The Journal, Sunday, 2/5

Hey Folks,

I received my first reader’s notes on The Claim this morning. This time, too, I asked him to read it at least twice, once for pleasure and once critically, not only for typos etc. but for content. I just had a feeling about this one.

He did his job in the same excellent fashion as always, pointing out typos and so on. I agreed with most of those and repaired them within a few minutes.

He also pointed out a few things that were unclear to him in details, including some very important process stuff (this, then this, then this, detailed to draw the reader in and ground him in the scene). Those, too, I corrected quickly and fairly easily since I was able to concentrate on specifics (thanks to him).

But he also made some overall notes regarding the “big picture.” And that leads to a very important topic for the day. Interesting that this also follows closely on the heels of my recent topic on using the subconscious mind to make “fixes.”

Topic: Cycling Redux, Plus Process

You will remember that both parts of the mind have specific purposes.

The conscious mind is a guardian that protects you from harm, but it’s also the part of your brain with which you learn. It’s the finger-wagging critical side.

The subconscious mind is a free-wheeling two year old who just wants to play and have fun. It’s the creative side.

This also explains the massive difference between “cycling” and “rewriting.”

The former is accomplished by the creative subconscious. The critical mind has nothing to do with it. NOTHING.

The latter is strictly a function of the critical, conscious mind. Nothing good in writing fiction ever was accomplished by the critical mind.

With that in mind, my first reader Kenneth’s “overall” impression was that I need to let the reader see more color (when there’s color to see) and the general population. In his words,

1) For me, the story unfolded in black and white. Except for mention of a pink shirt and describing earth as a blue marble (both of which appear as unexpected breaths of fresh air), it is almost devoid of color.

2) A larger world population was referred to and must have been present, but I couldn’t sense it. The main characters almost seem to be alone on a barren planet and its barren moon.

3) The absence of a connection to landscape left me feeling estranged. The part that attracted me the most, and felt most human, was the mining camp in Siberia. I enjoyed everything about it.

Folks, this stuff is invaluable to me. Of course, it’s also annoying in a very personal, writerly kind of sense. (grin) But I asked for it because I trust my first reader. And he delivered because he trusts me.

This input is invaluable because Kenneth pointed out major flaws that I believe most readers would notice.

So with those specific items in mind, I suddenly find myself writing two novels. I want to finish The Claim and get it out there, but I’m also in the midst of writing Will Perkins.

However, I believe finishing The Claim will help in the writing of Will Perkins, so I’m going to do that first. I can’t imagine it taking more than a few days.

The Process

I’m going to cycle through the entire manuscript from page 1 beginning tomorrow morning. I’ll read through it for pleasure, but with Kenneth’s thoughts in the back of my mind.

As I go, I’ll allow my subconscious to play.

That’s the sum total of the process.

And yes, I’ll report below on The Claim as I do it. It will appear above Will Perkins below.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out way late at almost 5 this morning. Probably back on schedule tomorrow.

I’m taking the rest of the day off, making this a nonwriting day. I won’t even think about either novel. Instead, I’ll be focusing on which snacks I want to munch on while watching Atlanta win its first super bowl (fingers crossed).

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

If you’re interested in online workshops from Dean in February or his Coast workshops from now through April 2018, I recommend you read this Full Workshop Update (

If you’re interested in images of Pluto, check out Some great pics and also a very short film.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 660 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 660

Writing of Will Perkins (novel, working title)

Day 1…… 4219 words. Total words to date…… 4219
Day 2…… 4003 words. Total words to date…… 8222
Day 3…… 3383 words. Total words to date…… 11605
Day 4…… 3124 words. Total words to date…… 14729
Day 5…… 3373 words. Total words to date…… 18102
Day 6…… 2294 words. Total words to date…… 20396
Day 7…… 3102 words. Total words to date…… 23498
Day 8…… 2578 words. Total words to date…… 26076
Day 9…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 7974
Total fiction words for the year………… 100584
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2230
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 21920

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 122504