Sunday, December 6, 2009


Another year of NANOWRIMO under the belt and time to get back to business as usual. Uhhh...when I figure out what business as usual is. So far my year has been anything but routine, ordinary, or comfortable. And, ya know what? I don't think that is a bad thing. Writing fiction of any consequence... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The flow of words

When a story bogs down and I find myself editing and rewriting the same few sentences over and over again until I feel hopelessly stuck... I let my mind wander until it latches onto a stray thought that seems worth jotting down. It might be a bit of overheard conversation, a snatch of song, a... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gearing up for National Novel Writing Month

More affectionately known as NANOWRIMO, or just NANO for short, National Novel Writing Month kicks off on Sunday, November 1. The goal for all participating is to produce at least 50,000 words of copy related enough to resemble a novel, nonfiction book, or other work in 30 days. Essentially, it's a... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3.65 novels a year, more or less

Unsuccessful searches may still provide worthwhile and helpful results. I was looking for info on a book about writing a novel in 100 days that I wished to quote. This is what I found instead. It's more tips, advice, and inspirational quotes than the more nuts and bolts guide I was looking for. But... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crankin' 'em out

I've always admired prolific authors, particularly novelist's, and most particularly those whose numerous efforts were uniformly excellent. They were, and still are, among my greatest heroes. I looked upon my heroes with a combination of awe and envy. Last week I stumbled upon a heroine who deserves... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thank you, Sir Arthur

When my son was still in school I used to stress the importance of committing to memory the things he would need to know frequently in the pursuit of his profession. I told him the rest of a well rounded education was to learning how and where to find all the other stuff he would use occasionally... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Plotting a novel

I'm no expert at novel plotting. That's probably why I have two NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) novels in nowhere near publishable condition. One was written almost entirely off the cuff and the other was rushed without much regard to a very brief outline that I mostly disregarded. As a... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where do story ideas come from?

The short answer is everywhere. If you are breathing, mobile, watching, listening, touching, tasting, smelling, and thinking you have access to all the story and article ideas you'll ever need. A little imagination and the ability to write complete sentences come in handy when you are actually... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What condition is your fiction in?

Mine appears to be in a state of flux. I've come to the realization that most of the few fragments of fiction I'm genuinely proud of have a common characteristic. They are character driven. Conversely, the vast majority of writing that displeases me is overburdened with pages of physical description... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

If Speculative Fiction is your cup of tea…

I’ve got a couple of links for you. And if you’re not quite sure what Speculative Fiction is all about, but you enjoy reading and writing fantasy, horror, science fiction, or any combination of the three, you should definitely check them out. Those are the three main genres generally considered to... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Market Research

Many years ago when I still young and naïve enough to think I could one day conquer the world, or at least a portion of it, I used to make lists of high-paying fiction and article markets. Yes, boys and girls, the young notapoet dreamed of taking the literary world by storm. It probably would have... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Learn to tell jokes

Seriously. Mastering the art of telling a joke is great practice for tightening up your prose. You blow a good story by rambling on too long with details that, fascinating though they may be to you, cause the story to bog down into a boring mess that often leaves readers cold. Or you spit it all out... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, December 1, 2008

58,392 and done!

Well, sort of. The important thing is that I made it to 50,000 words before the National Novel Writing Month deadline of midnight on the 30th of November. The work itself, however, is far from complete on a number of fronts. First of all, it’s only a very rough draft with little in the way of polish... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Work in Progress

Since turning loose a torrent of words after discarding the stumbling block of no working title, I’ve averaged nearly 4,000 words a day on my National Novel Writing Month project. With three days to go, including today, and not quite 4,000 words left to complete the requirement of 50,000 words... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Title Tribulations

It’s great to have a working title for a story or article. But, as I learned in the newspaper business, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you have a story to tell, or an article to write, and are at loss for what to call it. Working for newspapers I learned it pays not to agonize over a... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The Internet as a source of information, entertainment, and communication is one of the greatest tools for writing I have ever discovered. It is possible, with just a little imagination and persistence, to research virtually any topic imaginable on the Internet. It is possible to find complete... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Beginning, Middle, and End

Each presents a particular set of problems for writers. For me, endings are tough. But I’ve jumped ahead of myself in this brief discussion, although I have pretty much come to terms with beginnings and middles. Many a fledgling writer has a great story to tell, but can’t come up with a beginning... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Banned books

The very thought of censorship, book banning, and book burning are anathema to me, and to most writers who don’t adhere to a strict political or religious agenda. I believe in freedom of speech as set forth by the United States Constitution. Book banning, censorship, or burning hardly go hand in... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dangerous dictionaries

I’ve often espoused the virtues of a good dictionary, and encouraged their use rather than rely too heavily on a spell checker. Handy though they are, spell checkers will let you down on occasion, a dangerous consequence. And they do not keep you from improper usage, another dangerous consequence. A... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A few minutes here, a few minutes there

There are times when circumstances dictate that a few minutes at a time is all of the uninterrupted writing time you’re going to have in a given day – or even a stretch of days. I know. I’ve been going through such a period lately. I won’t relate all the grisly details. I’ve already done that in... Sign in to see full entry.

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