The Journal, Saturday, 1/14

Hey Folks,

It’s Saturday, so I’d like to be done a little early. With that in mind, I set firmly in my brain last night that I wanted to get up at 2 a.m.

I used to do that all the time (set a mental alarm clock) back in the day and it always worked. But I haven’t tried it consciously for years. It worked this morning.

Topic: A Reminder to Let It Be

This notion of writing in public, letting others know at least most of the major twists and turns in process, is a little frightening.

I’m human, so I want to impress others. But I’m also striving to be honest in case you might glean something that will help from all this stuff. So I want to lay the process bare.

To that end, despite the fact that the novel has been running, today might be a day of cycling back from the beginning. More likely, it will be a day with a little of that and a lot of letting the story run where it wants to, even though I’m not personally wild about the direction right now.

The novel keeps wanting to turn more to the antagonists’ side of things. That is, those characters keep rearing their heads in unusual ways, taking over.

From the beginning, this story has been about one main character: Jonathan Kirski. But in this novel, the bad guys seem poised to take over. Not the world, so much. They already have that. But the novel itself.

Most of the “good” characters’ thoughts and actions seem boring and flat. But the bad guys are going nuts.

Now, I write off into the dark. So I have to allow the characters to go where they want to go, do what they want to do. But I’m starting to get the sense that this book might go a lot longer than usual and have more cuts at the end than usual.

One thing is for sure: getting to the eventual end of this one is going to be a blast.

Of Interest

Check out Dean’s Chapter Five: Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling (

Of great interest to me and I hope to you, check out Patricia Brink’s Interview Questions at Also click the Mike button next to the Patty button above the interview for her husband’s take on “What Patty Should Have Said.” Great fun.

Thanks to Dawn Turner, a great professional writer in her own right, for pointing me to this website.

I also recommend reading Building a Strong Story: 7 Critical Elements ( I don’t necessarily endorse everything in it, but I recommend reading it because you never know what you might find that will help You.

Hey, the big book launches tomorrow! I know you guys don’t need it, but tell your friends, would’ya? They can find The Professional Fiction Writer: A Year in the Life at any online retailer by following this link:

Today, and Writing

Rolled out right at 2 this morning. And it’s Saturday, so I’d like to reach my word count goal early.

Ideally, I’d like to hit my goal before the rest of the house is awake around 6, but that isn’t going to happen today. It might not happen any day. I seem to need an hour for my brain to turn on no matter what time I get up. (grin) One of those age things I think.

I started on the novel this morning around 3. By 4:30 I had just a hair over 1000 words. So one-third of my goal. No cycling back this morning. Just writing. But deep in the psyche of a character (and a female) so my conscious mind messed with me almost constantly.

One of my Brooklyn guys (that’s him on the left) dropped in to say, “Hey, whadda you know from females, am I right?” To which I replied, “Wull, yeah. But it has to be done, right?

From 4:30 to 6 I wrote all the stuff above, read the stuff on Patty Brink’s website, Dean’s stuff etc. Headed out to the Hovel soon. I’ll do the rest of my writing out there. Probably I’ll call it soon after I reach my goal.

In the Hovel around 6:30. In two sessions with a short break in between, I knocked out just a little over 2000 words.

8 a.m. up to the house for breakfast and to see how the rest of the world is living.

9, back to the Hovel. I wrote for about another hour and a half, then moved to the house. There, I wrote for another half-hour or so off and on.

Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 3618
Nonfiction Words: 790 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4408

Writing of The Claim (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 4391 words. Total words to date…… 4391
Day 2…… 3632 words. Total words to date…… 8023
Day 3…… 1416 words. Total words to date…… 9439
Day 4…… 2673 words. Total words to date…… 12112
Day 5…… 4284 words. Total words to date…… 16396
Day 6…… 3159 words. Total words to date…… 19555
Day 7…… 3834 words. Total words to date…… 23389
Day 8…… 4953 words. Total words to date…… 28342
Day 9…… 4982 words. Total words to date…… 33324
Day 10… 3618 words. Total words to date…… 36942

Total fiction words for the month……… 38570
Total fiction words for the year………… 38570
Total nonfiction words for the month… 8920
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 8920

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 47490