The Journal: How to Ground the Reader

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: How to Ground the Reader * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “[Patterson’s] a-ha moment in terms of efficiency, he explains, came while writing 1993’s Along Came a Spider: Rather than fill out the story he’d outlined, he decided the outline was the novel.” Mark Athitakis reviewing Patterson’s memoir James Patterson by James Patterson “Character voice bubbles up organically when every aspect of the story is seen through a character’s-eye view….” Lisa Poisso Topic: How to Ground the Reader I’ve said many times before that grounding the reader in the … Read more

The Journal: I Enjoy a Good Chunk of Irony

In today’s Journal * Irony of the Day * I’m on Best Deals * Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” * Alternatives to Google Earth? * * * * Of Interest I do so enjoy a good chunk of irony, especially when it has to do with the Constitution or its amendments, and especially (because I’m a writer) the first amendment. So here’s the Irony of the Day “We need to have a grownup conversation about how to deal with threats to our national security and that’s not what happened here. I’m not going to be silenced.” Nina Jankowicz, former director of … Read more

The Journal: Trademark Stuff

In today’s Journal * Topic: Trademark Stuff * Who’s the Projectionist? * Of Interest Topic: Trademark Stuff Not much in today’s post. It’s all pretty much an expanded “Of Interest” section. According to Dean Wesley Smith (awhile back in one class or another), registering a trademark for practically anything is a waste of time and money for a writer. Primarily that’s because if you have a trademark, you are required to defend it, and defending it can get costly. Especially in addition to the original cost of filing for trademark in the first place. Besides, in any trademark dispute, first … Read more

The Journal: Some Thoughts on Writing and Writers

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Some Thoughts on Writing and Writers * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Writers, of course, make the worst enemies.” Emily Temple (Appropos of nothing—I just like the quote.) “Writing is a joy. … If it’s not, something is wrong with the process. … For those who are mired in the ‘sweat equity’ of writing, please, for now, consider your approach and your attitude—and try something completely different.” Dan Baldwin in “Sweating Blood And Now For Something Completely Different” Topic: Some Thoughts on Writing and Writers My apology in advance … Read more

The Journal: It’s Much Easier

In today’s Journal * It’s Much Easier * Of Interest It’s Much Easier Over at the Kill Zone Blog a day ago, James Scott Bell posted an interesting question: “Should Writing Be Easy?” Naturally, I commented. Of course writing is easy. You’re sitting alone in a room, making stuff up. What could be easier than that? But I wasn’t quite that flippant in my actual comment. I wrote that, “Writing is easy (and fun!) for those who are able to trust their creative subconscious and not allow the conscious, critical mind to second-guess them and shut them down.” Which of … Read more

The Journal: A Little Fun Today

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * A Little Fun Today * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “The advocacy of the three-million-member organization for censorship is a chilling position for any group representing educators.” Jonathan Turley “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” James Joyce A Little Fun Today Again, the Kill Zone rises up to hand me a topic, but this time it isn’t something to argue against. This time, Garry Rodgers’ … Read more

The Journal: Dave Farland (David Wolverton)

In today’s Journal * David Wolverton * Of Interest David Wolverton I’m still here, and there are some good things in “Of Interest.” But my main reason for posting today is to pass along some sad news. John David Wolverton, better known as Dave Farland or David Wolverton, suffered a massive heart attack yesterday and passed away last night. Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and fans the world over. Dave’s departure is a huge loss to fiction and to the world in general. He, Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch were longtime friends. Dean posted a great pic … Read more

The Journal: On Daily Word-Count Goals

In today’s Journal * Sympathy * Thanks, I needed that * Topic: On Daily Word-Count Goals * A Final Word on Goals for This Year * The Journal Archives * Of Interest * The Numbers First, my heartfelt sympathy for the family, friends and fans of Coach John Madden, who passed away unexpectedly yesterday morning at the age of 85. I was fortunate that I got to witness much of his career as a coach and then as a coach in the broadcast booth. Coach Madden will be sorely missed. My sincere thanks to reader Larry P who emailed me … Read more

The Journal: Peter Brandvold

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Here’s to Boring and Uneventful * Peter Brandvold * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” William Faulkner Here’s to Boring and Uneventful I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Ours was boring and uneventful, in a good way. Meaning there was no undue, unnecessary excitement and no drama. One more thing for which to be grateful. Unfortunately, Dean’s was something less than boring, as reported at … Read more

The Journal: Agents Want a Fresh New Voice

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Agents Want a Fresh New Voice * Don’t look * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Great writers make their stories authentic by allowing us to experience what their characters hear, see, smell, taste, and touch—capturing the senses so we are fully involved.” Ellen Buikema at Writers in the Storm “When agents are asked what they are looking for, their typical answer is ‘a fresh new voice’.” Steve Hooley in “That Special Sauce” at the Kill Zone blog Agents Want a Fresh New Voice Agents and publishers want … Read more