Hi Folks, Note: I first wrote this back on May 12, 2015. I think it might help some of you, so I posted it here for the first time today. To put the following in perspective, the entire Wes Crowley saga now spans 10 novels and several short stories. Heinlein’s first rule is “You must write.” The second rule is “You must finish what you write.” As you can see, this has nothing specific to do … Read more

Take Your Time

Hey Folks, This is a bit of advice I’ve never heard specifically from any writing instructor. The nearest even good writing instructors come is when they say your readers can’t see what’s in your mind. They can see only what you put on the page. To expand and clarify that a bit, readers can sense only what you put on the page. They can see, hear, smell, taste and feel only what you put on the … Read more

Please, Don’t Be Ignorant

Or at least don’t put your ignorance on display. Hi Folks, Ignorance is not a “bad” quality. It just means a lack of knowledge. But if you choose to be a writer, shouldn’t you at least try to learn everything you can about the language and word usage? It seems to me we’ve entered an age in which many of us would rather sound cool than illustrate that we aren’t ignorant. I’m talking about creating nouns … Read more

The Use of Italics, Revisited

Hi Folks, For a very long time, I used italics to indicate unspoken thought and anything that was being read (still unspoken thought) like signs, short notes, etc. (Note: what I accurately call  “uspoken thought” is what others refer to as “internal monologue.”) One day I sent an assignment in to the instructor in a workshop I was taking online. He enjoyed the story, with one caveat. Each time he encountered italics, he said, it jerked … Read more

Roberta Jean Bryant’s “Seven Laws of Writing”

Hi Folks, Recently I pulled a scrap of folded, crumpled, mutilated paper out of my desk. I opened it and found Jean Bryant’s Seven Laws of Writing. I had actually typed them on a sheet of typing paper, then cut out around them and saved them. I don’t know for sure when that was, but I’m certain it predates the book in which they’re now found (see below). Anyway, now and then when I look back … Read more