The Problems that Result from Outlining Novels

In today’s Journal * The Problems that Result from Outlining Novels * Of Interest * The Numbers The Problems that Result from Outlining Novels in which we explore, through a pair of digressions, a statement of fact, and a summary, the problems that result from outlining novels. Literally millions of writers out there outline novels before they write them. Why? Let’s explore that. An Initial Digression— They outline because they were taught Fear and Insecurity: that they needed the safety net of an outline, and that they’re incapable of writing a novel without one. Of course, in reality there is … Read more

What I’ve Learned & What I Teach

In today’s Journal * Some Old New Posts * What I’ve Learned & What I Teach * Of Interest * The Numbers Some Old New Posts I have a folder on my desktop labeled “Journal Topics.” When I have an idea for a topic but don’t have time to put it into the Journal right then, I make a note of it. Then, from time to time, I browse that folder and delete or add-to those topics. But I need to clear out that folder, so in coming days I’ll be posting some old new topics. Here’s the first one: … Read more

How to Proofread Your Own Work

In today’s Journal * How to Proofread Your Own Work * Of Interest * The Numbers How to Proofread Your Own Work Much of this first appeared in Self-Editing for Writers (in slightly different form), which I offer free at StoneThread Publishing. (Scroll down when you get there. I will always recommend a good first reader to catch those little glitches that pop-out at any reader as s/he reads. Even though I’d cycled over my previous book several times (individual chapters and later the whole thing), my first reader still found three errors in the book when he read it. … Read more

Facebook, Twitter, and First Readers

In today’s Journal * Info on Facebook and Twitter * About First Readers * Of Interest * The Numbers As you will see from the content below, it is a slow news day. Also, I got a good start on the next novel yesterday. Info on Facebook and Twitter Those of you who sent me “friend” requests on my new Facebook personal page, thanks. Unfortunately, over two weeks in, I’m still not “allowed” to originate friend requests or even create a username for that page. Fortunately, my wife was able to make me Admin on an author page she’s been … Read more

Bradbury Challenge and a Lot of Other Stuff

In today’s Journal * The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting * New Novel * Other Stuff * Wanna Meet and Greet? * YouTube * By the Way, I Do Requests * Of Interest * The Numbers The Bradbury Challenge Writers Reporting To take part, write at least one short story per week (or add to your novel), then submit the story title, word count, and genre to me each week for publication in the Journal on Monday. The whole point is to have fun and grow as a writer. You can join or rejoin the challenge at any time. There’s no … Read more

The Story Isn’t Fiction to the Characters

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Personal to Buck Turgid, and a Video * The Story Isn’t Fiction to the Characters * Past Tense * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “[T]he first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page, the first ten pages, the first chapter: This is how you will be judged, quickly and ruthlessly…. Nobody is going to invest the time to read your whole book or story if these alienate them.” Unknown (see Of Interest) BUT what “alienates” one reader might well engage another reader and drag him through to … Read more

Yesterday, and Yesterday Again

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * A New Short Story and Novel * Bradbury Challenge Reminder * Yesterday, and My First Reader * Yesterday the Novel Wrapped Again * A Note on First Readers * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.” Clay Shirky A New Short Story and Novel “Title Goes Here” went live yesterday on … Read more

The Novel Wrapped and a Guest Post

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * The Novel Wrapped * Going to the Welles (guest post) * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.” Stephen King The Novel Wrapped The novel wrapped yesterday with a final on the first anniversary of ‘Bit’s departure. That was appropriate, because she even enabled my writing. One more gift she gave me. In almost every (and maybe every) novel I’ve written, I paid a minor … Read more

In Memory of Lorena

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * In Memory of Lorena * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “It does not get easier with time, does it? Everyone tells us that nonsense, but every joyful memory is shadowed with raw mourning.” Robyn Conley, a long-time friend In Memory of Lorena (“Little Bit”) I wasn’t sure whether I would share this. It is intensely personal, but I can’t apologize for that. I suppose, or maybe hope, it’s an inherent part of human nature to give what we have to give. Knowing that we can learn from … Read more

A Slightly Deeper Dive on Cycling

In today’s Journal * A Slightly Deeper Dive on Cycling * A Little More on Facebook * Of Interest * The Numbers A Slightly Deeper Dive on Cycling I got two great questions from a writer: Can you cycle over one section too many times? How do you know when you’ve cycled enough? The short answer to the first question is a resounding No. But be sure you aren’t editing. Cycling is the process during which you rest your fingers on the keyboard and Just Read for Pleasure something you’ve already written. Usually it’s the chapter or section you’ve just … Read more