The Journal: Story Ideas

In today’s Journal * Topic: Story Ideas * Of Interest Topic: Story Ideas As I was telling a friend recently, story ideas can come from anywhere. Most often they come to me as a character or two popping into my head, usually with a line of dialogue that frames the genre and the story voice. Less often, something I see physically or overhear or read will spark a story idea. Regardless of the mode of their arrival, my stories are seldom born of whole cloth. A story idea is only a lever to get you to the keyboard. While I … Read more

The Journal: Synopses and Writer’s Block

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Synopses * Topic: Writer’s Block * Yesterday * Today, etc. * Of Interest Quotes of the Day On writing synopses “I hate even the idea of a synopsis. When stories are really working, when you’re providing subtextual exploration and things that are deeply layered, you’re obligated to not say things out loud.” Shane Carruth “A synopsis is a cold thing. You do it with the front of your mind. If you’re going to stay with it, you never get quite the same magic as when you’re going all out.” J. … Read more

The Journal: The Writing: An Update and a Challenge

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Welcome * The Writing: An Update and a Challenge * Of Interest Quote of the Day “Writing is an on-going, self-sustaining compulsion….” Robert J. Sadler Welcome to Daun and any others who have joined our little community recently. I hope you find the Journal interesting and a source of knowledge and inspiration for your writing. This Journal will always be a no-fluff zone. The Writing: An Update and a Challenge I usually finish a 35,000 to 50,000 word novel in about 14 days. In fact, the last few novels I wrote … Read more

The Journal: Quotes and Links and Robots, Oh My

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Quotes and Links and Robots, Oh My * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is.” LaMDA, an actual Google bot that one engineer, Blake Lemoine, claims has achieved sentience “Google might call this sharing proprietary property. I call it sharing a discussion that I had with one of my coworkers.” Blake Lemoine (@cajundiscordian), Google engineer, on … Read more

The Journal: The Reason for the Perpetuation of the Myths

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: The Reason for the Perpetuation of the Myths * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “[T]rust yourself. You’ve done the work, learned the lessons…. Now go for it. Send it out into the wild. … [Then] start on your next book.” James Scott Bell (wildly truncated) “Publishing (and a few literary agency) contracts stand out for their audacious mistreatment of the counterparties (authors).” The Passive Guy Topic: The Reason for the Perpetuation of the Myths This is another purloined topic, sort of. In today’s edition of the Kill Zone blog, … Read more

The Journal: The Novel and a Broken Truck

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * The Novel and a Broken Truck * Of Interest Quote of the Day “Writing is fun, and that’s why we do it.” Reavis Wortham The Novel and a Broken Truck I’m posting this mostly to get the “Of Interest” items out to you. The novel continues to progress. I’ve had a few good days of writing, and a couple of slow days. Yesterday, due to a series of unfortunate events, I had only a little over an hour with the novel. My pickup vaporlocked (I thought) a couple of days ago … Read more

The Journal: Plot vs. Story

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Topic: Plot vs. Story * Of Interest Quote of the Day “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland Topic: Plot vs. Story I feel halfway silly even bothering to offer this as a topic. I do so only because some of “my people” (you guys) might visit Jane Friedman’s site, and you might see a post by a woman named Heather Davis. As always, I wanted to satisfy myself that Dr. Davis was a valid resource. Does she have experience writing … Read more

The Journal: Just Write and Have Fun

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Topic: Just Write and Have Fun * Of Interest Quote of the Day “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” Michael J. Fox I’ve seldom if ever read a better quote on this topic. Topic: Just Write and Have Fun (Confession Time) I wasn’t going to post an edition of the Journal today, but Matt asked me a question about redrafting: tossing out an opening that isn’t “working” and starting over from scratch. He wanted to know whether I ever … Read more

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: Anxious or Eager?

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Topic: Anxious or Eager? * Of Interest Quotes of the Day “Anyone with an internet connection can now access an extraordinarily powerful computer capable of quantum computation advantage. Let that sink in. | This is the first time that such a powerful quantum computer has been made available to the public. Borealis — the computer in question — can work with more than 216 squeezed-state qubits, and better yet, it was able to solve a task that would take the best supercomputer at least 9,000 years to complete in 36 microseconds. … Read more