The Journal: A New Use for Reverse Outlines

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Happy Birthday * Topic: A New Use for Reverse Outlines * The Value of Cliffhangers * Tomorrow * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “The faster the action, the more the writer should slow down the description.” Debbie Burke Yes. In the heat of battle, the POV character will notice far fewer aspects of the setting, but he will focus on that one aspect (or those few aspects) with a heightened sense of awareness because those aspects are crucial, as if time has slowed almost to a crawl. … Read more

The Journal: Just FYI

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Nothing much * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard P. Feynman “It’s easier to fool people than it is to convince them that they have been fooled.” Mark Twain Nothing much to talk about today. I’m doing fine but still not doing much day by day other than reading and watching TV and urging all this mental fog to be over so I can get back to writing. I’m … Read more

The Journal: Thanks

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * What Bradbury said * Yesterday * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “You see, all my characters write the book. I don’t write the book. All these characters come to me and say, ‘Listen to me.’ And then I listen to them and I put it down, and the book gets written. That’s how I write, you see. All these lovers surround me, and they love life and they tell me about it.” Ray Bradbury on the writing of Fahrenheit 451. Yes! What Bradbury said. Yes! … Read more

The Journal: A Lot of Stuff

In today’s Journal * Kris Rusch’s Birthday Party * Also in “Of Interest” * The Next Few Days * More Shared World Stuff * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Dean Wesley Smith is doing something really great for his wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, for her upcoming 60th birthday. He’s throwing her a card party, and all of you can be part of it. For details, see “Of Interest” below. Also in “Of Interest” is an article on how to “survive the chaos point” in a novel. A bit melodramatic, isn’t it? You aren’t charging across open ground under … Read more

The Journal: Half-Price WMG Workshop Sale

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Dean Is Doing It One More Time * Yesterday * Clarification * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “One of the widest gaps in human experience is the gap between what we say we want to be and our willingness to discipline ourselves to get there.” Harry Emerson Fosdick “Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” Robert A. Heinlein (via his character, Lazarus Long) “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. … Read more

The Journal: Bradbury, Halifax, and More Food for Thought

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Yesterday * Food for Thought * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day (Still gorging on Bradbury) “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t “try” to do things. You simply “must” do things.” Ray Bradbury “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” Ray Bradbury Yesterday, as it turned out, I wrote very little. Not really enough to even count, so I don’t consider it a writing day. I think I was too … Read more

The Journal: Writing in a Shared World

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Topic: Writing in a Shared World * Yesterday * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “No, it’s not a very good story – its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.” Stephen King Topic: Writing in a Shared World One writer asked about the limitations of writing in a shared world. Specifically, the writer wondered how a proponent of writing into the dark could write in a shared world. So I … Read more

The Journal: The Reverse Outline (RO) Revisited and Shared Worlds

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * From James Scott Bell * Yesterday * Topic: The Reverse Outline (RO) Revisited * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E. L. Doctorow From James Scott Bell’s newsletter, ” how about some old-school pulp fiction… free! My favorite genre is crime/detective fiction from the golden era, 1920-1950. Here’s a treasure trove, including issues of the most famous pulp … Read more

The Journal: Yesterday and an Offer

In today’s Journal * Yesterday * A lot of people * If you would like to taste-test * Finally, if any of my patrons * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Yesterday was a much better day of writing with well over 4000 words (see Day 7). The only thing that slows the process is stopping now and then to integrate the March novel with the current one. More than once I’ve felt like it would have been wiser (and easier and a lot more fun) to just trash the whole thing and start over like I was going … Read more

The Journal: Good Stuff and Bad Stuff

In today’s Journal * First, Happy Easter * Yesterday * Today * If you want to learn * Of Interest * The Numbers First, Happy Easter. Whatever it means to you, I hope it’s an enjoyable day. Yesterday, again I wrote only a little over 1000 words (see Day 6 below). We took an early drive to Sierra Vista mostly to get out of the house. We also had an enjoyable walk down along the San Pedro River. The pic is a selfie Mona took with her phone. That part of the day was wonderful. Then things went wrong. Almost … Read more