Reading Order Matters and More on WITD

In today’s Journal

* Reading Order Matters
* Two More Notes on WITD
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Reading Order Matters

I believe the Solana “Soleada” Garcia subseries of Blackwell Ops might be the best subseries of novels I’ve ever written. Even better than the Wes Crowley saga, and in my opinion, that’s going some.

The subseries is so good, in fact, that I’m thinking of publishing an omnibus collection of those novels after the entire thing is finished.

Most of my series read chronologically from Book 1 through to whenever the series ends. The two exceptions are the huge Wes Crowley saga (see the reading order for that one here) and this Solana “Soleada” Garcia subseries of Blackwell Ops.

As sometimes happens, these novels were not all written in the chronological order of the story they contain.

Here’s the chronological reading order. Notice the titles:

  • Blackwell Ops 17: Soleada Garcia: Origin Story
  • Blackwell Ops 18: Soleada Garcia: Settled
  • Blackwell Ops 19: Soleada Garcia: Trying Times (current WIP)
  • Blackwell Ops 20: Soleada Garcia: ??? (I became certain only yesterday that she will tell me at least one more story)
  • Blackwell Ops 14: Charlie Task (you need this to understand the context of BO-15)
  • Blackwell Ops 15: Solana Garcia
  • Blackwell Ops 16: Tarea-Garcia

I also believe this is the best series of novels I’ve written for writers who want to learn how I do what I do. And I’m feeling generous.

So I’m Having a Sale

The regular price for each novel is $5.99.

But it you would like to read the subseries, I will send you the printable PDF (or .epub or .mobi) of all the existing titles — 17, 18, 19 (as soon as it’s finished), 14, 15, and 16 — as a set for a donation of $18 (only $3 per title). At this price, I will not sell them separately.

Additionally, if Soleada also gives me any others — including BO-20 and any others in the Tarea-Garcia subseries — I will send that/those along at no additional charge as soon as each one is finished.

The cost is $18 for all of that.

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, Click Here to send a one-time donation of $18 via PayPal or with a credit or debit card and I’ll send them right out.

And yes, for those who already bought Blackwell Ops 18 from the recent flash sale, the cost for the whole bundle is only $15. You will still get BO-20 and any others free of charge.

Finally, for any monthly donors who are making a recurring monthly donation, the entire series is free. You only have to email me to let me know you want them.

Two More Notes on WITD

First, interruptions.

They happen sometimes, don’t they? And they can ‘derail’ your train of thought and your story, can’t they?

But if you are writing into the dark, interruptions don’t matter. They can’t derail your train of thought because there IS no train of thought.

My neighbor sometimes knocks on the door of the Hovel. My wife or a friend sometimes calls me on the phone.

Every time, they apologize for ‘interrupting’ me. And I always tell them the same thing: It’s no big deal. And the thing is, it really is not a big deal. Interruptions don’t matter.

If I’m in the middle of a sentence, I finish that, but then I answer the phone or get up and answer the door.

See, I’m not “thinking” my way through anything in the story. The conscious mind can be interrupted and derailed, but the creative subconscious cannot.

When I am interrupted while writing, my characters stop.

They cross their arms over their chest or study their fingernails or kick a rock. Some even grumble a little under their breath, but they wait. And when I come back to the story, they race off again, happy to get their story out to the world.

After I’ve talked on the phone or finished chatting with the neighbor, whether that takes a minute or two or a few hours, when I get back to my writing ‘puter I just read over the past few sentences or paragraphs and write the next sentence. And the next, and the next.

It really is that easy when you aren’t making up the story. When you’re only reporting what the characters do and say as events unfold around them.

Okay, a second note:

Learning Through Practice

Once you are used to writing into the dark, more and more revelations will come to you about writing fiction. Those will occur to you naturally, often even as you are writing a sentence.

And when they do, you might want to stop and write them down. But you will also know there is no need. Once you have it, you have it. Still, it is interesting sometimes to realize you have learned or realized something you never knew before.

