Welcome, and Thought of the Day

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Welcome
* Thought of the Day
* Topics?
* Support the Journal
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quotes of the Day

“How could she not understand? But we each live our own life. We wear blinders of our own choosing, and we make our decisions based on that limited view. There is nothing more I can do for her.” Soleada’s thoughts about an acquaintance who has just made a serious error in judgement (Blackwell Ops 18: Soleada Garcia: Settled)

“Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.” Larry Correia

“A new regulation for the publishing industry: “The advance for a book must be larger than the check for the lunch at which it was discussed.” Calvin Trillin


Welcome to Frank M, tmeternal, mr5433047, and any other new readers or subscribers of the Journal. I hope you will find it useful.

Get the Archives and other free downloads at the Journal website. Just click the links and a PDF will download in a new page.

I also recommend reading the posts “I Believe in You” and “Fear”. Can’t hurt, and it might help.

Thought of the Day

Any self-challenge is a good one. Anything that forces us to the keyboard or painting apparatus or whatever else. But isn’t it odd that we have to challenge ourselves to do what’s fun and what we love to do?


Okay, time to roll up your sleeves and participate.

If you have a craft topic you’d like me to discuss on here, leave a comment or email me at harveystanbrough@gmail.com. Don’t pretend I know what you’re thinking.

If I know it, I’ll write about it.

Yes, I’ll be talking about some things on my own too. I love talking about writing, and I love passing along what I know to those who will listen. But at the moment I’m having far too much fun writing my novel.

Support the Journal

If you find this Journal of use, you can support it in either of two ways.

Share — There is a Share button toward the bottom of this post. If the Journal helps you, please take a moment to punch that button and share it on social media or via email.

Bling — If you can afford any amount, you can support the Journal with a one-time or monthly donation via debit or credit card through PayPal. Donate Here.

I’ll talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

My Writing Off to Slow Start See? Happens to everyone.

Book Cover Redesigns for Indies Um, you can also study bestselling book covers in your genre, then search back through the Journal for “Cover” with the Search box in the sidebar at HEStanbrough.com and learn to do it yourself. Just sayin’.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 470

Writing of Blackwell Ops 18: Soleada Garcia: Settled

Day 1…… 4078 words. To date…… 4078
Day 2…… 4194 words. To date…… 8272
Day 3…… 4277 words. To date…… 12549
Day 4…… 4916 words. To date…… 17465
Day 5…… 4613 words. To date…… 22078
Day 6…… 3017 words. To date…… 25063
Day 7…… 6560 words. To date…… 31623

Fiction for January……………………. 57944
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 57944
Fiction since October 1…………… 364006
Nonfiction for January……………… 15580
Nonfiction for 2024…………………… 15580
2024 consumable words…………… 73524

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 1
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 83
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 238
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.

5 thoughts on “Welcome, and Thought of the Day”

  1. If possible…. Please advise us on a series of advanced techniques from Stephen King’s fiction that you have puzzled over, decoded, and successfully applied in your own fiction.

    I know it is asking a lot. Even if having made his techniques your own, such feats would probably require penning several tough essays. He is some kind of alchemical wizard. But, seriously, he is a Stage 5 writer, you are a 4 plus.

    Obviously, we can not learn what we don’t see and acknowledge, and thus are not ready for; yet moving from generalities to masterful specifics, you could broaden our minds to help us learn from the best, where then we can find ourselves climbing to the next subconscious level.

    If not Master King, then Bradbury, Hemingway, or perhaps even Stanbrough. (Yep, grin). Or how about a series if advanced specifics from each grandmaster? This could be a great blog book.

    • Hi Sebastian,

      Thanks for the questions, and you flatter me.

      I started to talk about a dream sequence in which King actually broke the last sentence of a chapter (em dash) and continued it as the first sentence of the next chapter. I studied that one and the effect it had on me for a few days. But I can’t remember the title of the novel. (I do at least remember it was in a novel) so it’s difficult to talk about. I’d rather point the “student” to the particular novel and passage.

      The biggest thing I have learned from King boils down to taking my time when writing. The reader cannot see details of the scenes that are playing in your head unless you slow down and put them on the page. And take your time there too, being certain you are conveying precisely (and I mean precisely) what you want the reader to see, hear, smell, feel (physically) or taste.

      The second biggest (or maybe another first biggest) is the same thing with regard to the POV character’s emotions in the moment (so again, in the scene), including (in some of my books) the POV character’s observation of another character’e emotions in the same moment.

      But instead of slowing down to be sure the reader experiences the same physical sensations, in this case you slow down and take your time to ensure (as best you can) that the reader will experience the actual emotions as well.

      In the book I’m currently writing, in three different places (two related to the same event and one an event of its own) what happened to my POV character and her initial reaction to it literally brought me to tears. And then witnessing her emotions brought me to tears again. More than once I had to stop typing and take a short break to get myself under control.

      In another place in the same book, the POV character experiences her own emotions immediately after something happens with the other character in the scene and then also experiences the emotions of the other character. It’s almost surreal, or seems so. Yet you control all of it with what the character gives you to put on the page, and then with how you put it on the page. Phrasing, sentence length, etc. And you determine those things by feeling them yourself, through your character and through yourself.

      Not kidding.

      I hope this helps.

  2. Wow. I felt those tears coming through your expression of her scenes, even though I haven’t read this WIP directly. There’s a big story in there.

    These are excellent techniques. Being precise, for sure. Observation, reflection. Focusing down is where it’s at, the moment, each moment, precisely.

    Looking forward to your experiences.

    • Thanks, Sebastian. This is probably the strongest novel I’ve written in that regard. Of course, you can do the same thing with humor if the character has a tongue that is glib enough. Soleada Garcia is a switch hitter. I’m very glad I made her acquaintance and that she is allowing me to convey her stories.

      But once a strong emotion is established, it isn’t isolated either. You can isolate it as an example, but it also permeates the rest of the story (just as strong emotions do in “real” life).

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