POV, SF, Magazines, and More

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Welcome
* A New Story
* POV, SF, Magazines, and More
* The Writing
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“Fact and fiction carry the same intrinsic weight in the marketplace of ideas. Fortunately, reality has no advertising budget.” Daniel Suarez

“AI-generated news anchors to be part of new national news channel premiering next year” Title of an article online. (See Of Interest)

Good for the new national news channel. Their anchos will be even easier to program than the human news anchors are now.



Welcome to Disruptive Concepts (or Clear Vectors), Helen, and any other new subscribers or readers of the Journal. I hope you will find it useful.

Get the Archives and other free downloads at the Journal website. Just click the links and a PDF will download in a new page.

I also recommend reading the posts “I Believe in You” and “Fear”. Can’t hurt, and it might help.

Oh, and check out this half-hour video where bestselling author Vin Zandri and I are chatting about writing on The Writer’s Life.

A New Story

“The Death of Federico Parizzi,” another story in the Blackwell Ops world, published yesterday on my Stanbrough Writes Substack.

To subscribe, click the link above and then the Subscribe button at the end of the story. You’ll receive a new short story every Friday, and it’s free.

Below the Subscribe button, there are other short stories you can read in most genres. Enjoy!

POV, SF, Magazines, and More

I had a multiple-question email from a writer yesterday. Here’s my response, edited a bit for inclusion in the Journal:

Question 1: Point of View

Whatever POV you choose doesn’t matter. Ninety-nine percent of what you’ve heard about POV is bovine excrement. Keep two things in mind and you’ll be fine:

1, Every word in the novel must come through the POV character and his or her physical and/or emotional senses.

2, The POV character cannot read another character’s thoughts, and s/he cannot see something that is not within his/her line of sight. The same goes for the other senses.

When you have multiple POV characters, I recommend switching POVs only at the beginning of a chapter or at the beginning of a section within a chapter.

I added this Example from my book Blackwell Ops 15 to the free stuff in the Journal this morning. If you aren’t sure how to pull off identifying multiple POV characters for the reader, download it.

Question 2: Is my work SF?

As I wrote in a recent edition of the Journal, if the story contains any SF elements, it is SF in the first category.

SF trumps all other genres. If your story takes place on a planet other than Earth, its SF and then subcategories of that.

I just wrote two Blackwell Ops novels that include time travel. Hence, they are SF: The search terms for the first are SF thriller, time travel, psychological suspense, assassin, crime thriller, worldwide network.


SF can stand for either Science Fiction or Science Fantasy.

  • Science fiction adheres to the laws of physics as we know them.
  • Science fantasy does not. That is the only difference.

Question 3 had to do with whether and what s/he should cut based on readers’ opinions.

Just write what comes. And stop listening to readers and other critiquers. Especially those who complain. Why would you care what they think anyway?

Think of all the readers who DON’T complain.

If the complainers “would have written it differently,” frankly, why the hell didn’t they?

Readers who have the chutzpah to complain about anything in fiction other than erroneous facts should all hold hands in a big circle and shut the hell up.

The concept is not that difficult to understand. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Do I come to your law office and tell you how I would have argued a case? Or the café where you work and tell you how I would have served the food or bussed the table?

Before you complain about how a novel is written, write ten or twelve yourself. Otherwise, go join the critics in their circle.

And while I’m on the topic, until you’ve written at least ten or twelve novels, don’t pass out advice on writing novels. Chances are, you’re embarrassingly wrong. Same with short stories until you’ve written at least 50 or so.

Instead of handing out advice and leading others astray, spend your time Practicing: i.e., putting new words on the page.

In spoken conversations, if someone starts to tell you how to write, be kind and interrupt them with a question: “How many novels (short stories) have you written?”

If the answer doesn’t exceed the numbers I wrote above, even if you’ve written fewer than they have, walk away. Or say “Buy me a drink and you can keep talking.” At least the alcohol might help you forget tie inanity.

If you’re writing anything that has to do with firearms, get the terminology right. Do two seconds of spot research online, and you’ll find out that little box thingy that holds ammunition and is loaded into the grip of a pistol (not a revolver) or a rifle is called a “magazine,” not a “clip.” And no, they are not interchangeable terms.

And no one on a modern battlefield or with a memory of a modern battlefield will smell “cordite.” Cordite was used as a propellant in ammunition during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Write what you know” no longer holds water. Because a great deal of what you “know” is wrong. If the instructor or article writer doesn’t have the knowledge, s/he shouldn’t be teaching or writing how-to articles. They should be holding hands with the other “experts” in that circle.

The Writing

I missed my daily word count goal yesterday. My average, for the first time in a long while, dropped below 4000 words per day to 3984. But tomorrow is a new day.

No excuses. I just had a really sucky day and couldn’t put the circumstances out of my head for awhile.

How is your own writing going? I hope you’re challenging yourself, and I hope you’re having a ball doing it.

Okay, I’m outta here. With only 81 novels in the can, I’m still practicing.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

Listening In – Gabriel Bump talks new novels, writing 500 words a day I try occasionally to offer differing points of view and experiences in case they will work for you. You already know my opinion. Go practice, Gabriel. Or go join the circle.

“Amazing Grace” is a 200-year-old song with a surprising history A couple of good videos if you like the song

AI-generated news anchors to be part…

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1140

Writing of Tarea-Garcia 1

Day 1…… 4968 words. To date…… 4968
Day 2…… 3677 words. To date…… 8645
Day 3…… 3307 words. To date…… 11952

Fiction for December…………………… 61003
Fiction for 2023…………………………. 461837
Fiction since August 1………………… 347292
Nonfiction for December……………… 12340
Nonfiction for the year……………… 267920
Annual consumable words………… 726250

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 10
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 8
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 81
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 236
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.