Saturday, April 30, 2022
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
Maybe the hardest thing in writing is simply to tell the truth about things as we see them.
If you’re a writer, you sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. That’s the way to get an idea.
Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.
—Alain de Botton
It is a miracle. I don’t know where the good songs come from or else I’d go there more often.
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
I thought it would be impossible for you to write one novel. To prove me wrong, you wrote ten. And just to piss me off, they're actually good!
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.
It's true that writing is a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary #characters can offer once you get to know them.
One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.
The process of writing is a process of inner expansion and reduction. It’s like an accordion: You open it and then you bring it back, hoping that additional sound—a new clarity—may come out. It’s all for clarity.
Novel writing, I soon discovered, is like channel swimming: a slow and steady stroke over a long distance in a cold, dark sea.
Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector—the writer's radar...all great writers have had it.
Writers have a rare power not given to anyone else: we can bore people long after we are dead.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
John van de Ruit’s Top 10 Writing Tips
- Get rid of your romantic notions of what writing is. It’s like climbing a mountain; not sprinting.
- Open your creative space. Work on unlocking what it is you have inside yourself. Work out what sort of story you’re trying to tell and the best way to tell it.
- Be patient with yourself. You will not create a masterpiece without any hard work.
- Let your characters possess you. Let them live inside you. You can liken this to method acting. How do they speak, move? What words would they use?
- Keep your head down. Finish your first draft. Don’t go back and try to fix everything until you’ve done this.
- Rewriting and editing are just as important as writing. The first draft is the rough outline of a sculpture. The next five or six or seven are the refining of that sculpture.
- Wrestle with yourself. Challenge yourself constantly.
- Writing is about making choices. You have a choice on every page. Every sentence counts. If in doubt, go with your gut.
- Find your groove/rhythm/pattern and write according to that. Make sure you write a minimum number of words every day. 1000 words should be the least you do every day.
- Use an outline. I make extensive notes and outlines before I begin writing. I also use a diary as an outline because the books are written in diary format.
See the entire article on Writers Write.
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Saturday, April 9, 2022
Monday, April 4, 2022
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Friday, April 1, 2022
I’ve been told I don’t look or act my age. But here’s the thing. I’ve never been this old before, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to look or act. I am a husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, and nephew. My role models are my parents, who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. I’m almost halfway there. I’ll be celebrating my 29th very soon. My father never finished high school, and my mother barely did, having had to go to summer school after “graduation.” I was the first in my family to get a college degree. College gave me a lifelong interest in books and spurred my desire to write. A career in law enforcement sidetracked me for close to three decades, but now writing (speculative fiction mostly) is how I spend most of my time.
Tell me about your current Book:
My most recent book, THE LINK: FAREWELL TO HUMANITY, is the second in a science fiction series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but, chronologically, starts about a year after the end of book one. It’s about being human, I guess, in a universe where people can live in electromagnetic waves/light. But sometimes emotion gets in the way of good decisions. And sometimes, emotion is all that’s left. In the story, Reggie must choose between his commitment to humanity writ large and his commitment to the one person who'd follow him anywhere. Does he turn his back on old friends and continue to pursue a solitary life of domestic tranquility in a quiet corner of the universe, or does he re-join the quest to save the Folk he’s spent his whole life trying to help? When he gets ripped from the green planet paradise he shares with Zoe, he’ll have to trust cool logic and the equanimity of the link to guide him. But back on Greenworld, Zoe reacts differently to his disappearance. The consequences of their decisions will leave them both reeling, and all of humanity in more danger than ever! Oh, and there’s people living on Venus. Can’t leave that out.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m writing THE LINK: RETURN TO HUMANITY, book three in The Link series. It’s shaping up to be an epic, picking up close after the end of ‘FAREWELL TO HUMANITY.’
What is something that people don't generally know about you?
I once met the mayor of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It’s pronounced Wah-Guh-Doo-Goo. Friendly fellow.
What is a favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?
Well, I still consider myself fairly new to writing, and I’m learning lessons every week. I make lots of mistakes on the business side. An important thing I’ve learned is that it is a business. Make no mistake about it. A book is a commodity/product like any other, to be produced, marketed, sold, and distributed. I am shocked at the lengths to which advertisers will go to identify and track potential buyers! But perhaps an even more important lesson is that you can’t do it all alone. Fortunately, there are many pro writers out there (like Marty Wilsey) who are willing to go above and beyond to help. In the indie publishing world, most authors don’t view other writers as competitors but as colleagues. This is nice.
What is the best piece of writing advice you give to new authors?
With just a couple of novels under my belt, I don’t give too much advice. But I will say that the story is the thing. No amount of business savvy or marketing will make up for a weak story. It helps to know who will be reading your book (if you can figure that out).