HarveyStanbrough.com — A New Look

Hey folks,

Some of you might have noticed the website has a new look. If you haven’t, check it out at http://harveystanbrough.com.

I’m slowly transitioning the website. Well, expanding might be a better term.

The site will continue to be a valuable source for writers. I’ll continue the weekly posts each Tuesday on topics of interest to writers, and the Writers’ Resources listed in the left sidebar will remain. I’ll also continue to offer writer services like copyediting and occasionally add to the items available at no cost on the Free Stuff tab.

But I’m a professional writer, and this is also a writer’s website.

To that end, for the foreseeable future, the website will open on a new homepage, one that showcases the various bundles from BundleRabbit in which my works are included.

When you purchase a bundle, you pay approximately what you would normally pay for a single ebook. But you get several additional books by various writers at no additional cost. It’s a great bargain, both as an entertainment venue and to purchase fictions by authors whose work you want to study and emulate.

If you’re a writer, I strongly recommend you get your work listed at BundleRabbit.com. It’s a great way to expand your audience. Readers purchase a bundle to read my novel or the novel of a best-selling writer like Dean Wesley Smith or Kristine Kathryn Rusch or Kevin J. Anderson and they also get to read your work, all for one low price. It’s one of the best discoverability tools out there.

If you’re a reader, BundleRabbit is an invaluable way to find new authors and maybe even new genres you’ve never considered before. Again, all at a very low price.

BundleRabbit also gives you the option of donating part of your payment to charity, and you always have the option of purchasing the bundle through your favorite electronic retailer. It truly is a win-win situation.

As part of the expansion of this website, I’ll also occasionally post news about my own fiction and nonfiction writing. That will include news concerning upcoming and new releases, news about my writing personas and characters, and occasional special surprises that will be available only to readers of this blog.

To keep them separate of the professional writing advice posts (on Tuesday each week), these new posts will publish less frequently and always on a Friday. They will always contain news of potential interest to readers.

For example, did you know that in addition to the Magic Realism stories from my persona Gervasio Arrancado, I have also written a 10-volume Western saga? It’s the story of Wes Crowley, a Texas Ranger in 1870s in the Texas Panhandle. It ends some 50 years later in a small fishing village along the Pacific coast in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Did you know I also write both “we went there” and “they came here” science fiction? And apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic novels? And novels that take place during the Spanish Civil War? And Mystery novels? And Noir-PI Detective novels? And Crime novels?

About the only genre I haven’t tackled to date is Contemporary Romance, but trust me, there’s plenty of romance in my other works. (grin)

And if you enjoy reading Mystery, I’m excited to announce I’ve recently stumbled across a series PI character named Stern Richards. In fact, my current novel is the third that features him. It’s all very exciting and a great deal of fun.

Whether you’re here as a writer hoping to polish your craft or a reader seeking entertainment, please stay tuned. And either way, thank you for your continued loyalty to this blog.

Best,

Harvey Stanbrough

 

The Journal, Tuesday, 5/16

Hey Folks,

Well, kind of a mixed bag today. I did a lot of non-writing stuff and still managed to knock out almost 3000 words. Details below.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out a little before 4. Still catching up on my sleep, I think.

By 5:30 I’d had my coffee and read everything I recommended to you below in “Of Interest” plus some other stuff.

Around 7 I went to the grocery and was back by 8. Around 9 I went to the poor, doorless Hovel and wrote for a little while. Back to the house after a cigar.

Wrote a little more while I was up here. At 10, back to the Hovel.

Wrote for a couple of hours, then spent time off and on with my friend (and landlord) Richard as he worked to get the swamp cooler on the roof running. Did it myself in years past, but my back doesn’t allow me up ladders anymore.

Around 3, back to writing for awhile.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Book Bundling for Authors” at http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/05/15/ebook-bundling/.

See “The Magic Bakery: Chapter Eight” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-magic-bakery-chapter-eight/.

More interesting stuff below that at “Again A Busy Day” (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/again-a-busy-day/).

Fiction Words: 2986
Nonfiction Words: 190 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3176

Writing of A Fresh Kill (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 2751 words. Total words to date…… 2751
Day 2…… 2986 words. Total words to date…… 5737

Total fiction words for the month……… 21151
Total fiction words for the year………… 268745
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8220
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 82910

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 351655

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 538 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 4 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 24
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167

The Journal, Wednesday, 3/22

Hey Folks,

First, thanks to all my long-time subscribers for hanging in there through the sparse posts as well as the longer ones. I appreciate you and your interest in these silly goings-on. Very much.

Most often, when a post is longer (like today) it contains a topic that I hope you will find useful at least a friendly reminder. That’s kind’a my way of giving back. So thank you.

Also, I’ve recently added a new feature in the right sidebar of the website. Just below the clock you’ll see the Tag Cloud. If you click the Topic tag, all of the posts that contain a topic will pop up.

Should you decide to unsubscribe, you can still visit the site occasionally and use this feature. I hope it will be helpful.

* * *

My son left this morning, headed for Indiana via a visit with his siblings in New Mexico. I sort of hoped to write later in the day, but I didn’t.

Before he left, I uploaded six 10-story collections and a novel to BundleRabbit.com. Curators can’t find them and include them in bundles if they aren’t there. Duh.

If you weren’t aware of this excellent marketing tool, check it out at BundleRabbit.com.

Later in the day, I decided to take an admin day. I was in an admin kind of mood, and I don’t like being behind on getting my stuff out there.

