The Journal: How to Get Here, Part 2

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: How to Get Here, Part 2 * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “You have to believe in your long term plan, but you need short term goals to motivate and inspire you.” Roger Federer, professional tennis player (paraphrased) “Did you know that 94% of consumers in their 20s purchased boba (bubble tea) in the last three months?” 1440 Daily Digest Maybe a story starter? Soma, anyone? Topic: How to Get Here, Part 2 If you have chosen to opt-out of the responsibility-and-labor-and-drama-intensive myths and choose instead to trust yourself … Read more

The Journal: Welcome and the Archives

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Welcome and the Archives * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ― Stuart Chase The above works just as well for writing into the dark as it does for religion of any other stripe. “Her head was small and round and it held small round convictions.” John Steinbeck in East of Eden Topic: Welcome and the Archives Welcome to new subscribers. There have been a few over the past week or so, and … Read more

The Journal: Flip-Flop?

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * A good article * Topic: Flip-Flop? * How About You? * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “The first thing that I seek in a great story is originality.” David Farland (I had to laugh, given that Farland is one who advocates outlining, revising, editing and rewriting, all of which quickly obliterate any chance of originality. Here’s my recent post on originality.) There’s a good article today at The Passive Voice about who owns the copyright of derivative works in what amounts to shared worlds. Take a look … Read more

The Journal: Dolly Parton, Russell Blake and James Patterson

In today’s Journal * Russell Blake * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​ Russell Blake is an international bestselling novelist. He is also an American ex-pat, living in Mexico. There, he is not subject to the current or forthcoming “mandates” of the US federal government. If you’re young enough to entertain the thoughts, and if you’ve ever wondered what it would cost to live in Mexico, the prevalence of drug cartels, etc., I suggest you take a look at “Cheap and Easy” at Also, of course, the post is full of story ideas. Now, rather than entering into the … Read more

The Journal: An Opportunity for Writers

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * An Opportunity for Writers * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​ Quote of the Day “Hemingway … developed a technique that let him transfer from one point of view to another. He would simply start outside a character, describing the world and the character, and then move into dialog, which colors the world with emotion. Eventually, in a third paragraph, he would then move fully into the character’s thought processes. … To move out, he’d simply reverse the strategy.” David Farland For the record, this works, although I would argue that … Read more

The Journal: Despite the Bluster

In today’s Journal * Despite the bluster * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​ Well, despite all the bluster, I didn’t start the next Gap novel yesterday. Probably today, maybe tomorrow or the next day. No biggie. It’ll come when it comes, and I’ve been doing this long enough not to be worried about it. I’d rather not get too far behind the curve ball for the 80,000 words I need per month for the rest of the year to attain my ‘big’ goal, but if I do, I do. I’ve missed that particular goal before. The world didn’t end … Read more

The Journal: The Novel Wrapped

In today’s Journal * The novel wrapped * Keeping Track * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​ The novel wrapped yesterday. Weird. I put pressure on myself just before the end of this novel. I wanted to finish it yesterday, and I allowed that desire to translate into pressure to finish it. Pressure is never a good thing. As a result, I wrote three separate endings, only one of which I completed. (The right one, of course.) So when the smoke cleared (literally) I had written 1865 words that did not make it into the final novel. Oh well. It’s … Read more

The Journal: Desperately Avoiding the Adverb

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Topic: Desperately Avoiding the Adverb * On Tidbits * Marketing Tidbit * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​ Quote of the Day “On a different subject, “… head shaking with rue” sounded odd. Is this just me or is the author desperately avoiding the adverb?” Mike Hall, in a comment on a post on The Passive Voice Topic: Desperately Avoiding the Adverb For many years, I’ve kept a running list of verbs writers use in dialogue tags to replace “said” and thereby, they reason, to “spiff up” the tag and make … Read more

The Journal: Three Kinds of Fiction Writers

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Three Kinds of Fiction Writers * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Being ‘good at things’ is not the point. Enjoying the ride is. [R]emember to take joy in the process.” PJ Parrish “Given the growth in the audio market, I use far more dialogue tags than I used to. On the page, I believe they become invisible, and on audio, it keeps the listener on track.” John Gilstrap Topic: Three Kinds of Fiction Writers I used to say there are two kinds of fiction writers, but … Read more

The Journal: More on Ideas, and Introducing Tidbits

In today’s Journal * More on Ideas * Topic: Introducing Tidbits * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​More on Ideas Excerpted from an email to a potential new mentoring student. In his email he told me he was deluged with story ideas: I’m glad you’re deluged with ideas. I get so tired of would-be writers asking “Where do you get ideas?” My typical response is “Where do you NOT get ideas?” Just this morning during my walk, I passed through several swarms of flying ants. My imagination immediately went to an alien invasion. A little later, as I was eating … Read more