The Journal, Wednesday, April 4

Hey Folks, All right. Well, I finished the novella this morning. I’ll go over it one more time (reading aloud to myself) before I publish it, but the final word count will be very near what’s posted below. *** A few days ago, a subscriber asked in a comment about my after-writing process. Do I send my work to my first reader before I read it aloud? Do I print it before I read it aloud or read directly from the screen? Just as importantly, the commenter wrote “I’m working on getting better writing a clean [first] draft….” I was … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, April 3

Hey Folks, Well, the current WIP is going to be a novellette or a novella. I don’t usually write to a particular length, but I know this one won’t get into the short-novel range. Something occurred to me after I wrote yesterday’s post. Write This Down: The only real difference between a short story and a story of any other length is that a short story is about One Event. Not two, not a few and not several. One. This story is about two cases, a new one and a cold case that all but mimics the new one, and … Read more

The Journal, Monday, April 2

Hey Folks, I might as well let you in on a secret. In writing my current WIP, I’m doing something I’ve never done before. And actually, I’m doing something I don’t enjoy. At all. At less than 6,000 words in (as of yesterday) I already know most of the plot points and the satisfactory resolution of the novel. Ugh. How in the world does anyone write from an outline? Seriously, I don’t understand. If they already know the story beforehand, how are they not bored out of their mind as they put it on paper? It seems to me that … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, April 1

Hey Folks, Long post today. Hope you had or are having a happy and uneventful April Fools Day and Easter. I’m finding if I can avoid the Smashwords blog on this day, I come through pretty much unscathed. Mark Coker got me (and a great many others) two or three years ago when he used the Smashwords blog to announce that Amazon was doing something very harmful to writers. They would soon announce they’d come up with an intelligent program that churned out novels, thereby negating the need for writers. Something like that. And yeah, I bought it. I emailed … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, March 31

Hey Folks, I jumped ahead a bit and published my latest last night, distributing it via Draft2Digital. Then I sent the Kindle file to my donors and to a few relatives who’ve shown an interest. This morning I sent it to Amazon and BundleRabbit. Finally, I created a new page for the book at and then updated the Mystery Novels page on the same site. Then I did the same thing over at So a lot of admin stuff this morning thus far. I expect to get back to the new WIP sometime today. But it’s the weekend, … Read more

The Journal, Friday, March 30

Hey Folks, This is a process post. I started reading my latest novel to Mona yesterday morning. Reading aloud is the best possible way to proofread. The ears process words less quickly than the eyes, so you catch more stupid mistakes. Also, this morning, I remembered there was one chapter (one I haven’t read aloud yet) in which the two detectives are in the bullpen. As they work on preliminary computer stuff for a few upcoming cases, the POV character relates an overview of two cases they’ve recently closed. One was a very odd suicide and the other was a … Read more

The Journal, Thursday, March 29

Hey Folks, A lot of good links included today. The learning truly never ends. I started the morning per usual, cycling back over what I wrote yesterday. As I went, I realized I’d left some sensory detail out of a few scenes at the beginning of chapters. That “grounding the reader” thing. It’s important. So why do I have to do that while cycling? Well, I don’t always. Most of the time I remember to ground the reader at the beginning of each major scene and chapter as I’m writing it. But that’s the value of cycling. Of being “unstuck … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, March 28

Hey Folks, Well, I spoke too soon. (grin) Yesterday I thought I saw the end of the WIP and figured I’d get there today. Maybe I will, and maybe I won’t. I’m still certain it’s near. But as I cycled back over what I wrote yesterday, I cut about 2000 words. I also created a cover for this one, so that’s done early. That’s it on the left. This wasn’t conscious-mind stuff. This was my characters (one good guy and one very bad guy) stopping dead still on the stage, staring out at me, and saying, “Uh… no.” So I … Read more

The Journal, Tuesday, March 27

Hey Folks, Not a lot to report today, other than a good early day of writing. Between 4 and 8 with a few breaks I added a little over 3000 words to the novel. And the end is in sight. Given another hour, I’d finish it this morning, but I have to go to Tucson for the doc appointment. This will be a short novel. I should finish it tomorrow with what will probably be a light day of writing. When I sat down this morning, I wanted it to be a good writing day but I honestly didn’t have … Read more

The Journal, Monday, March 26

Hey Folks, Well, it’s Sunday as I write this, but I won’t post it until Monday, after I’ve written something. I only opened the boilerplate today to add the first bit in “Of Interest.” I’ll add others (if any) tomorrow before I post. Okay, now it’s Monday morning. The first thing I did was revise my “The Original Heinlein’s Rules” post (I added 450 words) and scheduled it for May 29 over on the big blog. When it pops up, I hope you’ll read it. It’s considerably different from when I posted it here back on March 9. Editing this … Read more