A Rewriting Metaphor

Hey Folks, Today I feature a guest post from Dean Wesley Smith, republished here with permission. Enjoy. Say your goal is to walk across the United States. About 2,800 miles. So say your writing career (in a modern world) lasts over forty years like mine and gets you 280 books written. Got to make the numbers round for this metaphor. (grin) So every 100 miles is a novel in your hike across the United States. So … Read more

“That” You Write vs. “What” You Write

Hi Folks, In a recent post (as I write this), Dean Wesley Smith wrote “…all that matters is the writing, not the end product.” That seemingly innocuous statement is only one of the many truly major lessons I’ve learned from him and attempted to pass along. To establish credentials, Dean Wesley Smith is a USA Today best selling novelist with over 200 novels to his credit. He has also written several hundred short stories, almost all … Read more

Dangers of Not Trusting The Creative Voice (a guest post)

Hey Folks, Today we have a guest post from USA Today best selling writer Dean Wesley Smith. I’ve added a comment at the end. Enjoy. Dangers of Not Trusting The Creative Voice Things Stop When You Lose Faith In The Creative Voice… I watch this loss all the time and hear about it from hundreds of writers over every year. Not trusting your creative voice is deadly. This came up a couple days ago when I … Read more

The Basic Rules of Flight (a bonus post)

Hey Folks, This is a bonus “extra” post, not in the regular rotation. It’s a short bit I thought you might find amusing and, with any luck, useful. I first saw “The Basic Rules of Flight” in an article by US Navy Pilot Nicole Scherer in the August 2018 issue of Air & Space Smithsonian magazine. The Basic Rules of Flight 1. Try to stay in the middle of the air. 2. Do not go near … Read more

Let Barking Dogs Lie (a guest post)

Hey Folks, Today’s post is a short but excellent guest post I purloined from my friend, Dan Baldwin. It first appeared as a Tip of the Week over at Four Knights Press (http://www.fourknightspress.com/). Enjoy. Tip of the Week: Let Barking Dogs Lie “That damned reviewer hated my novel!” “The boss hated my e-mail!” “I got an F on my essay!” “They rejected my short story!” “They panned my poem!” Regardless of what you write, you will … Read more

The Original Heinlein’s Rules

Hey Folks, In recent years, say about the last 40 or 50, many would-be writers have gotten away from writing. They set out to write, but then allow themselves to be trapped in a vicious circle. Some don’t even actually write. Instead, they meet with writers and other would-be writers in groups and rehash all the same old advice that hasn’t worked for them thus far. They attend conferences and conventions. They strive to meet writers … Read more

An Old Concept Made Fresh and New, Sort Of

Hi Folks, An interesting article titled “Micro-Progress Your Novel” caught my attention back in late February. I had to share it because it’s so… well, not new. Despite the high-falutin’ title, the article is all about eating an elephant one bite at a time. That’s all. Instead of trying to “write a novel,” which the author of the post calls a “daunting prospect,” the idea is to set a series of smaller goals, like writing for … Read more

Yeah, About that Writer’s Block Thing…

Note: Recently, as I tried to have MailChimp add the specific post title to my email, instead it added only the code: RSSFEED:SUBJECT. Understandably, this looked suspicious to some readers. I understand. From this point forward, the posts will have a generic subject line. Thanks for your patience. H Hi Folks, Know what? Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Wait. Way too haughty. Let me try again: Writer’s block doesn’t exist unless you experience it. Okay, that’s a … 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