on the Blackwell Ops Sale
* The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* A Great (and Helpful) Comment
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“The soil of a man’s heart is stonier, Louis. A man grows what he can, and he tends it. ‘Cause what you buy, is what you own. And what you own… always comes home to you.” Gravedigger to Louis Creed in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

“There’s a trite old saying that people are meant to blossom where they’re planted. I’ve come to believe that some probably are, maybe even most. But some are never planted. Some are just dropped on hard, rocky soil to get along as best they can.” Charlie Task as narrator, in Confessions of a Professional Psychopath

“All genres are good, except the boring one.” Voltaire, as reported by Rikki Mongoose

Clarification on the Blackwell Ops Sale

Sigh. I told you I wouldn’t mention this again, but I got a question about it, so I’m mentioning it again anyway. Sorry.

If you bought BO-18 or any other novels in the Soleada Garcia subseries, the cost for the entire subseries is $18 MINUS $3 per book that you already have.

For monthly donors at any amount, the entire subseries is FREE.

If you regularly share the Journal with other writer friends, you too are a donor, just in a different way.

For example, you could share with your writer friends via Facebook or wherever that I’m writing a series on how to write the character-driven story, eh? (grin)

But I have no way of knowing that, so email me and tell me. Y’gotta let me know what you want. I ain’t a doctor. The state of Arizona frowns on me handing out suppositories. (grin)

But just to prepare you for disappointment, a lot of writers will see the title of the book and think or say, “Oh, I don’t write that. My stories are all plot-driven” and they won’t even bother to read the posts. Sigh. But that’s on them, not you.

Reminds me of the woman who refused even to read Heinlein’s Rules because “I don’t write science fiction.”

I regularly hear arm folding over chests and minds snapping shut all over the place. But all I can do is shake my head and keep doing what I do.

The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting

During the past week, in addition to whatever other fiction they’re writing, the following writers reported their progress:

Short Fiction

  • George Kordonis “Unfinished Business” 2898 Supernatural Horror
  • Adam Kozak “Open Windows” 3503 Detective/Noir
  • Alexander Nakul “The mysterious son of three fathers” 3023 Historical
  • Christopher Ridge “Jimmy From Down the Block” 3000 Thriller
  • K.C. Riggs “Meeting of Minds” 4589 Fantasy.

Longer Fiction

  • Balázs Jámbor *Kylen’s Story* (tentative title) 6000 Fantasy (27000 to date)
  • Alexander Nakul *Under the Lighthouse* 7756 Historical Fantasy (40,107 to date)

A Great (and Helpful) Comment

In a comment on my post from two days ago, I received a few really great reasons so many writers don’t take me up on the Soleada Garcia offer. So I thought I would address those.

I suspect the concerns are universal, but a lot of you won’t ask them. Also my responses will clear up some misunderstandings. Please read on.

Here are the reasons and my responses.

1. They don’t read that genre so they aren’t interested in the story. (They just follow and read your writing advice.)

Yes, somehow humans have the misconception that they can’t enjoy a story unless it’s in their preferred genre.

But any good writer can take ANY story from ANY genre and move it into any other genre with only a few changes, mostly in overall setting. I could as easily have made Soleada’s 6-volume (so far) story into SF or Romance or Mystery or Young Adult or or or.

The truth is, probably 90% or more of good storytelling has nothing to do with any particular genre: it’s about inviting the reader into the story, making the reader care about the character, and conveying the actions and emotions of that character.

By the way, that’s exactly why I stressed Action Scenes and Emotion in the posts about the “sale.” I never once mentioned you might learn about how to assassinate someone. (grin)

As you’ll see in my continued series of posts on Writing the Character-Driven Story, good stories are character-driven. Even SF is not about Science anymore than Westerns are about horses. It’s about how the characters REACT to the science or the horses or the bodice ripping or the heartbreak or whatever.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve learned a great deal more about the craft of writing by reading Hemingway and Stephen King’s works. I’ve also said (in my opinion) Stephen King is the only Stage 5 writer writing today.

What I have not mentioned is that I don’t personally like horror stories. As I said above, 90% or more of great writing has nothing to do with genre.

2. They don’t know how to separate the writing from the story, so they don’t feel they will learn anything. (After all, you do say that the critical mind shouldn’t be in the way of the story, so how could there be logical things to learn from just reading a story?)

Always Always Always read for pleasure first. Then go back and study any passage that blew you away (in my work or anyone else’s.) Critical mind is valuable in learning. Just not in actually writing. What you learn from reading sinks into your creative subconscious and becomes available to your characters.

3. The economy is hard and $18 is toilet paper and a small bag of cat food.

I’m on a tight fixed income. I’ve never had nor wanted more than beans, taters, and biscuits and maybe a place to get in out of the rain.

I’ve fought and scrapped for everything I have or ever had from about the age of 7. And I’m not joking. I’m not complaining either. Just explaining where I’m coming from. I’ve already lived my version of a very good life.

That’s exactly why I offer these things. And frankly, if anybody emailed me privately (strictly between me and whomever emailed) I would gladly give them a novel or nonfiction book if they thought it might help their writing.

No reasons needed or questions asked. The reasons are their business. I just want to help with their writing.

And as for the “sale,” I put a price on the books for you (writers) because humans also tend to equate “free” with “worthless.” Go figure. (grin)

I hope this helps clarify some things.

Next up, Chapter 2 of Writing the Character-Driven Story. After that, I might go ahead to Chapter 3 or I might write something completely new. Around here, you just never know. Be sure to stay tuned.

I’ll talk with you again then.

Of Interest

Letter From The Founder Check out this letter and a few of the posts at the Soaring Twenties Social Club. This might be just the thing to get you started writing again.

DMDMQ: Quotes on Fiction Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for quoting me from yesterday’s post (grin)

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1190

Writing of Blackwell Ops 20: Soleada Garcia: Into the Future (tentative title)

Day 1…… 3681 words. To date…… 3681
Day 2…… 3044 words. To date…… 6725

Fiction for February……………………. 10411
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 128015
Fiction since October 1……………… 431072
Nonfiction for February……………… 5600
Nonfiction for 2024…………………… 37560
2024 consumable words…………… 165575

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 3
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 85
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 239
Short story collections…………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

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