WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

Ready, Fire, Aim: Getting it wrong When I asked someone in a writing group what her story was about, she said she didn’t know. Said, “I simply start writing. Eventually, I find out the direction the story is taking.” Huh? I think that’s wrong. What about you? Do you know what your story’s about? Have you ever started a road trip, route planned, map ready, car fueled, only to find a detour along the way? What if we never make it to the destination? I’ve had some happy memories visiting unplanned places. But to the best of my knowledge, I’ve…

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WRITING A NOVEL? Part 3

WRITING A NOVEL? Part 3

If you read part one, aren’t intimidated by the sheer volume of competition, and still writing, congratulations. Telling stories is what writers do. Set aside dreams of fame and fortune. Those are byproducts for the lucky few. They’re lucky because they kept writing, improving, writing, improving, writing . . . Well, you get my drift. Part two was the starting point. “I never metaphor I didn’t like,” said Mardy Grothe. I agree. So, here’s mine for today. Writing is like swimming naked in a crowded pool. It takes madness or courage to strip naked like that. Yet, writers do that…

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WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

Part Two in the series. In part one, I wrote about the million books that will be published in 2018, seven-hundred and fifty thousand of them self-published. The bad news? Competition, going up against the sheer volume of new novels. The good news? We can get a slim toe-hold in the marketplace. There are three things we can do: have a good story, have a worthy cover, and make sure the interior supports your work. This part of the series is about step one in getting the story right. We’re told to follow the rules. After all, writers spend years…

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A MAN AND A WRITER GO INTO A BAR

    A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has…

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TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN WORD

With military-straight backs, guardians of words march back and forth at the tomb of the unknown word. You may have seen it, the tomb that is, not the unknown word. It may be hard to locate . In an area rarely visited, the tomb stands at the gate of a graveyard where words go to die. Words are like people. Words are born, live productive middle years (if they survive adolescence), and fade away in the last chapter of their life. On life support, words are sometimes rescued by crossword puzzles and other word games. In their dotage, however, they…

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