A Flash of Genius

Hey folks,

This is one of those interim posts. This one is on continued learning. Plus it contains a news flash regarding Amazon. I even moved it up one day to get it to you a little sooner.

One hallmark of a professional writer is that he or she continues to learn. Always. Often at the least likely moment, a blast of insight smacks you right between the eyes.

This morning, as I write this, was one of those amazing times for me.

As a matter of routine, I was reading Dean Wesley Smith’s blog. I seldom miss it, and when I do, I read back and catch up, including reading the comments.

The Topic of the Night — well, actually, to Focus Down, a brief segment of the Topic of the Night — struck me as so profound that 1) I left a comment on Dean’s site thanking him, and 2) I came directly here to share the insight.

Those of you who write a lot (so those of you who Write) know that stories write differently. That’s true whether they are short stories, novellas or novels. Some flow smoothly, some are like pulling teeth, and most are somewhere in between those two extremes. And all of that, for me, is while trusting my subconscious and writing off into the dark.

Okay, so we know that. So what?

The fact that stories write differently can put us off our game, that’s what.

But Dean just slapped that silliness aside with two profound sentences. No matter HOW the story writes

  • “Every [story] explores a character and a story and a setting.” and
  • “Sometimes that exploration goes easily, sometimes not.”

There. Absolute genius.

For me personally, it was not only beautifully said in its simplicity, but it was timely as well.

Dean went on to suggest that writers should keep that thought in mind.

Keep it in mind? It’s my new mantra.

Oh, if you want to read Dean’s post on this yourself, it’s Here.

And one more note from Dean in another post on every book writing differently:

  • “Endings are always in your openings if you trust your subconscious and don’t rewrite.”

Genius. Sheer genius. Here’s the Link for that one.

And now for a News Flash: I came back to add this because it’s important.

Some of us have been warning writers off of Amazon’s KDP “Select” program (meaning you publish exclusively through Amazon) and the Kindle Unlimited subscription service ever since those began. See, the thing is, Amazon doesn’t care either way about authors.Like most businesses, they talk a good deal, but they care only about the bottom line $$$.

Once they got enough writers enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, we knew the other business foot would fall. Well, according to Mark Coker in the Smashwords Blog, It Just Fell. And another one falling is a strong possibility in the near future.

An excerpt from Mark’s post: “[This is] an inevitable outcome when authors surrender full pricing and compensation control (via their KDP Select enrollment) to a company whose entire business model is predicated upon commoditizing and devaluing products by stripping suppliers of pricing control” (emphasis added).

Look, I don’t get a take from your book sales. I have zero vested interest. But friends don’t let friends drive drunk and do other stupid sh- stuff. I’m appealing to you as a friend.

If you are NOT part of KDP Select, congratulations. If you are, do the smart thing: get out and diversify distribution of your books. For more on that, if you missed it, see my recent blog post on The Brave New World of Publishing.

‘Til next time (The Importance of Scene and How to Write It, Part Two), happy writing,


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2 thoughts on “A Flash of Genius”

  1. Great post Harvey, but you left out what I thought was extremely important in what he said…”But if you HAVE FUN in the exploration, YOU WIN (My caps). And your readers will win.”

    • Right. Of course, my hope is that readers of this post will follow the link and read the post for themselves. (grin) Also, I’ve been listening to Dean and Ray Bradbury and others say having fun is the secret for so long that I skip over it. But you’re right. Folks, train yourself to just write off into the dark. If you do, writing will be a great deal of fun.

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