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Dennis Coslett, Writer

This is my blog and website, where I hope to be able to keep you informed of my efforts as a writer. I will discuss Works in Progress and announce new releases here. On this site, you will also find links to sites where you may purchase my published stories and novels.

This site  The Web 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Posting regularly

One other thing I should mention is that I am going to try to post to this blog more regularly, probably on Sundays. My goal will be to publish every Sunday.

I might not have much to say, but I can always publish progress reports, if nothing else. And as much else as I can find to post about.

12:55 pm cdt 

15 in 15

I keep piling more and more on my plate. As well as the projects I mentioned last week, I have decided on an additional, and rather ambitious, project to boost my audience.

I call it 15 in 15, when I call it anything at all. My plan is to publish a short story, novelette, or novella a month from October 2016 until December 2017, which means publishing 15 stories in a span of 15 months. This will allow me to build my audience on independent publishing sites by presenting more of my finished works. It will let me clear some things off my hard drive, many of which have been there for too long.

And it will give me the chance to write more short stories. I consider writing short stories to be the area I am weakest in, and this will give me some valuable practice.

As for the content of the stories, those will depend. They aren't all going to be mystery stories. At least one is a fantasy story. This means I also can broaden my horizons and write and publish stories that are outside of my chosen genre.

It's an ambitious plan. I hope to look back on it in December, 2017, and see a successful endeavor.

12:50 pm cdt 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What am I working on?

So what am I working on at the moment?

My main project is the third Charlie Rowe novel, Old Wounds, which is getting close to the end of the first draft. I have also done some work on the first chapter of an as yet untitle slasher-themed novel I thought of some time ago, and I am also ghost writing a story for a client.

When I get this done, I have some other projects to work on. In fact, I have quite a few potential future projects.

I am also considering methods of securing sufficient income that I can devote all of my attention to writing. In other words, I am thinking about a Patreon account. I will let you know more as I decide more.

On top of that, I want to post more regularly here. I am going to try to writie and publish once a week. We'll see how that goes.

3:58 pm cdt 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The details to leave out

I recently finished a novel by an English writer. The hero was an archeoligist, and the novel struck me as a better-written version of The Da Vinci Code. (Of course, wriiting something better than The Da Vinci Code isn't hard, in my opinion.)

One of the biggest problems with this novel, and my parents, who also read the book, agreed with me, is that the writer kept referring, over and over, to a particular physical trait of a particular character. The woman question was a major character, a colleague and apparent romantic interest of the hero, and, as I recall, an officer in the Italian Carabinieri.

She was also well-endowed. There is, of course, nothing necessarily wrong with this, but the author kept mentioning it, with frequent references to the character's "capacious bosom," as one example of the words he used to describge her.

After her introductory description, he never talked about her black hair, or her eyes, or, for example, a strong jaw. Just her bust, over and over.

You can probably see what is wrong with this idea. It's definitely okay to refer to a trait such as a big bust in the initial character description, and even to refer to it if it becomes  plot relevant (for example, two characters are about to have sex,) but not over and over.

Doing so just makes a writer look sleazy and unprofessional. I know it's a problem I've wrestled with, one that beta-readers have commented on many times, and now I try to take pains not to dwell on such things, unless appropriate to do so.

It is a good example of one of the many things to consider when writing a novel.

2:27 pm cdt 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Ah, the age-old question. Every non-writer wonders this, and writers frequently hear the question as a result.

"Where do you get your ideas?"

Where, indeed?

From all around you.

The key to having ideas for stories is to start thinking of yourself as a writer, and a certain kind of writer. Then put your subconscious to work. The best part of this process, and the worst part, is that it runs in the background, always there, always humming away.

What it means is that you will find ideas from anything and everything. Whether you are watching TV, reading an article in your state historical society's monthly magazine, or even thinking about nothing, your subconscious is working on the question of what you can write about, and is constantly coming up with ideas.

I have had ideas while watching the aforesaid TV, while reading the aforesaid historical society monthly magazine, while working on novels, and even while reading a model railroading book. (I have entertained an idea for a series of novels about a railroad police detective, so my subconscious sometimes gives me ideas for stories that would be suitable for such a character.)

The problem, of course, is that you may have more ideas than you will have time to write about. I know I have that problem. However, I consider it a good problem to have.

Of course, the hard part of writing is not having the idea: it is turning the idea into a story. I have enough ideas that, if the well ran dry, I would still have stuff to write about for a long time.

What if hit men had a quality control representative?

That's an idea I had once. (As a matter of fact, this is the one I had while watching TV, that I mentioned earlier.) I turned it into a short-short story, available from my writer's pages at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, if you're interested to see how it turned out

So, to reiterate, my advice is to decide you are a writer, and decide what kind of writer you are. Then just let your subconscious work on the matter.

Then, before too long, you will be reading, or watching TV or a movie, or thinking about a discussion you had, or indeed, anything, and you will find yourself thinking, Hey, that would make a good story.

From that moment on, you won't have to worry about ideas.

 

 

8:06 pm cdt 

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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. taylor_made_banner.jpg