In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
* An Invitation
* The Writing
* Of Interest
Quote of the Day
“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” Harry Truman
Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting
You can still join in the challenge at any time. There’s no cost of course, and it’s a great way to both have some fun and jumpstart your writing. To see a great testimonial of how much participating in the challenge helped one writer, visit https://hestanbrough.com/reimagining-the-hovel/.
- Tony DeCastro “The Two Benjamins” 2000 words Magical Realism
- Alexander Nakul “The Mystery of Apothecary Garden” 841 words, Magical Realism
- Chynna Pace “I’m Not Geraldine” 3081 words Horror
- Christopher Ridge “The Baby” 2000 words Horror
- KC Riggs “Heaven, Hell, or One More Go” 3936 words Humor
Congratulations to all participants.
Yesterday I shared the testimony of one writer and how participating in the Bradbury Challenge has helped her writing. Soon I will share a guest post on characters by my friend Dan Baldwin.
I like to share these things with you because sometimes what is said is more easily understood because of how it is said. I can talk about the benefits of challenges and streaks all day, but Chynna probably got through to someone I failed to convince.
Likewise, I can talk all day about getting to know your characters as you spend time with them (just like “real” people) and as their story unfolds (just like “real” life), yet in his upcoming guest post, what Dan says and how he says it will make more sense to some of you than I do.
And the inevitable bottom line—the purpose of this instructive almost-daily Journal is to impart instruction, to pass along valid and valuable information with the goal of easing and improving your experience as a fiction writer, and even to help make your journey fun.
Every one of you has something to share about fiction writing, and chances are it will be valuable to someone. If you’d like to write a guest post or even a regularly scheduled series of guest posts or “column” for the Journal, either query me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply send the post. You may send it in the body of an email or as a .doc, .docx or .rtf attachment.
Include the URL of your website (if any) and a brief bio if you want, and feel free to include promo information on your own stories and/or novels. Naturally, you retain all rights to your work.
- This offer does not guarantee acceptance and publication of your post.
- Don’t be negative, and don’t offer anything intended to cause writers to doubt themselves.
- Do be positive and encouraging. More specifically,
- I will not accept any post that recommends outlining, character sketches, world building, or any other function of the conscious, critical mind as an integral part of the actual writing process. (Planning and learning and familiarization activities, such as diagramming your lunar colony or generation ship or desert hacienda for yourself separate of the actual writing process is perfectly fine.)
- I will not accept any post that supports, defends, or recommends any of the other myths of fiction writing, all of which are based on self-doubt and require invoking the critcal mind.
- I will not accept any post that advocates seeking the approval of a literary agent or a 20-something slush-pile reader at any traditional publisher. If you need that kind of validation, you don’t need to be teaching others anything about writing.
- Hit the enter key now and then to start a new paragraph. (grin)
- I reserve the right to reparagraph posts to improve readability, to omit information I find objectionable, and to correct spelling, wrong-word, and agreement and consistency errors.
As you can see from the numbers below, the novel is back on track. It’s been so long since I wrote any fiction that I struggled a little getting started.
I read over the whole thing first. I actually tore out one chapter completely and recast it because it didn’t “feel” right (creative voice). As soon as I did that, everything started flowing again. I started writing at about 9 a.m. and wrapped up at about 12. Not a bad re-start.
Note—Words are not golden. They are not in charge. You are in charge. Words to a writer are like nails to a carpenter. If a carpenter gets a box of bent nails, he pitches them out and opens a new box. Never be afraid to tear something out and throw it away. If something isn’t working, toss it. If you take another shot at it from scratch, chances are it will work fine.
The way the present story is currently bending, this might be a short novel. Of course, I’m just letting it be what it wants to be, but I do hope the characters throw me another curveball or two.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Writing the Character-Driven Story” at https://harveystanbrough.com/writing-the-character-driven-story/. The whole book in raw form in posts. Enjoy.
The Journal…………………………………… 850
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
Total fiction words for May……… 3509
Total fiction words for 2023………… 86973
Total nonfiction words for May… 7540
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 89230
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 176203
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.