Time Flies, and “Actual Authors”

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Time Flies When You’re Having Fun… Writing
* I Am Not an “Actual Author” (grin)
* A New Story
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“Whatever your impressions of pulp fiction are, no one can deny that the best of the pulp writers paved the way not just for modern genre fiction, but for future masters of the craft. … There is no reason we cannot do the same now. Write Fast, Write Clean, Publish Often.” Frank Theodat, editor of Pulp, Pipe, & Poetry magazinehttps://pulppipepoetry.substack.com/ in “The Pulp Work Ethic” (see “Of Interest”)

Great advice. Thanks, Frank.

I pulled the first three links in “Of Interest” from Frank’s posts. I will add all three to the Writer Resources page over at HarveyStanbrough.com.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun… Writing

September 2 already. Wow. August flashed right by.

Despite my having managed somehow to write two novels and four short stories earlier this year, I really only finally broke my two years in writing purgatory earlier in August.

Of course, Wes helped me hack my way toward the gate of writers heaven. I wouldn’t have expected anything less or anyone else to show up when I needed him most. (grin)

And then Cameron Stance of Blackwell Ops, of all people, helped me actually gain entrance. I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to be back: showing up, saying good morning to whatever characters pop in, then racing through their stories with them.

I Am Not an “Actual Author”

Frankly sometimes I don’t know why I bother talking with other writers and would-be writers, commenting on blog posts, and all that. (grin)

After all, once folks decide to append the suffix “writer” or more often “author” to their name, they somehow become experts. They know all there is to know about writing ‘cuz they’ve read all the books on the topic, albeit without somehow noticing that most of the books repeat exactly the same myths, often in exactly the same words. (grin)

They think about writing a lot, they attend real writers’ conferences and writers’ groups and critique groups. They learn to research and outline and then revise and rewrite and “polish,” whatever that is.

And in the end, the only thing most of them don’t do—or don’t do very long because they don’t get overnight success or they succumb to irrational fear—is write. (Take a look at the final entry in “Of Interest.”)

I can only shake my head and go back to my keyboard. I freely admit, I’m usually grinning at the incredible inanity of it all.

A few days ago I left a comment on a post on The Passive Voice:

“I’ve never understood why anyone would want to slog through writing a story when they already know the ending. How boring is that?

“This is why actual authors who know what they’re doing don’t include plot in sales copy. Give away the story in the blurb, the reader has no reason to buy the book.”

In response, Elliot01 wrote in part,

“Not too long ago, the traditional publishing establishment reserved the title of ‘actual author’ to those traditionally published. Seems it’s a coveted title.”

Incredulous, I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

Anyway, I thought Elliot01’s comment plus my response might make a good topic:

“Of course the tradpubs ‘reserved’ the title, to the extent they could do so without registering a trademark. (grin) Feeding writers’ egos is money in the bank for them. Their only bottom line is the IP on their spreadsheet, which they are freely handed for pennies on the dollar.

“Likewise, all those writing ‘gurus’ repeat the same tired myths over and over in how-to writing books only in order to pad their personal bank accounts.
“Do you really believe they actually care about other writers? The more beginning and would-be writers they can convince to believe they need all that nonsense, the more books the shysters can sell.

“Guess I’m not an ‘actual author,’ but I’m good with that. I’ve been traditionally published and put up with pennies on the dollar. I would never go back and don’t even want the tshirt.

“But I don’t mind not being called an ‘actual author’ by tradpubs or anyone else. I’m just a lowly fiction writer.

“I show up day-in, day-out, [put my fingers on the keyboard and write what happens as I run through my characters’ story with them. A]s a result I’ve written over 70 novels (several series and stand-alones), 9 novellas and over 230 short stories in the past 7 years. And all of that in several different genres.

“I make my living doing what I do. And lemme tell ya, I put a lot more stock in the judgment of readers than in some 20-something fresh out of college reading through slush piles in New York.

“But all of that being said (shrug), as Felix wrote [in his comment] above, ‘different strokes.’ Hey, by all means. My paycheck doesn’t rise or fall depending on what any given number of less experienced writers believe or whether any take advantage of my generous nature as displayed in my free instructive Journal almost every day.

“I’m only trying to pay it forward. I lay the information out there in case anyone wants to pick it up.”

The parts set off inside [brackets] are additions I made in this post for clarification.

As always, folks, you do you. “Different strokes,” as the other commenter said.

I can teach you what I know, but only you can decide whether to shake off the irrational, unreasoning fears and apply it.

A New Story

“Going Back” went out from my other substack yesterday as the story of the week. This is one of my personal favorites. I’ve often thought of revisiting it just in case the character would like to tell me more. I hope those of you who read it enjoyed it.

Those of you who still haven’t subscribe (it’s free) can do so by clicking “Going Back” and hitting the Subscribe button at the bottom.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “1,000,000 Words of Fiction” at https://franktheodat.substack[dot]com/p/1000000-words-of-fiction. A couple of good links in this one, the second of which is below.

See “The Pulp Work Ethic” at https://pulppipepoetry.substack[dot]com/p/the-pulp-work-ethic. Don’t miss this one either. Some great links, including an interview with Harlan Ellison and an article by Erle Stanley Gardner.

See “Buckle Down and Write” at https://thepulp.net/pulp-articles/buckle-down-and-write/. I decided to include this one too. It’s also going into Writer Resources at HarveyStanbrough.com

See “The Weight” at https://killzoneblog.com/2023/09/the-weight.html.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1100

Writing of Blackwell Ops 9: Cameron Stance
Brought forward………………………… 4087

Day 10…. 2696 words. To date…… 26039
Day 11…. 3200 words. To date…… 29239
Day 12…. 2007 words. To date…… 31246
Day 13…. 2838 words. To date…… 34084

Fiction for September…………………… 2838
Fiction since August 1………………… 40600
Fiction for 2023………………………… 155147
Nonfiction for September……………… 2240
Nonfiction for the year……………… 176710
Annual consumable words………… 331857

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 2
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)… 232
Short story collections…………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.