The Journal: I Have a Question

In today’s Journal * Topic: I Have a Question * Non-writing day yesterday * No “Of Interest” section today * The Numbers Topic: I have a question. Why are writers so insanely frightened of writing into the dark? I don’t mean individual writers being frightened to test the waters. I used to be one of those. I’d almost break out in hives at even the idea of sitting down and just writing without a clue as to which characters would appear or what they would do or say or which twists and turns might appear in the story, unbidden, unforetold … Read more

The Daily Journal, Wednesday, January 16

Hey Folks, I learned from Linda Maye Adams’ newsletter that the 2019 Superstars Seminar will run from February 7-9 this year. So I looked it up. (grin) The seminar focuses on the business side of writing, but according to the website they’ll also have a separate writing craft day on February 6. You can attend that as well, or separately. According to Christine Mandeville, the conference co-director, some sessions are full but there are a lot of extras. I recommend it. To see the lineup of instructors. the curriculum and the schedule, click To see the fees, visit … Read more

The Journal, Sunday, June 24

Hey Folks, No post yesterday. No anything else writerly either as I spent the day with my wife, celebrating 34 years together and wondering how she’s put up with me that long. Probably I won’t write today either, fiction I mean. I’ll start fresh on Monday, and that will give me a week to gear up to my new work ethic (fun ethic) and the coming challenge. Today that challenge got a little more difficult too. Another copyedit came in, and a few days ago another writer told me to expect his manuscript for copyedit also. I look forward to … Read more

The Journal, Friday, June 22

Hey Folks, Even when Dean Wesley Smith doesn’t write specifically about writing in his posts, I often glean something of value. His short post today is about a practice poker tournament. At the end, he turns it into a brief analogy about writing. That spurred my own thought process. Topic: Practice Is Important Part I — Rationale and a Harsh Truth About Hovering As it is in all art, practice in writing is important. Without practice, the writing craft and the writing itself goes stale. And as it is in all art, practice in writing is fun, if uncomfortable. Many … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, March 17

Hey Folks, Just a touch-up on yesterday’s topic re Lee Child and his buddy, Jack Reacher…. It occurred to me last night that some of the (what I saw as) excess description and unnecessary repetition might well be the result of his publisher’s prodding. After all, the novel length guidelines we’ve heard about all our lives are the direct result of traditional publishers needing to make a price point. To hit a particular price point, they need a certain number of folios. They tell the agents, and the agents push the writers to fill a certain number of pages. Many, … Read more

The Journal, Friday, March 16

Hey Folks, Sometimes I’m in such a foul mood, my only escape is into my fiction. There I can pal around with the people I like. And I can kill the ones I don’t like. *** Topic: Ongoing Learning A couple of days ago, I started reading the second Jack Reacher book Lee Child ever wrote. And his first Jack Reacher book was also very his first novel and a New York Times bestseller. That “bestseller” label doesn’t always do it for me, but this is very good stuff. The guy’s an excellent writer. As opposed, say, to someone else … Read more