The Journal: A New Writing Process to Try

In today’s Journal

* A New Writing Process to Try
* The Reviews Begin
* I wish I could share
* Yesterday
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

A New Writing Process to Try

A writer (and a reader of the Journal) sent me an email I wanted to pass along:

“I just came across the approach/process of method writing as taught by Jack Grapes and would like to share it with you, if you haven’t heard of it already. It seems quite interesting and worth considering. I have included two interviews he has on the FilmCourage YouTube channel below.” (Thanks, Bob B.)

You can see the first video at

You can find the second at

As I told Bob B. in my response, I’ll probably take a look over the next few days to see whether I can glean a few gems that hadn’t occurred to me before. I’m pretty constantly learning.

Originally, at this point, I wrote the following. I’ve since listened to the first video, will listen to the second today, and be back tomorrow with my honest assessment:

But what really matters is not what I think of the process but what all of you who are reading this think of it. If you don’t have a process that works for you—and by that I mean if writing is anything from an unenjoyable, labor-intensive process to sheer drudgery for you—and if you don’t want to try writing into the dark, then I suggest you try this. But if you try it, really try it. Give it a chance to work for you.

Not to sound like a snot, but I’m certain I won’t be interested enough to actually try it myself. After all, with my own current process I enjoy my own possible best of two worlds. I write into the dark, so for me fiction writing is nothing short of exciting, ecstatic fun of the kind you get when you ride a roller coaster. And with WITD I can turn out a high-quality short story in a few hours and a high-quality novel in two weeks. So I have no reason to look for or experiment with another way to write.

But if you do try Mr. Grapes’ process and it works well for you, be sure to let me know and I’ll help spread the word. What works for you really is all that matters.

If it doesn’t work for you, no need to email me. I’m not recommending Mr. Grapes’ process. I’m only forwarding the information so you can try it and see whether it works for you.

UPDATE: As I wrote above, I’ve listened to the first video. I’ll listen to the other one as well, and I’ll be back tomorrow with my honest assessment.

The reviews begin for Rider Jones, the novel.

One first reader, who read the novel in one sitting (woohoo!), wrote that Rider Jones is

“a very interesting, very engaging, and very well-crafted story [and] that’s what I’ve come to expect of your work.

“[Y]ou have a most impressive talent for describing not only what [the characters] do but also where they do it. [E]ven if I weren’t already familiar with the look and feel of the landscapes of the Sonoran desert (or, for that matter, the backwoods of southern Louisiana: I read The Cazadores Lounge and Lonely Place just last night before reading Rider Jones tonight), I believe your descriptions pertaining to them would still have evoked mental images every bit as accurate as I know them to be from my own personal observations. There is … a cinematic quality to your writing, and I particularly like that the final frames do not say ‘The End’.”

Thank you, Russ J. I appreciate it. I have got to have a beer with this guy someday. (grin)

When I put Rider Jones up on Amazon and Draft2Digital later this month (in a week or so), I’ll run a sale on it for the first month, and I’ll announce that here. If you enjoy westerns with a time-travel twist and being in the story with the characters, you’ll enjoy Rider Jones. Please let your friends know.

I wish I could share, but I can’t.

By the way, I’ve had several folks mention they would love to see “Rider Jones and the Portals,” the short story I wrote for Dean’s anthology, Bitter Mountain Moonlight.

Under the contract, I can’t openly share the story for three months (so sometime in August), but the anthology is only $5.99 at Amazon ( and other retailers (

I urge you to support WMG Publishing and the other authors in the anthology. And there are two other anthologies and a short novel in the Cave Creek shared-world realm too. You can read about all of them at the Amazon link above.

Yesterday I didn’t write at all. Well, I didn’t write fiction. Well, I did clean up the Rider Jones novel just a little and tied up one minor loose end, but I counted those words in the totals from the day before yesterday. The novel is now just over 50,100 words.

But with my wife’s help, we cleaned out the large open bay next door to the Hovel, and then I worked the rest of the day rearranging and straigtening the Hovel. Originally I wrote here that I hope to finish moving and placing furniture, etc. today and get back to my day job of writing fiction on Sunday. But there’s a lot left to do, and it isn’t going to happen in one day. So more than likely I’ll start the next novel today.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Announcing Plot to Publication – Young Adult Novel Writing” at

See “How Gravity Is a Double Copy of Other Forces” at

See “Vella and Serialized Fiction – What Do You Think?” at

See “Making Better Magic Systems, Lesson 1 ” at

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 980 words

Writing of (novel)

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

Total fiction words for May……… 21662
Total fiction words for the year………… 392941
Total nonfiction words for May… 5080
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 89940
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 482881

Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 8
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 61
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.