Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
My sister lives in Costa Rica and she is currently visiting me. I get to hang with both my sisters today. I am writing this post before anyone else is awake in the house. Sipping coffee. Relaxing.
--Life is good.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Friday, April 9, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Monday, March 29, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
1.You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
2.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
3.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
4.Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
5.Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
6.What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
7.Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
8.Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
9.When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
10.Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
11.Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
12.Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
13.Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
14.Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
15.If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
16.What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
17.No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
18.You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
19.Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
20.Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
21.You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
22.What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Monday, March 15, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
I am going to get three yards of mulch as soon as I am done with this post, for my wife, Brenda, who is a woman and awesome. She loves mulching and her garden is beautiful. It will take 12 yards to cover it all and she won't have me spread so much as a handful. Doesn't even ask. She enjoys her garden that much.
The novel I am currently working on is called The Law of Lumina. My main character is Sec Chief Emma Boone. She is the small-town chief of the police on a space station that turns out to be more than it seems. As I write I base all my characters on real people so I can visualize them better. The protagonist of the book is based on the actress Dina Meyer. We have the same birthday! I have even met her in person. She is super nice.
--So to my wife Brenda, Dina Meyer and all the women I know: Enjoy today and every day.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
- Set a timer: “When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half-hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going.”
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: “Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts.”
- Mull it over: “Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off? What will it set up for later scenes? How will this scene further your plot?”
- Be surprised: “Surprise yourself. If you can bring the story – or let it bring you – to a place that amazes you, then you can surprise your reader.”
- Go back: “When you get stuck, go back and read your earlier scenes, looking for dropped characters or details that you can resurrect as ‘buried guns’.”
- Spend time with people: “Use writing as your excuse to throw a party each week – even if you call that party a “workshop.” Any time you can spend time among other people who value and support writing, that will balance those hours you spend alone, writing.”
- Not knowing is okay: “The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be. Don’t rush or force the ending of a story or book.”
- You’re in charge: “If you need more freedom around the story, draft to draft, change the character names…Or worse, delete a character, if that’s what the story really needs.”
- Use different types of speech: “The three types are: Descriptive, Instructive, and Expressive. Descriptive: “The sun rose high…” Instructive: “Walk, don’t run…” Expressive: “Ouch!” Most fiction writers will only use one – at most, two – of these forms. So use all three. Mix them up. It’s how people talk.”
- Like what you write: “Write the book you want to read.”
- Get photographed when you’re young: “Get author book jacket photos taken now, while you’re young.”
- Write about upsetting things: “Write about the issues that really upset you. Those are the only things worth writing about.”
- Don’t give up.
Monday, February 22, 2021
It’s Monday again in Marty’s World.
The Coffee is very good today. The magical mystery kind of coffee that is excellent for no reason I can think of. Maybe it's because I slept so well. Maybe I am what's different and it tastes better because I am tasting it better.
I love sneaking out of bed before dawn and feeding the cats so they won't bother Brenda with anything but love and warmth as she sleeps in.
My coffee is consumed in my den as I listen to music I love. I also look at beautiful photography and art as I soak in the java. Images that inspire me.
As the sun comes up, the birds outside my window feast in my feeders. In the winter the sun comes directly into my den. The snow makes it brighter still. It's a kind of Stonehenge light. Ancient in some way.
On Mondays, after I have fed my soul a bit with music and art, I open my calendar and plan my week. Some weeks this is a bad idea. But on those weeks I will then open the traffic report and my good humor returns because traffic is no longer a concern and it triggers a Pavlovian counting of my many blessings. The writing begins.
I usually start by blogging for an hour. Scheduling posts. Select the image that inspired my writing last week. I paste in the writer's quotes I have collected in my wanderings over the last week and a short Scifi film I liked. Maybe make a new comic. This week I will finish a new short story titled, THE TWO DAVES, and a back cover blurb for my next published novel.
Then I will go make something out of wood.
--I'm still counting my blessings. She's awake now...