Two Fiction Writers

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* JA Konrath
* Stephen King
* Google Translate
* Of Interest

Quotes of the Day

“Three months until the end of the year. You can get a lot of writing done in three months.” Dean Wesley Smith

“[I]f you had a bad summer, fell off your goal for the year, whatever, reset your goal and when you get to January 1st, you will be feeling positive.” Dean Wesley Smith

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” Zadie Smith

Fiction Writer JA Konrath

This guy is special. He’s a very prolific writer and, for years, wrote a blog titled A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Then one day he just stopped blogging. (I suspect he grew tired of feeling he was beating his head against a wall.)

On July 19, 2019, he wrote his final post. I included it in “Of Interest” yesterday. I include it every now and then because I think all writers should read it. If you missed it yesterday, you can find it here: Six Things Writers Need to Stop Worrying About. Genius.

Fiction Writer Stephen King

He turned 75 on September 21. In my opinion he is the only Stage 5 writer working today. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about the craft while reading his books, especially The Stand. In his honor, there are a couple of links in “Of Interest.”

Google Translate

There’s also a link in “Of Interest” to a post about Google Translate over at the Passive Voice. I recommend using Google Translate, but with the knowledge that mechanical translators are far from perfect.

Especially in my Wes Crowley stories, I regularly use Google Translate to translate brief passages from English to Spanish. The longest thus far was an incantation used in a magic realism passage, at 35 words in English and 32 in Spanish.

Most often, once I have the first translation, I translate it again in reverse to see what, if anything, changes or is missing. Doing that a few times back and forth renders a much cleaner translation.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “75 Facts About Stephen King….” at I particularly liked 27, 43, 44, 48 and 72.

See “14 Things You Didn’t Know About The Stand” at

See “Writers of the Future Deadline” at

See “Sponsored ads and Stores launches in Egypt” at

See “Google Translate” at

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 390 words

Writing of Carmen Morales (novel, tentative title)

Day 10… 3375 words. Total words to date…… 31839
Day 11… 3350 words. Total words to date…… 35189
Day 12… 3640 words. Total words to date…… 38829

Total fiction words for September……… 42106
Total fiction words for the year………… 108537
Total nonfiction words for September… 23190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 151420
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 259957

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 67
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this Journal, I discuss various aspects of the writing craft. I advocate trusting the characters to tell the story that they, not the writer, are living. This is by far the easiest, most liberating, and most fun way to tell a story.

5 thoughts on “Two Fiction Writers”

  1. EXCELLENT post by Konrath, for sure. His advice about reading reviews ONLY if a book consistently has a low rating sounds solid, too. I mean, if you’ve got 100 or 1,000 reviews and can’t get above an average of 3, you NEED to figure out what’s going on. You know? LOL

    Something occurred to me as I read both his blog post and yours. A conversation I “overheard” (i.e. online discussion I didn’t participate in but lurked to read) between traditionally published authors. One of them noted that they had often been asked to review books released by their publisher for other authors. Just couldn’t keep up with all the books their publisher wanted them to read and review. Years prior, they’d talked to other authors about being overwhelmed with all of it. Of course, they didn’t feel they could say NO to their publisher.

    What were they told to do?

    Give positive reviews in vague terms to please the publisher. WITHOUT reading the books.

    That’s what the author had started doing. Publisher was happy. Other authors were happy. Readers had NO idea the reviews being used to sell books might have been written by folks who never even read the books.

    In the discussion I witnessed, that author was recommending the same practice to those other authors – give the publisher positive reviews in vague terms to make them happy. No need to read the books.

    Ever since then, I’ve ignored dust-jacket and cover reviews, no matter who the reviewing author is, or supposedly is. Unless a review provides some detail, that online conversation instantly pops to mind and I wonder, “Did they ACTUALLY read the book?”

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve found new favorite authors BECAUSE their work was reviewed by an established favorite of mine. However, in each case, the review was in a blog post or vlog, wherein the author expounded on WHAT they enjoyed about the other author’s work. No vague, ambiguous dozen or less words that mean nothing. So I KNEW they’d read the books.

    • I wish more readers thought to leave reviews. I hope for good reviews, of course, mostly because you can’t get a BookBub or do a lot of other things without them. On the other hand, I don’t care personally what a reader thinks of my books. None of my business. And I hate asking for reviews myself. Makes me feel like a used car salesman.

      • I SO hear you there! I have a “please leave a review” note in the back of all of my books, but I don’t otherwise ask for them. The most I usually do, if I decide to do some promotion, is look at the overall rating of a book and the total number of reviews. Seems like most readers just don’t leave reviews.

  2. I loved the posts on Stephen King, thank you for sharing! I am currently listening to “11/22/63” for the first time and I am utterly mesmerised by it. Listening to one part made me think of WITD:

    “but the writing was palid. Boring. My honors kids were juniors – Mac Steadman, the department head, awarded the seniors to himself – but they wrote like little old men and little old ladies, all pursey-mouth and ooo, don’t slip on that icy path, Mildred. In spite of his grammatical lapses and painstaking cursive, Harry Dunning had written like a hero.”

    WITD is about letting go and not worrying about “slipping on the icy path,” as when you stop worrying about the words (or “grammatical lapses”) the more exciting and interesting writing is produced.

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