In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Thoughts on Writing Fiction From Yer Uncle Harv
* If You’re a Writer, Write
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“[T]rust your own writing and voice. Act like an artist instead of a doormat for heaven’s sake.” Dean Wesley Smith
“Leap off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.” Ray Bradbury
“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” Robert Benchley (grin)
Thoughts on Writing Fiction From Yer Uncle Harv
You can be a fiction writer if you really want to and if you have a passion for it. Remember, there was a time when Little Willie Shakespeare and Little Ernie Hemingway and Little Stevie King didn’t yet know how to use two longer lines and a smaller one to form a capital letter A. And look at them now.
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If You’re a Writer, Write
Chat with friends via email about writing if you want. Attend writing groups, conferences, seminars and workshops. Then, finally, take a deep breath and —
Think about writing, but feed the dog, then rinse and fill his water bowl, make your first cuppa, load or unload the dishwasher, run a dry mop over the kitchen floor, put on a load of laundry and head for your writing room.
But along the way, notice the living room carpet could use a good vacuuming. Run the vacuum, put it away (neatly, be sure to wrap the cord), then dust all the surfaces and adjust the venetian blinds so they’re Just Right. Oops, gotta dust those too. How long has it been?
At long last, go to your writing room.
But the washing machine stopped. Go back in there, load the dryer, load the washing maching again (sigh appropriately), then put your hands on your hips and say, “Finally, I can go write!” and return to your writing room.
Adjust the lighting so it’s just right, switch on the small air purifier, and finally Sit Down. After all, you remember that the secret to writing is simply solving an application problem: applying your backside to the seat of the chair. Go ahead and grin, but do that. And open your laptop.
Power up your writing machine, then check for and respond to emails. Flex your fingers. Crack your knuckles if necessary. Of course, you have to conduct research too. Pore over maps and photos of the area in which your story will eventually take place, but —
Well, dang it. The light coming over your shoulder is a little off. Get up to adjust the venetian blinds so they’re just right. After you’ve dusted those too, finally, finally, finally slip back into your writing chair, the one with three-way adjustable arms. Adjust them, then put your fingers on the keyboard and —
Wait for inspiration to strike.
Humorous, maybe, but none of those things are writing, folks. Writing is putting new words on the page.
If you’re a writer, you have to push away the world outside your laptop. If necessary, you may try to look sad as you do that.
But then sit down, put your fingers on the keyboard and get lost in your characters’ world.
If you’re in a pinch for story ideas, all it takes to start is a character with a problem dropped into a setting. The problem doesn’t even have to be the main problem of the story. The character(s) will hand you that later. This is just to get you started writing. So a character with a problem in a setting: whomever, whatever, wherever.
Your characters’ world is the one place you can be absolutely certain you’re always welcome.
How can you be sure? Because they invited you in specifically to record what you witness as they live their lives. They trust you, so trust them.
Best of all, it’s a standing invitation.
All you have to do is open the door and walk in. It really is that simple.
Talk with you again soon.
A Special Place In Hell Exactly how I feel about the folks who retard writing by teaching writers that they “must” do the myths (outline, revise, rewrite, etc.)
Authors are losing their patience with AI See PG’s take but remember I don’t always agree with what even he writes. I am 100% against using generative AI in any art form. Whether to agree is up to you to decide.
The Journal……………………………… 820
Writing of Blackwell Ops 11: More Jeremy Stiles (novel)
Day 1…… 5214 words. To date…… 5214
Day 2…… 2657 words. To date…… 7871
Day 3…… 2481 words. To date…… 10352
Day 4…… 0923 words. To date…… 11275
Fiction for October…………………… 3404
Fiction for 2023………………………… 220946
Fiction since August 1………………… 106359
Nonfiction for October……………… 4050
Nonfiction for the year……………… 202390
Annual consumable words………… 423276
2023 Novels to Date……………………… 4
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 75
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)… 234
Short story collections…………………… 31
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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.