In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* A Special Offer re Marketing
* Maybe a New YouTube Channel
* Sensitive Writing Guide (Um, No)
* Paperback Book Sale
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“They said I was splitting hairs and losing my objectivity. I reminded them that I was a postmodernist who didn’t believe in objectivity.” Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
“Hatred and anger are the greatest poison to the happiness of a good mind.” Adam Smith, 18th century economist
A Special Offer re Marketing
One writer reminded me via email yesterday that Dean Wesley Smith is currently advertising yet another Write Stuff Bundle “on this very thing along with his workshop, ‘Making More Than Coffee Money’ for only $20.00.” The workshop is offered as part of the bundle.
I saw Dean’s post yesterday as well and chose not to link to it in “Of Interest.” But since this other writer mentioned it, and since part of this story bundle has to do with marketing, I figured I’d link to it here.
See “Write Stuff Story Bundle” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/write-stuff-story-bundle-2/. Read the whole post. It isn’t long. And if you believe the bundle (or even part of it) will help you, spend the twenty bucks. Getting the little semi-workshop on marketing from Dean is well worth the price. He values it alone at $150.
I am not vouching for everything in the bundle. Far from it. For just one example, “six simple steps” to starting a novel are at least four steps too many.
In my experience, starting a novel takes only two steps: sit at your keyboard, and type an opening word or phrase or sentence. “The” or “A” or “Once upon a time” are often good opening gambits. Then simply continue until the characters lead you to The End.
When I am able to write again, I will stick by that formula. As I wrote in this space yesterday, I’m not all that essential to the process or to the story structure, characters, etc.
In fact, I’m only a life-support system for my fingertips, the use of which my characters have leased from me by agreement that I get to read their stories first. My only job is to observe and report my characters’ story as it happens, not to make stuff up on their behalf.
That said, to each his or her own. But frankly, I’ve been where you are. That’s the purpose of the Journal: to help cut your learning curve.
Maybe a New YouTube Channel
Well, my new friend Vin Zandri patiently explained to me that despite all the BS I kept encountering in my online reading about starting a YouTube channel and a video podcast, doing so is actually straightforward and simple.
Thanks, Vin, for pulling me back from the brink of… well, something. Frankly, between the stress of a few very harsh personal losses and some unfulfilled expecations recently, I was feeling kind’a like the guy who’s the subject of Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” Especially in that very special third verse. (grin)
Which—don’t get me wrong—is perfectly fine. Been there, done that, including frequenting an establishment back in the day (as mentioned in the chorus) that was actually named The Oasis. Some of my better memories of my time in the Corps were initiated in that little hole-in-the-wall bar.
Anyway, I’ll be setting up a YouTube channel in the coming days. If I’m happy with it, I’ll spread the URL all over the place so you and/or your reader friends can join me. I’m excited.
I’ll advertise it to the folks who are subscribed to read my short stories on the Stanbrough Writes substack too. In fact, I’ll probably broadcast it there, maybe on Mondays or Wednesdays. Or maybe both. (The free short stories go out on Fridays.)
The original purpose of my HarveyStanbroughWrites.com website was to chat with readers, sharing insider scoop about my stories, characters, and settings. But doing so live and talking instead of writing all of it will be a ton better.
Oh, and if you’re one of the five people on Earth who aren’t familiar with the song “Friends in Low Places,” you can hear the sanitized version pretty much anywhere. To hear Garth Brooks do the “extra” third verse live, visit https://www.youtube[dot]com/watch?v=MYecJqjBSSI. Enjoy. (grin)
Sensitive Writing Guide (Um, No)
I mention the following only because it gives me the opportunity to speak against censorhip.
I was approached via email by Abby B., who asked me to include an article titled “Sensitive Writing Guide” to my list of recommended writing resources over on harveystanbrough.com. I flatly refused, but I thought I’d share it here with you just in case you might find it useful.
In part, she wrote, “…one can enhance interaction by creating a safe and inclusive environment for communication. When writers are mindful of the reader’s emotions and experiences, they can establish a sense of trust and empathy.”
How very precious that she presumes to know and “be mindful of the reader’s emotions and experiences….” Stereotypes, anyone?
Because how can you possibly pretend to know a readers’s emotions and esperiences without stereotyping them and assuming “they” (whomever “they” are) all have the same emotions and experiences?
In my world, intent carries far more weight than perception. If you intend in your writing to offend someone, shame on you. Stop being hateful and just live your life.
But if you simply write a story and someone takes offense just so everybody else will see how very offended they are or to exercise censorship of your story, shame on them. They should maybe find a different hobby and learn that one person’s rights stop where the next person’s rights begin.
If you truly want to be included, don’t stand outside and throw rocks while hurling epithets and soundbites. Come on in. But then, I suspect most of those who incite such incidents would rather go home to their gated communities than come in and have a good time.
I was fortunate to learn during my time in the Marine Corps that everyone—every skin color and shade and race and nationality, rich, poor and in between—bleeds red. And only weaklings, most of whom have been worn down, even want anyone to make allowances for them.
Whatever. I have never, do not, and will never endorse censorship in any form. That said, some of you might disagree. If you do, and if you believe a sensitive writing guide might be up your alley, here’s the link Abby B. sent me: https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/sensitive-writing-guide/. Enjoy. I hope those who read it are careful not to wrench their shoulder patting themselves on the back.
Paperback Book Sale
Relax. Not my books. These are the books of Bayard and Holmes.
Because I’ve found these folks’ nonfiction books priceless for researching certain things, I thought I’d tell you about this sale. It ends on June 19, so be sure to take a look if you’re at all interested in learning about spycraft from people who have lived it.
Please visit https://bayardandholmes.com/sale/.
Talk with you again later.
See “Licensing Expo 2023 All Done!” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/licensing-expo-2023-all-done/.
See “AI Makers Guaranteeing…” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/ai-makers-guaranteeing-that-your-generative-ai-output-is-safe-from-copyright-exposures-might-be-a-lot-less-filling-than-you-think-says-ai-ethics-and-ai-law/. Important information, including PG’s take.
See “Reader Friday: Page Turners” at https://killzoneblog.com/2023/06/reader-friday-page-turners.html. You should have a cliffhanger at the end of every major scene and chapter. You should write a great opening line (the hook) at the beginning of every major scene and chapter. That is how you create a page turner.
See “Microsoft’s Satya Nadella Is Betting Everything on AI” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/microsofts-satya-nadella-is-betting-everything-on-ai/.
The Journal…………………………………… 1250
Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)
Day 1…… 4283 words. Total words to date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. Total words to date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. Total words to date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. Total words to date……12154
Total fiction words for June……… 12154
Total fiction words for 2023………… 110022
Total nonfiction words for June… 10670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 120090
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 230112
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
I.M. An angel, my angel, left this earth on April 11, 2023 just before 10 a.m. My life and my world will never be the same.
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.