So I created yet another cover, this one for the novel The 13-Month Turn (formerly Will Perkins). Then I published it to Amazon and D2D.

Following that, I added four new novels to HarveyStanbrough.com/novels-novellas/. I hope you’ll swing by and take a look.

Then I moved over to StoneThread Publishing and did the same thing. Only over there I also created a book page for each novel. Each book page includes a larger photo of the cover, the blurb and search terms for the book, plus the universal buy link provided by D2D.

All of that took awhile. (grin) As I write this (almost 3 p.m.) I still have to upload The 13-Month Turn to BundleRabbit, but that takes only about 10 minutes.

Then I’m done for the day. Just in time to make supper for a hungry wife and a voracious grandson. (grin)

So at the moment I’m taking a break by updating and posting this Journal.

Topic: On Pacing and Paragraphing

If you tend naturally to write in paragraphs that are longer than about 4 or 5 lines (lines, not sentences), this topic might interest you a lot.

A few days ago I was reading one of my magic realism stories to my grandson. “The Storyteller” by Gervasio Arrancado.

I wrote this thing several years ago, and it was painfully obvious that I knew n-o-t-h-i-n-g about pacing. Or paragraphing, for that matter.

As I read it aloud to him, I got bored. Massively bored. I know it’s a good story, yet I found myself wondering what reader could possibly enjoy wading through this thing.

My pacing sucked. My paragraphing sucked worse. The two go hand in hand.

Now, I thought I knew paragraphing. And I did know what I’d learned in every English, English Comp and English Lit class I’d ever taken.

But no, I didn’t know paragraphing. And I had not the slightest clue about pacing.

The bare bones of pacing is this:

Especially when action is occurring, hit the Return (Enter) key more often.

Shorter paragraphs (smaller blocks of text) are easier and quicker to read and understand. So are shorter sentences and sentence fragments.

And all of those move the action along.

Shorter sentences and sentence fragments also convey a sense of drama and emphasis. If they aren’t overused, that’s a powerful tool.

Especially if they’re used in their own paragraph.

In an action scene, those shorter paragraphs force the reader’s eyeballs to catapult across the white space from one paragraph to the next in an attempt to keep up.

So even as the action is racing, the reader is racing right along with it.

But maybe the character moves into a new setting, one where he’s going to be for awhile and where action is not immediate.

For example, maybe he’s lying in wait for a victim or a perpetrator. Maybe he’s sitting with a colleague in a coffee shop discussing an interesting turn of events. Maybe he’s visiting family in Hoboken (or wherever).

That goes to pacing too.

In those circumstances, while he’s “resting” from the action, you can intentionally slow the reader with more detailed description and longer paragraphs.

So what about description? How much description of the setting is necessary?

Ask your character. He’s the one who’s actually in the story.

Consider, what does the character notice if he’s panicked and busting through a door to escape a fire?

What does he see, hear, smell, taste, touch when he’s immediately involved in a fist fight or a shootout as he enters a room (saloon, library, grocery store, airport, etc.)?

Maybe it’s all a blur. Or maybe one aspect or two of the setting stands out for him. Ask him. And then listen.

Now, what does he notice (again, see, hear, smell, taste, touch) when he is admitted to the home of a victim’s relatives to inform them he’s found the body of their son?

What does he notice in the hospital waiting room as he awaits word about his colleague?

What does he notice when he joins the rest of his extended family for Thanksgiving dinner?

I ask “what does the character notice” because if you want to ground the reader in the scene (and you do) ALL description of setting MUST come through the character’s senses of the setting as expressed in the character’s opinions of that setting.

Think about it. He probably won’t notice a lot about the setting (but maybe some) as he’s busting through a door to escape a fire or suddenly being involved in a firefight.

He might notice a great deal more about a setting in which he’s relaxed or in which he’s spending some time as he awaits the next action scene.

If he’s lying in wait to spring an ambush, he might notice a lot more AND notice it more specifically, or more clearly. All his senses will be heightened.

When we’re bored or otherwise unoccupied, we tend to pay more attention to sights, sounds, smells, etc. When we’re filled with adrenaline but not in the midst (yet) of action, our senses are hyper-sensitive.

It’s the same for your characters. Describe the setting accordingly.

Pace the scene accordingly.

Today, and (Still Not) Writing

I hope none of you are annoyed that I’ve missed a few days’ writing. I’m not, really. And how much I write doesn’t affect your bottom line, so…. However, tomorrow, I will write. Probably all day.

Rolled out at 2:20. Spent a very brief time with email and Facebook, then started uploading things to BundleRabbit.com.

Then I moved over here to write this, then checked Dean’s site.

Around 8:30 my son headed east, my wife went to her job and my grandson went for a walk. I’m basically gonna screw around for a little while. Fill the hummer feeders, cross post the topic to the big blog, etc.

I did a tiny bit of cycling in The 13-Month Turn (remember Will Perkins?), then formatted it, created a cover and published it. Then I did all the stuff up in the intro to today’s Journal

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

“A Few More Strength Workshop Questions Answered” at Dean’s place. http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-few-more-strength-workshop-questions-answered/

Also (and this is really weird in a timing kind of way) Dean talks about BundleRabbit with “Some Bundle Fun” at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-bundle-fun/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1150 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1150

Writing of Novel Two (probably DOA)

Day 1…… 978 words. Total words to date…… 978
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 33439
Total fiction words for the year………… 185305
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15030
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 51620

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 236925