You Want to Read This Edition

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Welcome
* More Short Stories Coming
* Great Articles
* The Value of New York Editors and Publishers
* A Bonus Topic: The Writing
* So I Don’t Forget
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“I remember when I would sent out hundreds of copies of a book to agents hoping to get an agent. I felt like it was a job interview. And I felt that I, the one who actually wrote, had to impress some nonwriter to ‘get my foot in the door’.” George Kordonis

You and me both, George. (grin) Now, as my buddy Dan says, I feel like I am in Hebben.


To Redd  Oscar and any others who recently subscribed to the Journal. Feel free to visit (the Journal website) where you can download several free items, including fully searchable PDF archives.

Remember the Challenge

is ongoing. Deadline is tomorrow before the Journal goes live. Get your short story titles and word counts or novella/novel titles and weekly counts in.

Anyone can jump into the challenge at any time. There’s no cost, and the challenge is a great way to increase your inventory and jumpstart your writing.

Chances are you’ll have more fun than you’ve had in a long time. The challenge is also a great way to get more practice pushing down the critical voice. For more details, email me at or check any Monday edition of the Journal for Bradbury Challenge.

More Short Stories Coming

Whew. After “Going Back” came out on September 1, I remembered I’d scheduled posts in advance on that substack only into September. So I double checked, and found that none were scheduled after that first one.

So I spent a half-hour or so scheduling more stories, and now we’re good through November 10. Of course, that’s also the Marine Corps birthday. Marines will have it easy this year. The ball will probably happen on Friday night, and they’ll have the whole weekend to recover. (grin)

But my reader numbers are declining. If that continues I’ll need to make a decision re the free stories. Putting them up takes a lot of time and effort, so I’ll either add a paid tier to that substack or I’ll just stop using that one altogether.

Great Articles

Yesterday I mentioned these articles in “Of Interest”:

“1,000,000 Words of Fiction” — A couple of good links in this one, the second of which is below.

“The Pulp Work Ethic”

See “Buckle Down and Write”

I also said I’d be adding them to the Writer Resources page at Haven’t done that yet.

But these and others like them are so vital to work ethic and having fun as a serious professional writer, I’ve also decided to create a new page complete with its own tab in the menu.

It will be called If You Really Want to Write Fiction. When you feel yourself succumbing to critical voice or slipping out of the joy of writing, you can go there, click the tab, and read inspiring articles that tell the truth about writing.

I realized yesterday that the current iteration of has been around 14 years. Whew!

The Value of New York Editors and Publishers

Back in the day when I used to speak at a lot of writers’ conferences, there was a common theme among the less-experienced writers attending. That theme is still prevalent among many who still seek (foolishly, IMHO) agents and publication with a big house.

That theme is that the writer is all but worthless, only fodder for the tradpubs, and they should be glad the tradpubs will even consider their work.

Ridiculous. Writers seem to forget who’s important, or for that matter, who works for whom in the tradpub system.

So in many presentations, and often in informal chats in the lounge or just standing around in the lobby, I used to offer this discussion:

Me to a writer: “Know what writers would do if there were no agents, editors or publishers?”

Shrug. “No, what?”

“They’d write. Now, do you know what agents, editors and publishers would do if there were no writers?”

Grinning. “What would they do?”

“You want fries with that?”

Never forget, writers. You are what’s valuable in this system no matter where or how you publish. Without you, there are no stories.

A Bonus Topic: The Writing

After all the novels and novellas and short stories, I’ve written, something dawned on me only yesterday during a cycling session.

Every story I write has three basic elements: dialogue, hard-action scenes, and psychological suspense or intrigue.

For me, the dialogue is the easiest and most fun to write. I only have to listen as the characters talk. During cycling they smooth out what I wrote, usually adding brief descriptive narratives. He shrugged, she smiled, he took a sip (or a slug) of his scotch. Stuff like that. And pacing, the give and take, is hyper-important.

The hard-action scenes are easy to write too, but I usually cycle over them more than one time, most often allowing the characters to add things about the setting that they noticed during the hyper-quick action. We notice different things, and notice them differently too, when we’re in the midst of battle or whatever. Again, pacing is hyper-important.

The psychological suspense (or intrigue, depending on the story) is easy and fun too. That’s mostly conveyed in the unspoken thoughts (internal monologue) of the POV character. Cycling for those scenes is more medium, the characters wanting to be sure they’re conveying precisely what they mean to convey. Pacing here is still important, but not as much as in the first two.

But I realized, those elements are the reason I love to write stories. They’re the reason I can’t wait to get back to the writing ‘puter and wish I could keep going at the end of the day when my brain is shot. Great fun. For examples of any of those, read Stephen King or pretty much any of my novels. Obviously, the newer stuff is a little more advanced than the earlier stuff.

So I Don’t Forget

So I don’t forget, chances are good you’ll have to eke by without the Journal and my daily lambasting from this coming Wednesday for a few days. That’ll be September 6 through September something a few days later.

I’ll be heading out to the Gila Wilderness with my buddy Dan in search of high winds, hail, rising rivers, philosophizing and other adventures. (grin)

Yes, I’ll take my writing ‘puter and a DC converter. Yes, I’ll write every day unless the converter shoots itself or something.

I’m sure you’ll get by. (grin)

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Reaction To Failure Post Brought Forward” at

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 1130

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
Day 14…. 3111words. To date…… 37195

Fiction for September…………………… 5949
Fiction since August 1………………… 46549
Fiction for 2023………………………… 158258
Nonfiction for September……………… 3370
Nonfiction for the year……………… 177840
Annual consumable words………… 336098

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.

6 thoughts on “You Want to Read This Edition”

  1. “What agents, editors and publishers would do if there were no writers?”
    There’s a good Russian dictum about such a services. It is attributed to Sergei Mavrodi, but this is not reliable.

    “Suckers aren’t mammoths. They will never extinct.”

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