The Journal: Bundles!

In today’s Journal

* Bundles!
* I Get Emails…
* Of Interest


While I was in the middle of breaking in a new computer yesterday, I lost half the bundles I was in through PubShare (formerly BundleRabbit). No need to go into detail.

But that cut the number of bundles that contain my work in half. So if any of you would like to get multiple books from several authors (including yours truly) for one low price, here’s a deal for you.

You can read the descriptions below, and I even added a buy-link, albeit ony for Amazon.

If you’re interested, don’t wait. These four bundles could disappear just as easily as the first four did.

Here’s a quick rundown of the remaining bundles:

BLOOD ON THE COBBLES (Suspense) — From legends of murder and undead killers walking to missing girls, deadly diseases, suspense and gore aplenty; from sleuths and detectives, murder and vengeance enter into a world of crime, clues and mayhem. Fifteen tales of mystery and mayhem from some amazing authors, including my novel Body Language, all for only $7.99! Order today!

HERE BE BRAVE NEW WORLDS (SF) — Worlds on the brink of apocalypse, or already there. Nature’s wrath and dominion over humanity, and humanity’s folly incarnate. Dark magic, terrifying tech, greed, ravaged environments, rare courage and grim hope in lost cities and fallen worlds. Brave new worlds or last best hopes — Dare you glimpse the future? Thirteen tales of brave new worlds from some amazing authors, including my novel The Consensus, all for only $4.99! Get yours here!

ECLECTICA (An eclectic bundle) — From fantasy to space adventure, pirates, mystery, horror, historical fiction, romance and coming of age, you’ll find short, snappy reads herein. There is something for everyone in this lucky dip. Nineteen short stories and collections from multiple authors, including the collection S, F & H from yours truly, all for $7.99!

GUNS OF THE WEST (Western) — Contains my contemporary western novel No Kind’a Time plus seven other novels, including two by Dean Wesley Smith, as well as my novelette, A Turning Point for Charlie Pilsen. Get all 9 books for only $2.99 right here!

‎My apologies if any of the bundles are gone before you’re able to click the link.

I Get Emails…

Okay, so just in case anyone else is confused by my little “character with a problem in a setting” story-starter exercise post, let me clarify:

It’s only an exercise, a self-inflicted ruse to get you to the keyboard and get you started writing a story completely into the dark. It isn’t anything to hyperventilate over.

No plotting, no planning, no outline. No conscious-mind critical thinking. Nothing at all to worry or fret about. Just a character with a problem in a setting. Nothing more. Fingers on the keyboard. Go.

At no point have I said you have to “create” a character to fit some specific genre or for any other reason. Nor do I suggest you should. I’m not saying you should consciously think about or come-up with the character or the problem or the setting or anything else.

In fact, I actively (and pretty much constantly) preach AGAINST such critical mind intrustion. When you’re able to just sit back and let it happen rather than trying to force any part of it, storytelling is a flowing, beautiful thing.

But if you start worrying over whether the character “should be” (critical mind) male or female, whether s/he should fit a certain genre, what his or her name should be, why s/he is in the situation s/he’s in, or anything else, you aren’t performing the exercise I gave you.

If that’s you, and if you’d really like to try the exercise, then first you should get up, right now, and walk away from the computer. And when you come back, you should take a deep breath and relax. And you should understand that none of that character, problem, setting, or situation stuff is up to you, nor does any of it matter.

For this exercise, you’re only pulling back a curtain and glancing through a window into someone else’s life, then writing what the character sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels, physically or emotionally or both, and what happens. If you pull back the curtain and spy on your neighbors, do you try to make them do and say what you want them to or do you just watch as you try to discern what’s going on? Exactly the same thing. Yes it is. Exactlly the same.

You can do this exercise even if you’re usuallly an adherent of plotting and planning and outlining and wresting every last ounce of control from your characters. For this ONE exercise, if you want to, you can let go and Just Write. That’s how much it really doesn’t matter. And besides, you might just amaze yourself.

So if you find you’re trying to think your way through ANY part of this, then you aren’t doing the exercise I gave you. You’re doing something else, and that’s fine. You don’t have to do the exercise I gave you.

But don’t slap together a mutant. Don’t pretend you’re doing the exercise I gave you, then employ your critical mind, suddenly find yourself worried about forcing a bunch of stuff, and then come back to me and say the exercise (or WITD, for that matter) is flawed and doesn’t work. Because obviously you haven’t tried it.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “May 1st Restart” at A great post

See “Writers, Stop Using Social Media (Like That)” at

See “The Complicated Ethics of Writing Violence in Fiction” at Goodness. Yet another problem I never knew existed. The “ethics” of writing violence? You do know, right, that the word isn’t the thing?

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 opics.

2 thoughts on “The Journal: Bundles!”

  1. This post just showed up. Weird.
    As you know Harvey, I wrote an entire novel from this exercise.
    Critical mind butted in several times. I butted it right back out.
    WITD works. But you have to really do it.
    It’s difficult to get THAT we write matters. Add Heinlein’s rules to WITD. Bam, that’ll take you anywhere you want to go.

    • That is weird. I hope you’ve received the others on time. They hit my inbox shortly after 10 a.m. on the day they’re posted.

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