Musings on the Craft of Writing

Posts tagged “novel

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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►Wine and Roses

Good 1st Drafts are like good 1st Dates: Brimming with excitement, blinding to imperfections.


►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…)


►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…)


►Deer in the Spotlight

Graeme Brown is a Fantasy author in Canada, and he asked about my life as a writer.  If your boredom has reached Mount Everest proportions, go check it out HERE.

Thanks,

~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…)


►My Novel-Writing Methodology: Pre-Drafting

We all have a method to our novel-writing (even if we’ve never charted it out).  These are the 7 steps I go through before I begin Draft One.

[Note: I have no illusions that this is my creation.  I simply absorbed the ideas of multiple veteran writers and synthesized them into a working model for myself.]

1)      Pure Musing

  1. After getting the seminal idea for the story, I spend time concentrating on it, but (more…)

►Always Seek Out Good Critiques

Thanks to the folks at There and Draft Again for giving away critique prizes.  I won a First 5K word critique by K.L. Schwengel.

She wrote, and I love that she asked how brutally honest I wanted her to be.  I told her to unload both barrels.  This is what helps us grow as writers, hearing unveiled honesty from those in the know.

~Daniel

 


►Time

As I preached about in my first post, the artist’s life requires discipline in order to produce quality work.  This means that our time must be dedicated to our craft–a task which seems exceedingly difficult in the 21st century.  The first obstacle is for us to discover exactly where all of our time goes.  This generation, worse than any other, is inundated with distraction. Time

So I created this spreadsheet for myself in order to track what was happening with all of my time, and I am sharing this with you.

Download this and open it (it requires Excel, and should work on the OSX Excel as well).  It will offer for you to sign up for Box.  You can ignore it and just choose Download at the top.       https://app.box.com/s/hyzw3yr0wyoer9muqx6q

(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…)