Musings on the Craft of Writing

Posts tagged “fiction

After Life Complete

Hi all,

I’m happy to announce the release of this edition of After Life.  It’s now available in both paperback and e-book versions.

I’ve also created a new website (containing sales links) which you can see here: danielionson.com

Thanks and enjoy,

Daniel

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►Guest Post by Graeme Brown, Fantasy Writer

graeme

While my own life is caught in the fecal-flinging whirlwind of having to move, I decided to host a few guest posts.  This is Graeme Brown, a Fantasy author (more…)


►The Golden Path

Discouragement for a writer is crushing, paralyzing.  If we don’t believe in our work many will falter, regardless of the strength of our skill and the project.  A writer’s morale is vital for, just like an army, if it believes it is defeated… it is.

But there is another demon at work in a writer’s life, one that generates the opposite emotional reaction: Delusion.  We can (more…)


►Writing on Both Sides of the Brain

This is one of the first books I read on novel-writing, and it saved me.

I’d always been a tyrant with myself as I wrote, slicing into each section, paragraph and sentence as I typed it on the page. I was driving in circles.  Henriette Klauser’s book helped free me from that habit.

Klauser

^^^^^^^^^^^^

It’s true that unrefined creativity (more…)


►Eavesdropping on a Pubbing Argument

The discussions I’m linking to are long (so long that I printed them off), but for all of us interested in the publishing industry (especially we who are torn about whether we should self-pub or go to the traditional houses), this is well worth our time.

I’ll break it its three main chronological parts:

1) Steve Zacharius (owner of (more…)


►Your Vault is Your Hope

As I’ve said before, being a novel-writer is a lot like pushing Sisyphus’ stone.  We work for months or years on each draft, spend serious cash seeking help to perfect it, and then repeat that process until we believe that manuscript is perfect.  Most do this for the hope of becoming paid, full-time authors.

But intermittently, we writers are smacked with the reality that we’ve been digging in the mines for years… for nothing.  Playing the odds, the vast majority of us will either make a pittance (more…)


►Typing ≠ Writing

typists type

So true.

It feels so good to “actually be ‘writing’” the story.  Although it may sound strange, a danger is hiding here, for the emotional highs we get from “finishing” sections/chapters/books can sometimes hinder the creative process.  We have to be careful to consistently step back, get to the window and stare.

We should repeat this practice throughout the entirety of our projects.  Milling over our stories before, during and after the keyboarding is vital to writing a great novel. Keep musing, charting, planning,  critiquing and, of course, typing.  Novel writing is the sum of those parts.

~Daniel


►Story Structure or, “What I learned from the Three Little Pigs”

When we love a story, when a book stays with us for days (or decades) we know that it “works.”  What we mean by that is that the story fulfilled specific desires (based on the genre/tone of that novel).  But how does one story work and another fail?

Of course there’s always some subjectivity on the matter, but overall we do seem to share a “communal objectivity” about a tale either soaring or flopping. Tastes vary, but we still recognize the difference (more…)


[Reblog] Top 10 Tips for Writers.

An excellent list from Jacqui Murray for writers to keep in mind.  (Actually, the whole site contains great advice for us.)

~Daniel


►Sisyphus’ Pen

Want to get rich quick?  Be famous with a life of ease?  Then being an author is a terrible move for you.

    ~~What the outsider think the writer's life is like...

~~What the outsiders think the writer’s life is like…

Virtually all of the money which makes it into a writer’s pocket goes to a tiny fraction of the authors.  For every Stephen King and John Grisham out there, there are thousands of (more…)


[Reblog]- Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors

I have only posted about Self-pubbing once, wherein I talk about the downside to the “Revolution.”  This post by Kristen Lamb is well-considered and well-written.  I encourage all Indie-pubbers out here to read it.

~Daniel


►My Novel-Writing Methodology: The Actual Writing

After I have done all that I listed here I finally get to sit down at the keyboard and start typing it.

1)      I am sure to have a “sacred space” for my writing without distractions.  I write in my basement where there is (by design) no Network connection.  (I even went out a few years ago and bought a used laptop with a broken wireless adapter for this purpose.)  I also set the mood for my writing.

2)      I lay out my scene list from my pre-drafting work and start typing.  I have a master folder on each computer wherein I put a folder for that day’s work.  I make a different Word doc for each chapter.    (more…)


►Aut Disce Aut Discede

My experience with authors is that story-telling has been part of their lives for as far back as they can recall.  It’s true of me as well.  Authors I have spoken with express the same joy (and need) of writing.  But why are most novels so humdrum?  How is it that we (the authors) can be so exuberant about our stories and yet leave so many who read our stories so lukewarm?   The primary problem, I think, is that we don’t take the writing craft seriously.

When I began my first novel I had a premise which I (and others) fell in love with.  And so I sat down and started writing it.  I was educated, had been writing for school for years, was well-read, etc..  But between the completion of Draft 1 and Draft 2, I did the best thing possible for my writing—I schooled myself.

(more…)


►Character-Crafting & the Enneagram

The dead horse has rotted to its splintered bones, and still people are beating it: “You need realistic, interesting, nuanced and believable characters that are compelling.”  Thanks.  Also in the news, the world is not flat.  OK, so while it is tiresome to hear, it remains true:  Flat/2-dimensional characters sink novels.  What should we do to prevent it?  Only read a dozen good books on the subject and ponder it as we write each book for the rest of our lives.  Helpful?  Right.

I’ve always been interested in personality inventories.   Some are crap, of course, filled with trite tautologies.  For several years I had held the Meyers-Briggs as the top of the list, and I still respect it.

But the one tool I want to recommend for your character-crafting work shed:  The Enneagram.  It is, in my opinion, the best personality (more…)