The Journal, Sunday, July 22

Hey Folks,

Not much to write about yesterday, so I skipped the Journal, though I did add a few items to “Of Interest.”

Yesterday Mona and I did yard work, then cooled down and went to Sierra Vista for a few hours. It was a nice diversion.

Not sure yet what today will hold. But I’ll post this so I can get the “Of Interest” items out to you.

A few have asked what I mean by “character-driven fiction”; a few others have wondered why I pay such close attention to settings.

Here’s the short answer: Maybe 10% of a fiction is composed of an event in a setting. The other 90% is the characters’ reaction to that event. Also in a setting.


Still struggling (though that’s too harsh a word) with whether to post my numbers at the bottom of each edition of the Journal. I sort of want to and sort of don’t.

I’m in the midst of two simultaneous life-rolls, one emotional and one physical. Nothing major. It isn’t a perfect storm so much as sort of a squall. It will all blow over soon, and I’ll get back to writing fiction.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered I’m more of a sprint writer (write furiously beginning to end) than a leaky faucet (write a little each day). When I’m writing, I tend to write almost continuously until the story is finished. Then I lapse into nonwriting mode again for awhile.

As I told a friend in a response via email a couple of days ago, since mid-April of 2014, I was kind of a combination of the two.

That really kicked into gear in October of that year with my first novel. I wrote almost frantically and almost every day, shoving everything else out of the way. I might take a day or maybe two off between projects, but most of that time I Just Wrote.

Now I’m just a little more relaxed about it. Not lethargic, but not frantic either (unless I’m in the middle of an ongoing story). So when Other Stuff crops up that I have to do (or less-often, want to do), I do that instead, then go back to writing.

In my current project, I’ve returned to a character I really enjoy, though he has a whole new cast around him. I’m enjoying the process, and when I do sit down at the writing ‘puter it’s as if I only got up a moment ago instead of two or three days ago.

In the meantime, the Journal itself has me writing “something” almost everyday, so at least I know my brain isn’t going to atrophy. At least for awhile. (grin)

The writing-in-public aspect will still be here, though not as strongly. That’s one reason I’m still considering putting my numbers back at the bottom of these Journal posts. To make that aspect stronger again. To hold myself accountable (again) to someone beyond myself.

Finally, although originally I was going to keep this to myself, passing the 30-novel mark had some kind of effect too. I’m not quite sure yet what it was. The number 30 has no special meaning to me or anything like that.

But for some reason, after 30, something within me shifted. It was almost “Okay, I can do that. Now what do I do?”

Maybe I’m a pretender. What do I know? (grin) Or maybe I just need to dream up a new challenge.

All I know for sure is that I love the nuances of our language and I love characters and I love that they let me come along for the ride.

I hope this helps in some way in your own journey.

Of Interest

See “It Helps If You Can Write” at

See “A Few Words from Roger Zelazny” at Yes, it’s about SF and Fantasy but his advice is good for any genre.

See “Fun Day” at Interesting picture.

See “Great Beginnings” at I hoped for more, but at least it spurs thought.

See “What Really Caused The Salem Witch Hunts” at

See “Audible Best Sellers – Updated Hourly” at I found it extremely interesting that “Mystery” and “Thriller” are lumped together in the same category. Probably because I’ve been honing my craft on mysteries and looing forward to writing a thriller. Maybe the only true difference is scope.

See you again soon.