Take Your Time: Part 3

Hey Folks, “Take your time” has almost become a mantra for me. I’ve pretty well mastered Heinlein’s Rules, especially the all-important Rules 1, 2 and 3. I’ve also pretty well mastered writing off into the dark, which means keeping my conscious, critical mind (the hell) out of my writing. Yet even as I’m writing, I have to remind myself occasionally to slow down, calm my mind and my characters, and record parts of the story that … Read more

Take Your Time (Revisited)

Hey Folks, As I was discussing with one of my mentoring writers a day or two ago, sometimes it’s necessary to take your time while writing. Yes, I write around 900 to 1200 words per hour. But if you do the math, that’s only 15 to 20 words per minute. And a minute is a long time. For comparison, how many WPM did you type in high school? (Mine was around 80 WPM.) So I’m just … Read more

What Writing Into the Dark Really Is

Hi Folks, Especially if you think you already know what WITD is, please don’t skip this topic. If you do know, you will have lost only a few minutes. If you don’t, this might open up a whole new world to you. Karen, an excellent storyteller, wrote a comment on my Daily Journal back in  April. I responded, albeit briefly, because if someone takes the time to comment and the comment seems to beg a response, … Read more

Writing Action Scenes

Hey Folks, I’ve wanted to write a post on this for awhile now, and it’s finally time. This post results directly from a high-action scene, a fight scene, I wrote back in April in my crime/action-adventure/thriller novel Blackwell Ops 5: Georgette Tilden. It was probably the best high-action scene I’d ever written, at least up to that point. This isn’t so much a “how-to” as a “how-I-do-it” post. All of this will go to my individual … Read more

What Is a Scene?

Hi Folks, What is a scene? I think it was Bradbury who said a new scene occurs each time there’s a new camera angle. I’m fortunate in that I “see” every new setting and scene in that way (camera angle, in my head). For that reason, for me, every new setting holds a scene. But how we see a scene isn’t important. What matters is that we can see (hear, smell, taste, feel) a scene through … Read more

Scene and Chapter Breaks and Hooks

Hey Folks, I love this topic, and it’s timely because it’s what I’ve been practicing in my last few WsIP. (grin) As I write this, I have a copyediting job that I put on the back burner because I was so close to finishing the novel. I’ll begin that copyedit today. To see what I mean by “copyedit,” please visit http://harveystanbrough.com/copyediting/. The writer also requested I check to see whether the scene and chapter breaks “make … 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

The Journal, Wednesday, 4/5

Hey Folks, This morning I approved and responded to a comment on my latest ProWriters post over on the big blog. After I did that, I read over the post. It was a topic from the Journal a couple of years ago. And I noticed that I had quoted some stats: “Through yesterday, May 9, 2015 (as I write this) 128 days have passed since January 1. During that 128 days, I’ve written 284,100 publishable words … 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

Chapter 6—Writing Setting, and Notes on Writing the Scene: Part II

Just a quick announcement—I’m restarting my business as a copyeditor, ebook formatter and cover designer. I’ll take on only a few clients. If you’re interested in any of the above, even if not right at the moment, please let me know that via email. Details to come soon on my website under Writer Services. Now to continue with Chapter Six. If you missed the previous post or would like a refresher, you can find Chapter Six, … Read more