Get a Job!

Hi folks, Note: This is a guest post, courtesy of Dan Baldwin and his Writing Tip of the Week. To visit and subscribe, see I knew a screenwriter wannabe who was so dedicated to writing the perfect script that he’s probably never gotten around to writing it. Before starting the script he studied creative writing. He then studied screenwriting. To familiarize himself with the techniques of filmmaking he took a course in videography. And then … Read more

The Journal, Saturday, 2/25

Hey Folks, In my WIP, things are bogged down. When that happens, I’ve either written past the ending (I didn’t in this case) or I took a wrong turn. Either that or there’s just something I’m not seeing. So today I’m going to backtrack in the actual novel (vs. the reverse outline) to try to find where I took an oblique. From there I’ll read over what I wrote just before that, then take off with … Read more

Getting Ideas (and other stuff)

This content was previously posted on June 26, 2016 in the Daily Journal. I posted it here because of the valuable topic included below. Soon I might begin posting the Daily Journal here every day. Hey Folks, Probably today will be another non-writing day for me. Despite the fact that when I take a day away from writing fiction I feel itchy and annoyed. I gave my word to a couple of folks who quickly took … Read more

Length of Various Fiction Forms

Hey Folks, Recently I’ve been asked more than once the length of the various forms of fiction. Yawwwn. Stretch. Sigh. Okay, this is one of those “wrapped around the wheel” things that’s great for personal use if you don’t obsess over it. The answer is, it depends on whom you ask. For example, although some major magazines (Asimov’s springs to mind) publish both novelettes and novellas, most definitions online consider those two terms interchangeable. But you … Read more

Let’s Go Streaking

Hi Folks, First, Happy New Year! I hope it’s perfect for you. If you’re a writer, there’s no better time than right now to go streaking. (grin) No wait… I mean, you know, there’s no better time to begin a new streak. Nah, I’m not talking about taking off all your clothes and racing around in public. Seriously, nobody wants to see that. I’m talking about eating an elephant. Remember the old (very wise) joke? Q: … Read more

Upcoming Writing Intensive

Hey Folks, If you’re in southern Arizona and you’re serious about being a writer, here’s a chance to start your new year off right. I’m offering a one-day intensive on How to Write the Character-Driven Story. This information will be valid for any length of fiction from a short story to a novel. Subtopics will include Getting the Idea Selecting a Main (POV) Character Selecting a Genre The Seven-Point Plot Outline The Five-Senses Exercise Writing Setting … Read more

My First Novel and Killing Writing Myths

Hi Folks, First, a salute to my brothers and sisters in the United States Marine Corps—Happy 239th birthday—and a respectful toast to our brothers and sisters in the other US armed forces as well as friends in the ROK Marines and the Corps of Royal Marines. May your days be vibrant, your evenings calm, your heart safe and warm at home. Okay, on to business. As I write this, I just finished my first novel. It’s … Read more

It’s Columbus Day

Hi Folks, Well, here it is. Today is the day we celebrate Columbus Day, although it’s actually one day later than the actual date on which Christopher Columbus was falsely credited with “discovering” America. Of course, in order to give some of us an extra day off per year, we have to conveniently ignore (or at the most honest, set aside) the one big, overriding question: How can anyone “discover” a land in which other people … Read more

Notes on Being a Professional Writer

Hi Folks, When I was first learning to play the guitar at the age of 14, I was frustrated. Even after I learned to chord cleanly, nothing ever sounded quite the way it had when I’d heard it on the radio or when my uncle or others had played it. I checked and double-checked my chording, the progressions and timing between chords, and even how I was holding the guitar. Nothing seemed to make a difference. … Read more