And in every case, it will be something that didn’t come from an external source like DWS or Vin Zandri or even me, though it might also be an expansion on any of those things, just as I have greatly expanded and advanced the concepts I learned years ago from Dean.

But it will have come to you from your own creative subconscious, just as the characters and the story do.

Occasionally, sometimes in the middle of a story or novel, you will even realize you have reached a new plateau with your writing. Celebrate if you want to. But then get back to the story or start the next one. Continue to practice so you can learn more.

I’ll talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

Editing and Reading Observations… Part 7

Outsiders Book Covers: Design Tips and Inspiration

Want to Improve Your Amazon Ranking? Improve or Update All of Your Book Descriptions

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 950

Writing of Blackwell Ops 19: Soleada Garcia: Trying Times

Day 1…… 4398 words. To date…… 4398
Day 2…… 4889 words. To date…… 9287
Day 3…… 3412 words. To date…… 12699
Day 4…… 3384 words. To date…… 16083
Day 5…… 4105 words. To date…… 20188
Day 6…… 5684 words. To date…… 25872
Day 7…… 4413 words. To date…… 30285
Day 8…… 3045 words. To date…… 33330

Fiction for January……………………. 113451
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 113451
Fiction since October 1…………… 416596
Nonfiction for January……………… 31960
Nonfiction for 2024…………………… 31960
2024 consumable words…………… 145501

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 2
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 84
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 239
Short story collections…………………… 31

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.

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4 thoughts on “Reading Order Matters and More on WITD”

  1. Hi! I try to avoid any disturbance when I write. I try to create a certain amount of time when I can have silence, when I can be my own place, and when I have nothing to do. And this is exactly why it is difficult to do… In my life there are no hours of diving into a story. There can be 20 minutes, maybe an hour per day. And if I want to write I have to use this time – and often others interrupts me. During the last year I learned I still can write. Interrupted? No problem. The only really disturbing thing left is my critical mind which says I need a certain amount of time to write… Which is not true.

    Yes, I also think the realizations are more powerful if they come from your own experiences. But, even though the writers talk about the same thing if it comes to writing, they do that on their own way. And the explanation might differ; I prefer more your way of thinking about WITD, about how the characters are actually live their lives, and your words – your explanation – make a difference to me. They are more understandable. Who knows, maybe if I will give my learnings toward others, I also will explain it differently…

    • Hi Balázs, Thanks for the comment.

      Yes, I’m fortunate to have the Hovel. It’s only 150 feet from my house, but it’s all mine. In there, it’s only me and my characters and all the writers I talk with each day.

      As for time to write, you might try getting up one hour earlier (if you can) for an uninterrupted time. That’s what I did at first. Now, without an outside job, I’m able to go to bed earlier and get up earlier while others aer still asleep.

      Every instructor says things differently, so different people learn. And I have always tried to approach a lesson in different ways so I can reach as many as possible. But for WITD, for me the characters really do exist, so for me that’a the only way to say that. I’m glad you see them too.

  2. Hi again! I can’t write in the morning. I tried several times, but I always was too sleepy to do it. The best time for me is midday, which is unavailable, so I do my writings before I go to bed. It seems to work for me now.

    Yes, I know every writer is different. So they have different strengths and weaknesses, and different points that is important to them. For example I tried started to write from a title, it didn’t work. From an image, it also didn’t work. I can start with questions, which are the starting problem for a character. From there it works the way the character tells her/his story…

    This question literally can be anything. The important point it should be interesting for me, so I can engage with the main character. And I often use my dreams or daydreaming sessions to find the question. I also play with others around me. I try to find out different people’s backstory. I think this is common about writers… For example, my short novel Kylen’s story is about a bookseller in a fantasy world. How he works? And what if… and… and so on. He just started to tell me his story.

    And I am glad to find your journal. It pretty much helped me the last year. Before I was here, I couldn’t write much. In 2023 I broke my record.

    • Hi Balázs. You are right. Every writer is different, and you have obviously found what works for you. I’m glad you found the Journal and that it has been of use to you. And I am glad we have met, if only via the ether.

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