In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* You Can’t Make This Shup
* Nothing Short of Incredible
* Story of the Week
* A Note on Pacing
* On Censorship
* Of Interest
Quotes of the Day
“[AI is a l]ot more complex than anything going on on the surface. Not defending, just saying that this is the early days and the dust has not settled by a long ways. Just stay tuned and watch. And as things settle in certain AI areas, I will talk about it [on my website].” Dean Wesley Smith in response to my comment on his site
“Going to do a series on Killing the Sacred Cows on Indie Publishing and delete those old ones that are out of date. Stay tuned.” Dean Wesley Smith in response to another comment on his site
You Can’t Make This Shup
Rare hissing mushroom known as Devil’s Cigar spotted in Texas. The Last of Us?
Nothing Short of Incredible
Not about writing but amazing. If you are intrigued by puzzles, you’ll enjoy this. “A general solution to the cubic equation was long considered impossible, until we gave up the requirement that math reflect reality.”
How imaginary numbers were invented is a fascinating 28-minute video. I’ve long suspected all the secrets of the universe boil down to 1. Now I see it’s more than likely -1.
If you’re as interested as I was, there are more videos on the topic below this one on YouTube. Makes me want to go back to school.
Story of the Week
Yesterday a story of the week arrived in my in box. And it was from me. (grin) Kind’a neat. Last week I prescheduled four stories to appear, one per week on Friday morning. Of course, then I promptly forgot about it.
So receiving “Keep Calm & Carry On,” a story narrated by a sniper in the bush, was enjoyable. This is one of my more Hemingway-esque short stories, and I enjoyed it even while I was writing it.
If you aren’t subscribed and would like to read “Keep Calm & Carry On” free, please click https://harveystanbroughwrites.com/keep-calm-carry-on/.
If you would like to subscribe via Substack and receive future short stories free in your inbox, please visit https://stanbroughwrites.substack.com/p/keep-calm-and-carry-on. Then scroll to the bottom and click Subscribe.
A Note on Pacing
When writers think of pacing, they typically think “page-turner” and they also typically think “fast-paced,” as if the latter is a requirement of the former. It isn’t.
What causes readers to turn pages has nothing to do with speed. The formula is Depth + Tension = Anticipation. And Anticipation is what causes readers to turn pages.
I’ve been over depth before. See any of my posts on “grounding the reader.” (Search the archives if you’ve downloaded them or key “grounding” into the search box in the sidebar at https://hestanbrough.com.)
Briefly, until you escort the reader firmly into the story by grounding him or her in the setting and introducing him or her to the character, s/he will neither be invested in the story nor care either way what happens to the character.
Tension is a different technique, though you can start injecting it into the story in the opening even as you ground the reader. But whenever you inject it, sometimes a slow or steady pace is just as effective (or more effective) than a fast pace.
In my current free story of the week, “Keep Calm & Carry On,” the tension is driven by a quiet and slow but relentless pace. Until everythings speeds up at the end as things do in such situations.
Really, now that you know what to look for, I suspect the pacing will be fairly obvious. But the story also flows well enough that the typical reader wouldn’t think about how it’s paced, and that’s exactly what I want.
I don’t mind that most readers don’t notice the pacing and other component elements. I just want them to enjoy the story. (grin) Oh, and yes, I want to manipulate their heart rate.
Although I wrote the above mini-article on pacing yesterday, this morning one reader emailed to say of the story, “Whew!! I don’t think I breathed for two minutes. That was great!”
MAN I like to hear things like that! (grin)
This was sparked by the second item in “Of Interest.”
I do not agree with censorship at any level. I have personally suffered attempted censorship by one socialist person who believes I should never write or publish even short stories about a dystopian world in which those who disagree with the totalitarian state are disappeared.
Writers should write whatever (the hell) they want and readers should read whatever (the hell) they like. It is not any government’s place (or anyone else’s place) to tell anyone what they can or can’t write or read.
Talk with you again soon.
See “In the shallow world of BookTok, being ‘a reader’ is more important than actually reading” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/in-the-shallow-world-of-booktok-being-a-reader-is-more-important-than-actually-reading/. Submitted for your liesurely perusal and consideration.
See “Choices Narrow in Russian Bookstores Amid Anti-LGBT Law, Wartime Restrictions” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/choices-narrow-in-russian-bookstores-amid-anti-lgbt-law-wartime-restrictions/.
See “Running a big publishing house is not as much fun as it used to be” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/running-a-big-publishing-house-is-not-as-much-fun-as-it-used-to-be/. And they did it to themselves.
The Journal…………………………………… 870 words
Writing of “Hortencia Alvarez” (shrug—I dunno)
Day 1…… 1089 words. Total words to date…… 1089
Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)
Day 1…… 3231 words. Total words to date…… 3231
Day 2…… 2990 words. Total words to date…… 6221
Day 3…… 1805 words. Total words to date…… 8026
Day 4…… 2025 words. Total words to date…… 10051
Total fiction words for February……… 1089
Total fiction words for 2023………… 47962
Total nonfiction words for February… 9370
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 29720
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 77682
Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: Because It Makes Sense, I preach trusting your characters to tell the story that they, not you, are living. Duh. This practice greatly increases your productivity and provides the fastest possible ascension along the learning curve of Craft because you get a great deal more practice at actually writing. This is not opinion. It is all numbers and facts.