In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* A New Novel
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” Seneca the Younger (Thanks to Dan Baldwin for this quote)
“I like how the story unfolds before my eyes. I stopped at 10,000 words for a few hours, when I [started wondering] “what’s next….” But I managed to silence the critical voice. I focused on the character and the world around him, and it worked! A few sentences made the change. Now I am excited about what happens next.” Balázs Jámbor
Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
Reporting your numbers to other writers can help encourage them to keep writing. It’s why I post my new numbers each day in the last section of the Journal.
Anyone can jump in (or jump back in) and join or rejoin the challenge at any time.
This is a great way to jumpstart your writing and get more practice pushing down the critical voice.
There’s no cost.
Notice, there’s also no pressure re submitting or publishing. That’s up to you.
The point of this challenge — the point of all writing challenges — is to have fun and grow as a writer. Learning to keep track of your writing is a bonus.
During the past week, in addition to whatever other fiction they’re writing, the following writers reported their progress:
- George Kordonis “A Woman Like No Other” 2316 Supernatural Horror
- George Kordonis “Just The One” 3994 Urban Fantasy (from Nov 27, not posted due to weekend internet outage)
- Adam Kozak “Hugo Davenport” 3685 Detective Humor
- Christopher Ridge “Germs” 1500 Horror
- K.C. Riggs “The Paperweight” 3227 Magic Realism
Major Streak Alert: This is KC Riggs’ 37th week in a row writing and reporting on at least one short story every week. Know how? One story at a time. 🙂
- Balázs Jámbor *Kylen’s Story* (tentative title) 8000 Fantasy (12000 total to date)
- Alexander Nakul *The Meerkat Watch* 4418 Urban fantasy (10479 total to date)
A New Novel
Yesterday, I remembered a hinted-at conflict in Blackwell Ops 14: Charlie Task. It wasn’t a loose end that I had to tie up in that novel. But it, combined with how the novel ended, strongly suggested another Blackwell Ops novel.
My first reader also mentioned a few things that could be resolved in a new novel, given that TJ Blackwell is not one to take anything lightly.
For a brief moment (less time than it took to write “For a brief moment), I let the conscious, critical mind slip-in. I actually considered reopening Blackwell Ops 14 and asking Charlie whether there was more to tell. After all, every novel writes differently. Maybe I’d jumped the gun.
But I knew better. Blackwell Ops 14, the third installment of Charlie’s story in the series, wrapped, and it wrapped easily and naturally. It was what it was supposed to be.
But the hinted-at conflict I mentioned above and the continuation of the overall Blackwell Ops story, both of which would require either a new POV character or the return of an earlier one, handed me, on a silver platter, what will become my next novel. (grin) I love it when that happens.
I got the promo doc written and the cover designed for Blackwell Ops 14, and I applied my first reader’s invaluable catches. Then I published it to D2D and Amaon for pre-order. It will be available on December 15.
And then I sat down at the writing ‘puter and started Blackwell Ops 15. I didn’t even know who the new or previous POV character would be. TJ Blackwell figured that out for me in the prologue. (grin)
Note: That could only happen because I put my fingers on the keyboard and Just Wrote whatever came. I trust my characters to live the life they’re living. Bless them for allowing me to run through it with them.
As TJ uncharacteristically picked up the phone to call the operative—a POV character I hadn’t met before—I remembered a cover pic that that pictured that operative perfectly.
So I stepped away from the story and took a few minutes to create a cover. First time I’ve ever created a cover when I’d written only the prologue for the novel the cover would represent. (grin)
I’m a very fortunate guy. I’m so freakin’ excited I can only barely wait to get back to the story this morning.
Talk with you again soon.
Making dialogue sound natural Or just write what the characters say….
The Journal……………………………… 770
Writing of Blackwell Ops 15: Solana Garcia
Day 1…… 3034 words. To date…… 3034
Fiction for December…………………… 9523
Fiction for 2023…………………………. 410357
Fiction since August 1………………… 295812
Nonfiction for December……………… 3190
Nonfiction for the year……………… 258770
Annual consumable words………… 665620
2023 Novels to Date……………………… 9
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 7
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 80
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 235
Short story collections…………………… 31
Note: If you find this Journal of value and want to make a one time or recurring donation, please do not pledge through Substack. I don’t use Stripe. Instead click this link. If you can’t donate, please consider sharing this post with friends.
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.