First Day of Rewrite and Edit … While Snow Falls Outside

Did 65 pages of edit and rewrite today. Haven't come across anything that was too difficult to handle. I see some little things I need to develop, but that can wait until the second rewrite, I think. So far so good. May do a little more tonight, but probably best to break off now. I'm …

A Novel in the Light of Day

I've been writing a long time. I've always been a writer, I guess, even as a small boy that's all I ever wanted to do. But I have been doing this full-time since 1998. One of the things I have learned is how to read other writers. When I read their stories or novels I …

How I Wrote 85,000 words, from Laredo to Nogales, in 19 Days

I  finished the novel, and I am trying to process what it took, and what I went through. I would wake up at 3am, have coffee, write. I worked through the day. I did research and made notes. Sometimes I would go to bed at midnight. Most of the time I was asleep by 9 …

The Value of Research. Or, riding the horse of serendipity until it bottoms out.

Heh. The value of research. In my WIP I had the main characters visit Abilene before they went into Fort Griffin. Except, this novel takes place circa 1869 and Abilene wasn't founded until 1881. Oops. So I did a little digging and found out Buffalo Gap was a staging area for hunters during their winter …

Avoiding a Cul-de-Sac in Writing

Only around 3K today, probably a little under. Not superb, but while I was writing the scene led itself into another avenue I had not previously considered. Can't complain about that. It's one of the nicer things about writing when new stuff makes itself known within the work itself and you have to make a …

Late Afternoon Thoughts on a Novel in Progress

I am not using italics for the Spanish translations in the Haxan prequel novel. I want to show stylistically the Spanish and English is all one part of the same culture. Now whether or not I am ultimately successful in this is open to debate. But that's my philosophy why I am not underlining Spanish …

So far the new start on the novel appears okay….fingers still crossed

So far the change to 1st person POV appears to be working. It might be a little too soon to render final judgment. I might not be able to do that if and until the manuscript is completely written. But so far so good, I think. The three chapters I have done so far appear …

Learning How to Write by Watching People

When I attended ArmadilloCon I had the good fortune to see my friend Gabrielle Faust on a panel focused on how you can write better. One thing she said, and it's something I have been saying and believing for a long time, is that you should watch other people to see how they act and …

Sometimes a Banana is just a Banana. And a Story is just a Story.

There is an apocryphal quote attributed to Freud: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." There's no evidence he ever said this, and later SNL did a skit where they substituted the word "banana" for cigar. But it got me to thinking about stories and how we view them from different perspectives Re: writers and …

Rules are made to be broken, except when they’re not.

As a writer, the only time you should break the rules is when you know the rules beforehand. Fortunately, in writing, there are no rules. Which is why you must be extra careful before you go around breaking them and drawing attention to yourself. I know. Sounds screwy and somewhat zen-like. But there's a lot …

Sorry, but this is not why I write. And I can’t change that.

Okay, it's been a while since an update. It's not like I've been completely lazy. We have a lot of family and personal things going on around here this summer and it has eaten into a lot of my time. I mean, I haven't been camping this summer (much) so that should give you some …

In Search of Bold Story Ideas…and settling on the warm safety of cliche.

I guess one of the things that surprises me most is how easy it is to come up with ideas for stories. I wrote about this before. I used to be worried I would never have enough story ideas when I began to write. Now I have too many. I suppose that's growth of a …

I’ve Been Invited as a Guest Panelist at ArmadilloCon 34!

I will be attending ArmadilloCon on July 27-29 as a guest panelist. I like this writing con a lot. It's small and has a private, literary feel to it. I've attended lots of cons. Most of them are great and I would urge a writer of any genre to attend a writing con even if …

Good Writing is Often a Question of Character

On the argument of Character vs. Plot I tend to side with the former.  I think a story with a strong character connects faster with readers than a plot-driven story. Then again the strongest story is one in which both character and plot are very strong and work together. There are always counter-examples where this …

Magic Words: “I am a writer and I need help.”

There are many cool things about being a writer. I know I talk a lot about how difficult this profession is and the obstacles we face, and those things are true. But there are many cool things about being a writer and one of them is how quickly people are willing to try and help …

No one understands a writer like another writer.

Writing is difficult at the best of times. When things are going badly, or when things are going well, it always helps to have another writer to talk to. Because no one, and I mean absolutely no one, understands a writer like another writer. I see this often. Family members may be supportive. They may …