Monday, May 22, 2017

I was one of America’s first online writing instructors.

I was one of America’s first online writing instructors. I have been paid for my words for thirty years. So, what’s my advice for aspiring writers?

Write Every Day. The idea of sitting down every single day and writing profound literary prose can be overwhelming. But screw the profundity and simply write every day no matter how bad it might be. You can fix it in the rewrite. Back when I was working nine to five as a nonfiction writer and editor, I got up earlier to write fiction from 5 to 7 each morning. Consequently, I got my nonfiction writing done and still wrote five novels, two of which are still in print. If you want to be a writer, you've got to actually write, every damned day.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

narrative = boring trousers

In a novel, anything can be summarized. Since scenes are harder to write, most beginners rely too heavily on narrative summary to tell stories.

A century ago, you could write practically an entire book in a narrative summary. No more. Most novels published today contain a great deal of action. Where many beginning novelists go wrong is to put passages into action that should be narrated, or to narrate passages that should be put into action.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Revision is perfecting it

Some authors try for a perfect first chapter before going on with the book.
Not a good idea. You can always fix it later, once you know what the story is. Frankly, I would go crazy trying to perfect one sentence at a time, because what happens later in my books almost always changes what I've said earlier in the books. However, if you inspect every word and seek a perfect one, you will won’t finish your novel.
Besides, no one is going to pay money for a first chapter only, even if it is perfect. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

hang on to ideas.

Much of what you write in the coming years will be based on what has happened to you. Notice I said, “Based on” not exactly what happened. Strive to remember your emotional reaction to events that have happened to you.
Of course, having ideas for books means nothing if you don’t keep track of the ideas. I use the voice recorder app on my smartphone and transfer the files to my computer later on.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

My writing office

I have been writing for 30 years in great measure because I enjoy being alone 
(I’m an only child with no sisters, brothers or even a dad).
I am a loner, but I’m fine with that. I also love to type and have since I was 18 and took an adult education typing course.

My minimum daily word count when I’m writing a novel is 1,500 words a day, which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, not. However, I make myself stay at my laptop until I've hit 1,500 because that’s the only way the book will be written. Those 1,500 words might be nonsense and are usually crappy. However, I can make them better in the rewrite.