I am a writer and
novelist. Welcome to my blog and website. Here, you can learn what is going on in my life and in my writing
Saturday, June 30, 2018
He saw, he heard, he felt, he thought
12:38 pm cdt
Over the years, my approach to writing has changed in some ways. For example, I frequently go back to things I wrote years
ago, and I find ways to cut out excess words.
One of the ways I cut out words lately is to eliminate as many uses of
the words saw, heard, felt and thought as possible. I think leaving out those words is a great way to make
your writing more direct, leaner, and more concise. You can leave these words out because the reader will provide them for
you. He will assume that your character is seeing, feeling, hearing and thinking what goes on in the story.
you could write, he heard a car engine start nearby. Or you could simply say, a car engine started nearby
a similar vein, you could write, He felt a cold breeze cut through his clothes. Or you can write, A cold breeze
cut through his clothes.
My favorite example is, thought. Don't write, it's a trap, he thought. Instead
write, it's a trap. You do not need to risk taking the reader out of your story by reporting that your character
thought something. Instead, record his thoughts and assume your reader will know what you are doing.
In each example,
the second approach is more direct and doesn't break up the flow of the story. You want to do anything that will keep your
reader in your story. Keeping things flowing as much as possible by eliminating unnecessary words such as saw, heard, felt,
and thought will help.
12:20 pm cdt
I now have a presence on Wattpad, the free fiction site. I am still trying to boost my audience, even more so now that
I am becoming convinced that writing and publishing more is my best option in life, and I think I can do so by publishing
some things on Wattpad.
Many will be complete offerings, others will be partial. I can also use it as a place to post
some things I don't feel right publishing for money, such as my story Those Who Have Not Swords, which I started
several years ago, and made some progress on before coming to a stop. I have since used part of it as backstory in one of
my Charlie Rowe novels, False Witness. THis being the case, I don't feel that I can ask money for it, but I will
offer it for free, in installments, as a sample of my work
Check Wattpad regularly, as I intend to post frequently.
other news, I now own a condo. I closed last week, and I am now planning and preparing to move in during the month of July.
It may taike a while to completely, especially when it comes to the contents of my storage locker, but I am finally going
to be able to live on my own again.
In some ways, the prospect is terrifying, in some ways, it is exciting.
Monday, December 11, 2017
The Value of Research
4:36 pm cst
One of the true wonders of the modern age, for a writer, is a computer with a working internet connection and the ability
to access Google.com.
Researching any topic is so easy these days that I have to wonder how writers managed it before
the internet and, especially, Google.
As an example, over the weekend I wrote a scene in The Pursuit of Kelly Clark,
where my barefoot heroine, Kelly, needs to find a pair of shoes in Minneapolis at 3:00 in the morning. No shoe stores are
open, there aren't that many people about, and it would seem that no one would leave a pair of shoes where Kelly can find
Howver, research showed me how to make this scene work. A quick Google search led me to the wikipedia article
on abandoned shoes, and this article mentioned shoe trees, which are trees that people throw their shoes into for whatever
A refinement of my search revealed that one of these shoe trees exists on the grounds of the University of Minnesota's
West Bank Campus, near the Washington Avenue Bridge. People have been throwing their shoes on the tree for years. Sometimes
they miss and their shoes land on the ground. Google maps even gave me a street-level view of the shoe tree in question.
solved. Kelly, a former U. of M. student, although briefly, would know of this shoe tree and would know that she can find
shoes there in the middle of the night.
That's just a quick description of the value of online research, which any writer
can do on the fly as he writes.
4:26 pm cst
These past several years, I have struggled with the writing of Old Wounds. I have written and rewritten it, I
have changed my mind about whether it wanted to be a novel or a novella, and I have spent many hours agonizing over what I
am to do with this project. Despite all this work, I have never really been satisfied with it.
Then, a couple of weekends
ago, I realized how to make the project work. I just needed to make a simple change: instead of trying to tie several plot
threads together as part of the same story, I need to let them be seperate.
Of course, I am not out of the woods yet.
I will end up with three different villians, and I will have to hope I am a good enough writer to pull it off. I also have
to tear my existing story apart, saving what I can, and replot it. I will need a new outline,a nd I will essentially start
And all this is on the back burner for now. I have been working on Old Wounds for a long time, and I
need a break from it. Plus, I have another project, The Pursuit of Kelly Clark, underway at the moment, and I am
making some good progress on that, so I obviously want to continue working on that story. I also have a science fiction short
story I'd like to write before I tackle Old Wounds again.
But, at least I know what to do about Old Wounds
when the time comes to start working on it again.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Still Working on This & That
5:45 pm cst
I am still working on Old Wounds. I have also started work on a novel I had the basic idea for some years ago,
called The Pursuit of Kelly Clark. I also have an idea for a science fiction short story percolating through my brain,
waiting to take final form so I can write it.
Old Wounds will be a novella, as thngs stand right now, unless
I apply the lessons I have been learning from a writing book I just read about showing and not telling. When I have finished
the current draft, I will go back through it and look for opportunities to expand character descriptions, character reactions,
settings, and so on in accordance with the excellent advice I read. This will have the advantage of also allowing me to expand
my manuscript in a way that will be vital to the plot, and not just a bunch of padding.
The Pursuit of Kelly Clark,
in the meantime, as I said before, is a project I had the basic idea for years ago. I wrote two scenes and I had some idea
of the overall reason why the plot would happen. I have an outline and about 11,000 words written, counting the two scenes
I wrote several years ago. I do need to do some work on the outline, as well as character sheets, but at least I have started
something I think might lead somewhere good.
Finally, I have an idea for a science fiction story involving time travel.
I don't usually read or write science fiction, but this is a good story, and I will be interested to see what final form it
I am also have some part-time work hours over the next month or so, which will take us into the Christmas
season, and then into the new year.
I hope I will have even more news to report in the new year.
About me: I have been writing since the early 1980s, ever since discovering a passion for writing during my senior year
in High School. My completed writings include novels, short stories, and newspaper articles. I have completed four novels
in that time, and have partially completed two others. I have had little success in finding an agent or a publisher for any
of my novels, and have recently taken my efforts online. During the years that I have been writing, I have also served my
country as a member of the United States Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps. In the last five years, I have been deployed
to Army bases in Iraq, Kansas, and Virginia.
Look for my novel Taylor Made
, available from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.