On Being a Hybrid Writer, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this post, you can see it HERE or HERE. Hey Folks, To continue briefly with the discussion I started re traditional publishers, I have two motivating factors: One is the possibility that lightning will strike in the form of a large paycheck. Yeah, that would be nice. Two, at the moment I’m not wanting to expend the effort to publish my own paperback version of my books. Nor do I … Read more

Turning a “Story Prompt” into a Story Idea

Hi Folks, From Reedsy’s Writing Prompts newsletter (as I write this back in early March), “You’re a professional cleaner and the beginning of spring is always your busiest time.” This is for their current short story contest, but it could also easily be a premise for a novel. Here’s what sprang to mind for me: First, define “cleaner.” It might be a person who cleans houses and businesses for a living (as intended). It might also … Read more

The Implications

Hey Folks This time I thought I’d go back to a crime/mystery/suspense novel. In The Implications, a body washes up on the beach in a normally quiet rural town. Naturally, the marshal suddenly finds he has his hands full. But when the body proves to have ties to known mobsters, the marshal’s job gets a lot tougher very quickly. And the coroner’s brand new assistant being a dead ringer for the marshal’s deceased wife only adds … Read more

Confessions of a Professional Psychopath

Hey Folks, Today I wanted to share the only novel that’s still listed under one of my pen names. Enjoy! Charles Claymore Task has been labeled a psychopath by hypocrites who see themselves as “normal.” And a group of wealthy investors want to know what makes him tick.  They ask him to to detail for a film crew what makes people like him tick. At least that’s the initial plan. On film, Charlie describes the abandonment, disillusionment, … Read more

Jobs Like That: A Novella

Hey Folks, I’ll get to the novella Jobs Like That in a moment. But first, like all fiction writers everywhere, I Need Reviews. So I’m creating a Smashwords coupon for each of my major works of fiction. One for each novel, novella and short story collection. In addition to being a major distributor, Smashwords is also an online bookstore. But unlike the other online bookstores, once you purchase a book at Smashwords you can download it … Read more

Character, Setting, and Grounding the Reader

Hi Folks, As I write this, I’ve just completed another classic (half-price, self-paced) workshop from Dean Wesley Smith. I already know a lot of what I’m hearing in the workshop, but reminders are good too. And I knew hardly any of it a year or two ago. Yet I thought my writing was good. (grin) All of this reminded me again of a writer who emailed me awhile back and asked me to critique a short … Read more

Take Your Time

Hey Folks, This is a bit of advice I’ve never heard specifically from any writing instructor. The nearest even good writing instructors come is when they say your readers can’t see what’s in your mind. They can see only what you put on the page. To expand and clarify that a bit, readers can sense only what you put on the page. They can see, hear, smell, taste and feel only what you put on the … Read more

On Pacing and Paragraphing

Hey Folks, A few days ago as I write this, I was reading one of my magic realism stories to my grandson. “The Storyteller” by Gervasio Arrancado. I wrote the thing several years ago, and I knew nothing about pacing. Or paragraphing, for that matter. As I read it aloud to him, I got bored. Massively bored. I know it’s a good story, yet I found myself wondering what reader could possibly enjoy wading through this … Read more

HarveyStanbrough.com — A New Look

Hey folks, Some of you might have noticed the website has a new look. If you haven’t, check it out at http://harveystanbrough.com. I’m slowly transitioning the website. Well, expanding might be a better term. The site will continue to be a valuable source for writers. I’ll continue the weekly posts each Tuesday on topics of interest to writers, and the Writers’ Resources listed in the left sidebar will remain. I’ll also continue to offer writer services … Read more

Story Starters, Openings and How to Write Fiction

This is a topic of the day from my Daily Journal yesterday. I’m considering moving the Daily Journal over here and posting it to my Pro Writers list every day. If you’re reading this, you’re on that list. Anyway, here’s a topic of the day for you. Story Starters, Openings and How to Write Fiction One person asked me in an email yesterday where I get ideas and how I can move from story to story. … Read more