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Posts tagged ‘writing’

Feeding the Grinder

I’ve thought, more than once, about story ideation as feeding the sausage grinder. I’ve made sausage many times over the years. I can remember making caribou sausage in Alaska, and making sure we ground bacon into it, because otherwise there’s just not enough fat. And when you make your own sausage, you know what’s in it… although that is also a myth. The whole thing about being grossed out over sausage making? Because unless using every scrap from the animal and paying it due respect by not allowing it to go to waste bothers you… Upton Sinclair made up a bunch of what went into his ‘expose’ that was really fiction. Just like a lot of documentaries on Netflix, it’s all about the shock factor, not so much the actual data and science. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Francis and MacLean

Last week’s post about the modern gothic romance led to an interesting comment thread, as a discussion of Alistair MacLean sprang up in the comments. While I had not read Mary Higgins Clark before the book I reviewed last week, MacLean was an old familiar friend. I don’t recall when I first encountered him – but I was young, probably a preteen. The First Reader and I were talking about him, and for some reason Dick Francis – another childhood favorite of mine – came up. Their main characters had much of the same outlook on life, he commented. I agreed. Perhaps Francis was influenced by MacLean? he suggested. I turned back to the computer and looked it up. Read more

Writer Awareness

Last week, I wrote a post about some of the problems the publishing industry, specifically traditional publishing, currently faced. There was nothing new. The Twitter mob screaming howls of outrage, the traditional houses having to figure out how to deal with the fact their corporate offices are mainly populated by whites, etc. There is a related problem to all this that we, as writers, need to be aware of. It’s a problem that has several important facets. One we as writers can deal with by simply being aware of what we’re writing. The second isn’t quite as easily dealt with. Read more

Looking Forward

Then end, of the year at least, is near. We’re entering the final days before the Christmas holiday season is fully upon us. The last two weeks of December are often filled with holiday parties and closed offices. Trying to accomplish much of anything productive is often difficult as we’re distracted by family and friends, cooking and too much good food, and all the other end-of-year things we need to take care of.

Part of that is figuring out what the publishing end of the my world will be over the next six to 12 months. The good thing is I have no shortage of story ideas to fill the time. The bad thing is there is no shortage of story ideas to fill the time. Read more

There will always be naysayers

Yesterday was one of those days every writer hopes for. That day when someone mentioned your book on social media and the result was a nice bump in sales. (Thanks, Sarah!) But along with that nice bump came the naysayers, reminding me why I should never read the comments. It also brought home something we need to remember as readers–remember and try to correct. Those who have something to bitch about seem to be more willing to write about the perceived issue than those who have enjoyed the book and who may have verbally recommended it to someone. It is time we turn that equation upside down. Read more

No One Right Way

In the open floor last week, a thread developed on how to tell if that idea you have is a story or a kumquat. There was discussion about how to develop the idea, writing, etc. I want to thank everyone who commented and talked about their process. One thing became clear reading the thread, everyone writes differently and that’s the important thing to remember. Too often, writers (especially new writers) feel like they’re doing something wrong because their process isn’t the same as others they talk with or study. So here is probably the most important rule you can ever learn in writing: quit worrying about how someone else creates and do what works for you. Read more

Questions and Answers

Last week, I asked if there were any questions you had about “getting a book ready to head out the door.” You folks were awesome with the number of suggestions and questions you raised. I’m not going to try to answer all of them today. There were enough to make several posts. But I will deal with at least a few of them. Here goes. . . . Read more