The Daily Journal, Saturday, June 29

In today’s Journal * Recap * Quiet the Critical Voice (and Write Fiction) and Change of Plans * Daily diary * Of Interest * The numbers Yesterday I attended the Adding Suspense workshop and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s more of an awareness workshop than anything else, bent toward teaching the writer how to study the suspense element in other works. For the workshop, DWS broke suspense down into five major elements, yet those elements are intertwined when at work in the novel. It was interesting to see how they interact (and are interdependent) on the micro level. No telling how … Read more

The Daily Journal, Saturday, March 23

In today’s Journal ▪ With respect to the OP… ▪ Topic: On Being a “Hybrid” Writer ▪ Daily diary ▪ Of Interest (a boatload of links) ▪ The numbers With respect to the OP mentioned about Microsoft Word in “Of Interest,” you can still view (free) my blog series “Microsoft Word for Writers” at Just sayin’. *** Topic: On Being a “Hybrid” Writer Part 1: Statement, History and Rationale At 66 years old, with 40-some novels and almost 200 short stories under my belt, I’ve decided to go hybrid. My work has been traditionally published before. I’ve had articles, … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, December 16

Hey Folks, Quote of the day (to consider, on distractions): “…email [is] an infinite hamster wheel powered by other people’s priorities.” — Jake Knapp on Medium (see “Of Interest”) And another: “…write excellent books. That’s the only ironclad, long-tail secret to a career.” — James Scott Bell (see “Of Interest”) And one more: “Don’t let being a writer interfere with actually writing.” — John Gilstrap (see “Of Interest”) *** Just in case seeing my own reckoning with this “test” of December might help you, I’ll lay it out here each day in detail (when the detail matters). I rolled out … Read more

The Journal, Wednesday, November 21

Hey Folks, I hope each of you in America will enjoy your Thanksgiving Day tradition tomorrow. For those of you who do not live in the US, I hope you will pass a peaceful and lucrative day of your own, filled with joy and productivity. *** Time for another gentle reminder. From time to time, I hit upon a URL that’s so useful, so informative, so educational for fiction writers of all stripes, that I add it to one or more of the Writers Resources links on my main website. For a free education, please take time to visit … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, October 20

Hey Folks, Well, I didn’t roll out as early as I wanted to today. I’ll get some fiction done, but I have no idea how much time I’ll have. Depends. I started the day with a couple of free critiques. I’m not complaining. Hey, I offered, am I right? (grin) I hope even more folks will take advantage of it. To see what I’m talking about, look at This is a great opportunity to cut your learning curve. If your openings don’t immmediately grab the reader and ground him in your story, I urge you to take advantage of … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, October 6

Hey Folks, A lot of items in “Of Interest” today, some older just in case you missed them. I have a new favorite quote, culled from Joe Hartlaub’s post at the Kill Zone blog: “Grandparents and grandchildren have a special relationship, given that they have a common enemy.” (grin) Isn’t that wonderful? The operation went well (Thursday), with a couple of post-op glitches, natch. But long story short, I’m on the mend. A few days of extreme caution so I don’t pull any wires loose and then a few weeks of sort-of caution as my body gets over the physical … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, September 22

Hey Folks, You can’t tell, but I’m laughing out loud as I write this. Yesterday I discovered (on top of everything else) I had a bad case of sniffles. As in grabbing a tissue and blowing my nose every other minute or so. By the time my wife got home, I realized I had a head cold. (grin) It’s not funny, not really, but in the overall context it’s hilarious. Awhile back, a person who should feel close to me asked why I was giving away some of my stuff to my children. “You aren’t dying,” the person wrote. “After … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, September 8

Hey Folks, Topic: On Being a Hack Writer Character stands up tentatively from a brown metal folding chair: Hello. My name is Harvey Stanbrough and I’ve become accustomed to the idea that I am a hack writer. Character resumes his seat. Someone yells, “Scene.” That doesn’t mean I write stories about taxicabs, but that I write far too fast and turn out so much work that no possible way could it be any good. (grin) Never mind that my poetry and fiction is taught in at least two university English programs. I must be a hack. How else could I … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, August 25

Hey Folks, A lot going on today, so if I write any fiction, I’ll report those numbers for today and tomorrow in Monday’s Journal. Topic: Preaching to the Choir, Part 1 Yeah, Parts 1 and 2. I was going to post the whole topic, but it came in at around 1500 words, so Part 1 today, Part 2 tomorrow. (grin) By “preaching to the choir,” I mean reminding folks of things they already know, but maybe of which they can use an occasional reminder. I received a particularly interesting blog post in my email, one that reminded me of myself … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, July 28

Hey Folks, Today’s Journal entry is all about writing advice, the Kill Zone blog, and the “Of Interest” section of this Journal. In my own hunt for writing advice, I seek out other professional writers who are farther along the road than I. Once I find them, I gauge whether their advice is valuable to me overall. If a blog post is rife with misspellings and wrong word usages, awkward phrases and misplaced modifiers, or if they display a certain level of ignorance about the language (for example, ignorance of the difference between “likely” and “probably” or “if” and “whether” … Read more