Editing

I asked four people close to me to read my First Draft (really it’s the Third Draft, but don’t tell them) of Fugue in C Minor, and their feedback has been fantastic. The Fourth Draft is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated, but it’s clearing some things up nicely. I’m expecting to haveContinue reading “Editing”

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Second Draft

I’ll be done with the Second Draft of Fugue in C Minor tomorrow. I’m asking 5 people close to me to read the manuscript and give me pointed feedback, but I can’t imagine anyone would have the time to do that until January. I’ll take their criticisms and comments into the Third Draft, fix anythingContinue reading “Second Draft”

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This Weekend

Fugue in C Minor is at 98,000 words, and the first draft will be finished this Sunday. Stoked about it. Then comes editing, re-writes. I’m having a few close friends read it and answer some questions about it. Then more re-writes based on their feedback. Tell your friends to buy more books! But for now,Continue reading “This Weekend”

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Update on Novel

So I went on vacation, spent some time in California, saw my oldest son who’s in the Navy, drove a gazillion miles there and back, and didn’t write a darned thing in my novel until last night. But now it’s at 48,000 words and moving forward again. I’m having fun with layers. Novels are likeContinue reading “Update on Novel”

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Writers’ Quirks

I have read that many athletes have quirky things they do to prepare for a game or meet, from wearing the same pair of socks til they lose, or going through a specific routine. The announcer for our local NBA basketball team has a very specific routine he goes through in the player introductions beforeContinue reading “Writers’ Quirks”

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Working on Fugue in C Minor

I imagine painters don’t start their work at the top of the canvas and slowly move to the bottom. They probably work in layers. That’s what I am doing with my next novel. I paint a general image “this is what happens.” From there I fill in the dialogue, “this is who says what.” ThenContinue reading “Working on Fugue in C Minor”

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Writing Assignment (Unwanted Gift)

If you dare, write a story or a scene where your character receives yet another gift from someone close to them, but it’s something your character does not want and cannot use. They have to either spend an inordinate amount of time planning what they will say to the gift giver, and be surprised atContinue reading “Writing Assignment (Unwanted Gift)”

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Fugue Update

My next novel, Fugue in C Minor, is almost to 38,000 words. My goal is 100,000 (so it’s easy to figure the percent to completion). I have mentioned before that I keep a spreadsheet of events, timelines, characters. I noticed a loose end today and resolved it. It was a character who was important atContinue reading “Fugue Update”

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Writing Assignment (Daughter’s First Date)

So this week’s assignment is about stepping outside yourself. I challenge you to write a short piece in first person, describing your daughter’s first date. But it’s not you. Don’t write what you would do. Ask what the character would do. Is this modern, futuristic, Old West, 1950’s, Middle Ages? What does the date rollContinue reading “Writing Assignment (Daughter’s First Date)”

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Blogging About Fiction Beats Blogging Fiction

If you post creative things you’ve written, do you look at the blog stats to see what gets read and what doesn’t? You understand, of course, this is not the same as ratings. If someone reads your post, they can also rate it, or comment so you can get feedback. Are people reading your fictionContinue reading “Blogging About Fiction Beats Blogging Fiction”

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One of My Favorite Authors: Brian Doyle

Last year I was listening to my local NPR station, and heard an interview with Brian Doyle. He was already a well-known essayist, but was now discussing his first novel, Mink River; a swatch of life and death and talking crows set in a fictional town on the Oregon Coast. I love how it blendsContinue reading “One of My Favorite Authors: Brian Doyle”

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Pure Capitalism is Antithetical to Pure Art

Maybe I’m just betraying my romantic side, but when we study art in history (at least, in my formal education), we tend to look at European art, or Asian art, or cave art. But we rarely talk about American art. That’s because there isn’t much art coming out of America. Not art for the sakeContinue reading “Pure Capitalism is Antithetical to Pure Art”

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Would You?

If your future self from the distant future came to you today and said that the way things turn out, you never get to be a successful writer, chef, painter, sculptor, singer, composer, philosopher, saint; would you still keep at it? Does it matter if no one remembers you 100 years from now? I’m justContinue reading “Would You?”

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The Real-Life Power of Fiction

Sometimes I listen to songs like U2’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday, or John Lennon’s Imagine, and I think protest songs are a waste of time. People don’t listen to music and expect it to change the world. People don’t read novels and hope they will change the world, either. And yet, I find that things IContinue reading “The Real-Life Power of Fiction”

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One of My Favorite Authors: Max Barry

Max is one of the few authors I read who is still alive (may he live many more decades, cos he’s still fairly young).  I thought it would be helpful to post the words of an established writer, but I don’t re-post or re-blog, so here’s the link to his own words. He wrote JenniferContinue reading “One of My Favorite Authors: Max Barry”

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Modes of Writing

This post is more for me than anyone else. When I sit down at the computer to write, I sometimes sit here for hours and the story is no longer than it was when I started. But that’s not always a bad thing. Editing is an important mode of composition. My first mode is Conceptualization, whereContinue reading “Modes of Writing”

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Character Development

Plumbers plumb, priests pry, so writers ought to write. When it comes to developing characters, I used to think that what I do was a little nuts. But I have heard a lot of writers do this, so we’re nuts together. I interview my characters. Like they are present in the room. “What would youContinue reading “Character Development”

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Unusual Writing Solution

Some time ago I bought an Acer Netbook from a former co-worker so I could write on my lunch breaks at work. It was helpful. But it gave me an excuse not to work on my next book at home (the manuscript was on the computer in my trunk). The solution was to bring itContinue reading “Unusual Writing Solution”

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