The Daily Journal, Tuesday, July 30

In today’s Journal

* I almost
* Topic: A Good Problem to Have (and More on My Process)
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

I almost gave you another two-fer of topics today. At the last moment, I decided to save one for tomorrow. I think the recent surge of topics is a result of my having been away from fiction writing for so long.

I think my subconscious wants so much to play that it keeps coming up with topics, which I then write on the spot and post here. (grin)

So today, “A Good Problem to Have” and tomorrow, another post on aggregators and a personal faux pas.

Topic: A Good Problem to Have (and More on My Process)

I’m still jonesing to write. My current problem, frankly, is that my mind is swimming with ideas:

* Should I return to the “Danny Marco” (thriller) origin novel I started earlier this month? (That will become a series.)

* Should I start the fifth book in the Nick Spalding (romance action-adventure war) series? (I need an idea for a time-travel device.)

* Should I start the seventh in the Blackwell Ops (crime/thriller) series? (But I need a character, old or new, to stand up and raise his/her hand.)

* Ooh, but how I’d like to return to the Siberian Fields (future-Earth SF) world and write there!

* And the world I created for The Consensus (also future-Earth SF)! My then first-reader Kenneth Flowers was hungry for more in that world and with those creatures. And I’m hungry to write it.

* But Kenneth also wanted to another magic realism story from that place where reality folds into imagination on the horizon. Is the new king ready to tell the next part of his story?

* What about my Brooklyn wise guys (crime)? I haven’t visited with them for awhile.

* And what about Stern Talbot, my PI?

* Or what about writing something brand new?

And a bunch of others.


Okay, time for a brief but frank discussion.

For the past few weeks I’ve been mostly operating from my conscious mind. Learning and doing business stuff (putting together my IP inventory, creating spreadsheets, checking out aggregators, uploading, etc.).

The longer I’ve done that, the more strongly my subconscious has swelled and surged, trying to break through. It wants (I want) to write.

But I’ve been doing this for awhile, so I know me. I know my process. Yes, I’ve been at it for only five years and a couple of months, but in that time I’ve been prolific by any standard. So in that way, I’ve gained at least a decade (maybe two or three decades) of experience in those five years. So as I said, I know my process.

Sometimes when I finish a project, I leap smoothly right into the next one. That’s my favorite way to work. Even then, I have to cast about a bit, consider different projects.

But sometimes, like now, the intermission is a little (or a lot) longer and I have to ease into it. I hasten to add that this isn’t something I want or enjoy. It’s just the way my mind works for whatever reason.

I keep putting off writing for whatever reason. (I like to believe it’s because not all the pieces are in place yet in my psyche to launch into another story. Kind of “the story will happen when it’s supposed to happen.”)

So today I’ll go where I’m led, which is to study the writing of a couple of masters (Jack Higgins and Stephen King). I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile. I’ve already read the target books for pleasure and marked the passages I want to study.

Today too I’ll scan some nonfiction I’ve already read (including some that I’ve written, like Writing Great Beginnings and Writing the Character-Driven Story).

And somewhere in all that, something will maybe turn a key in my mind.

When that happens, whether it’s today, tomorrow or a week from now, I’ll open a Word doc and begin writing again. And two or three weeks later, I’ll have another new novel. (grin)

Rolled out at 2:30 and walked to the Hovel in a welcome light rain. One of life’s little joys.

Today I’ll do some reading, some learning, and maybe (finally) some writing.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “The Myths of Fiction Writing Lectures” at Wow. If I still needed this one, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. At least look over the list.

In a related note, if you haven’t yet, read Dean’s “Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing” series of posts at It’s all about the myths of publishing, and This. Is. Invaluable. (You can also buy the books. They aren’t expensive.)

See “Squeezing Every Drop Out of a Premise” at

See “Editors Needed?” at Hey, it’s posed as a question. Answer it for yourself. I’ll keep my divergent opinion out of it. (grin)

See “Free Fiction Monday: Sales. Force.” at This one felt uncharacteristically unfinished to me. Maybe she’ll turn it into a novel or a series.

In other news, traditional publishers continue to cannibalize themselves. See “After Tor Experiment, Macmillan Expands Embargo on Library E-Books” at Be sure to see TPG’s take.

Then see “ALA Statement on New Macmillan Library Lending Model” at Again, see TPG’s and others’ comments.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 830 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 830

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 32620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 216820
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 575557

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

2 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Tuesday, July 30”

  1. Looks like a day for hitting the books, Harvey. I, too, will be studying. I just wrapped up the Information Flow workshop and will be applying its lessons to The Trespasser which I finished reading this morning. I love this “job.” 🙂

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