In today’s Journal
* A Special Free Offer
* About that “W” Word
* Of Interest
A Special Free Offer
When I first sat down here this morning, I thought I had nothing to talk about today. I was going to make a short Journal entry with a special free offer. Even that was only because I received an email in which, in part, the author reminded me of what I call “Prep Delays.”
I meant to mention “Prep Delays” to him in my response, especially since (I believe) he’s read the Journal posts that became Quiet the Critical Voice (and Write Fiction). But I didn’t, so here’s that special (and free) offer.
You can read the posts that became Quiet the Critical Voice (and Write Fiction) by visiting “Quieting the Critical Voice” at https://hestanbrough.com/quieting-the-critical-voice/ (2019). I have zero expectations. Whether you actually read them is completely up to you.
If you haven’t read these posts or the book or haven’t read them recently, and if you find your writing has slowed or you find yourself unable to write at all (including the “writer’s block” myth), I suggest you take a few minutes and read these posts.
And just in case you missed it from a day or two ago, you can also now read the posts that became Writing the Character-Driven Story by visiting “Writing the Character-Driven Story” at https://harveystanbrough.com/writing-the-character-driven-story/ (2016). Again, free.
If you’d like to try (or retry) writing into the dark and haven’t quite been able to pull the trigger, or if you haven’t quite grasped the concept of cycling, I strongly recommend you read it. Again, I have zero expectations.
Cross my palm with silver and I’ll even send you a printable PDF version of either book, or the .epub or .mobi version if you want. Neither book is available in paper at the moment. (Of course, you can also simply copy/paste each Journal entry into Word, delete the extra stuff, then print it yourself. As long as it’s for your personal use, it’s an excellent way to get a free education, and here I am, telling you it’s perfectly all right.)
I wonder how many will simply shrug-off this offer from a guy with over 80 novels and novellas and over 220 short stories in 30-some collections in favor of advice from some self-styled writing guru who’s never written a novel except, maybe, to mark it off his bucket list?
Probably 90%, I suspect, and that’s of writers who read the Journal. Among those who simply glance and go on, seeking someone who will tell them what they want to hear, the figure will be much closer to 100%. Yawn. Whatever.
About that “W” Word
Yeah. Writing. Well, fiction writing to be specific, but I could hardly write “about that FW word” could I?
Anyway, my own writing is still going well enough. It also seems to be going well for the one writer who took advantage of my free fiction-writing intensive and for those participating in the ongoing Bradbury Challenge.
By the way, the intensive is now closed for everyone other than that one writer.
Then again, in the Journal and in my books (including the two freebies above) I’ve already handed out a great deal more instruction than I got from Dean when I first tried WITD. So it’s easy enough to fashion your own intensive if you want to. Just sayin’. You are capable. You can do it.
Remember, you first learned all those stupid, inane, ridiculous “rules” of writing (the myths, which make absolutely NO logical sense) from a person who either doesn’t write fiction at all and has definitely never written a novel or who writes a blazing-fast one or two novels per year, or maybe even one novel every two or three years. Pah-thetic.
And thanks to a constant bombardment from all sides your entire life, all of that crap is deeply imbedded in your psyche. That’s a lot of to dig out of. Manure shovels, anyone?
But again, you ARE capable. You CAN beat it. If you want to enjoy the freedom of stepping away from all those inane rules and myths, and if you want to experience the unbounded exhilaration of writing into the dark, then pull up your big-person pants and do it.
My recent email correspondent also mentioned the Journal is “almost a crusade for … posts on Heinlein’s Rules, WITD and related matters.” Yes, he’s right. That’s exactly what the Journal is. It’s my way of paying forward a blessing I received.I don’t talk about the myths in any sort of positive way because they’re all negative. They’re all about what you can’t do. And you can find TONS of information on that sort of bat guano literally everywhere else.
But my “crusade” is also why I painstakingly saved the archives and offer them and other free stuff at https://hestanbrough.com/the-daily-journal-archives-gifts-dvds/. It’s why there’s a lot more free stuff over at https://harveystanbrough.com/downloads/, and it’s why the disclaimer at the end of this post reads as it does. But I won’t be here forever, and the Journal will go away before I do.
Look, I don’t benefit in the slightest if you discover WITD and Heinlein’s Rules and spend the rest of your life believing in yourself instead of believing all the negative BS about all the things you CAN’T do.
I’m not even asking you to believe my line of schtick. I’m just saying, try it for yourself.
If nothing else, do exactly what I did: put your head down and your behind in the air and plow straight ahead. Be stubborn. Give WITD an honest try so you can prove to yourself, once and for all, that it doesn’t work. I predict that you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
It won’t be easy at first, and it won’t be easy later on. You can’t overcome a lifetime of being programmed in a matter of days or weeks. But you CAN overcome it. Witness Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, James Lee Burke, Jack Higgins, Nora Roberts, Lee Child, Stephen King and countless others. It won’t be easy, but it will always be exciting, exhilarating, and FUN.
Now then—with all of that said, I know most of you won’t try WITD at all, or that you’ll give it a token try and then a pass. And that’s fine. Hey, it’s your life.
With or without all the hand-holding, eventually you will either avoid the water altogether, remain in the shallow end with floatation devices (outlines, revisions, critiques, rewrites, etc.) strapped all over your body, or you will come to believe in yourself, drop into the deep end, and seek freedom. And there, you will either swim or flounder. On your own. All based on what you truly believe you can do. Nothing else.
Anyway, I mentioned the ongoing Bradbury Challenge earlier. You can still jump into the Challenge if you want (of course) either on your own or with me as your host. To participate on your own, you have to write at least one short story per week for a year. Bradbury set up the challenge based on the premise that nobody could write 52 bad short stories in a row. That’s it.
There’s no real benefit to using me as your host (your place to report) except that doing so will hold you accountable for your writing. If you want that, you’re welcome to jump in. I will report the title, word count, and genre of your story in the Journal every Monday morning. And if you don’t want that, as I said earlier, that’s fine too. You do you.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Last Day of Cattitude Bundle” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/last-day-of-cattitude-bundle/.
The Journal…………………………………… 1290
Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)
Day 11… 0323 words. Total words to date…… 19819
Day 12… 2445 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 13… 3184 words. Total words to date…… 25448
Day 14… 3509 words. Total words to date…… 28957
Day 15… 1595 words. Total words to date…… 30552
Day 16… 1875 words. Total words to date…… 32427
Total fiction words for May……… 6979
Total fiction words for 2023………… 90443
Total nonfiction words for May… 9380
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 91070
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 181513
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.