Musings on the Craft of Writing

Posts tagged “writer

Alternate -Me-

Hi, all.

Here’s the other half of me, where I write philosophy (and other clutter in my head).  I published my first philosophy book yesterday.  Please enjoy and comment.

https://quagmiresoftruth.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/and-the-truth-shall-make-you-flee/

E-version cover

Thanks,

Daniel


►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…)


►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…)


►Happy Birthday, JRRT

Thanks for making medieval Fantasy a living genre, Tollers.  If there’s an afterlife, I hope you’re enjoying the Shire.

Young Tollers

 

~Daniel


►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 Secret, Dark Superpower

(It’s dark because it’s buried under a bunch of junk in the garage.)

OK, I guess the secret’s out now… I do have a superpower.  Thanks a lot, Lois Lane– I mean, Vicki Vale– I mean, Skiffy & Fanty for blowing my cover. The-Tick1

≡ –> Daniel’s Superpower

Enjoy,

Me

~~


►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…)


►Started Tapping the Keyboard

Happy to have set my brain on fire this weekend.  I have, after 9 weeks of planning a series (a septology), begun Draft One of book one.

This septology is an epic (I loathe how this word has been kidnapped by the equivalent of neo-valley-girls) dark medieval Fantasy series.  I’m hoping that my skills as an author have improved to the point (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

 


►”A Little to the Left?” (On Choosing Test-Readers)

Conscious of it or not, when we walk into a home we are in a state of mind which determines how we will react to everything inside of it.  When I come into my own home, I’m only affected by anything out of the norm (the more abnormal, the greater my reaction would be).  It’s “home”—I’m not there to critique the chairs, tables, pictures or lighting.  I’m there to relax, work, eat, whatever.  When you go visit friends (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…)