Improving your stories…

Writing teachers always say, “show don’t tell.” So, why not do that here in the blog? Initially, I was going to talk about improving our story skills. And then, an older story I need to revise popped up. So, rather than just preaching about developing our skills, I decided to show an example of changesContinue reading “Improving your stories…”

Into the breach… Or, hoisted by my own petard!

I just had to talk to a new couple I ran into. The husband had traveled in some of the same areas I have, and we shared a few interests. The wife also shared a significant interest of mine. She’s also a writer. And that’s where the trouble started. She asked a question, “are thereContinue reading “Into the breach… Or, hoisted by my own petard!”

Creating and distilling

This week I’m working on multiple projects including a novel, a nonfiction book, at least two how two projects, and helping one of my team edit a story he’s writing for school. Amid all this, I find myself thinking about two of the most important steps in any writing project. This week, in the novel,Continue reading “Creating and distilling”

Finding the end and going back to the beginning.

Well, the first 1 ½ pass is finished for last November’s NaNoWriMo project. And, as always, I’ve learned a lot! Starting with the1 ½ pass method has had a distinct benefit. By reading and noting on the whole thing before I started making edits I could make better decisions than I have on the first passContinue reading “Finding the end and going back to the beginning.”

A modelers tool for writing projects

As a kid I made plastic models. At first, before I knew better, I threw away the leftover bits and pieces. That was before I learned to keep a parts box… One of the best lessons of my years making plastic tanks, jets, and other models was that serious modelers keep a parts box, aContinue reading “A modelers tool for writing projects”

Blowing out and reading up…

When I’m not writing I’m occasionally known to do metal work. Among my favorite moments is the moment where I safely (yes, I hear some of my old teachers yelling) plunge a hot lost wax mold into water. It’s one of the most exciting, rewarding and sometimes gut-wrenching moments. It’s the moment you get toContinue reading “Blowing out and reading up…”

POV and understanding

This week I finished the “1/2” portion of my 1 ½ pass editing pass for the Johnson Farm reedit and The Calm Inside the Storm. One of the biggest results is some serious thought about point of view. Some scenes only get one point of view. Sometimes there’s only one character around to have aContinue reading “POV and understanding”

The 1 ½ pass pass rides again!

Well dear reader, this week I started on a dangerous task. I’m applying new techniques to old work. Recently I submitted my novel Unintended Consequences to a larger publisher. Part of my pitch was that Johnson Farm, my first novel, would be pulled, re-tuned, and updated. The idea is the entire double series will comeContinue reading “The 1 ½ pass pass rides again!”

First drafts, and the mountains to follow…

Well dear reader, Unintended Consequences has been submitted. It’s in the hands of editors other than me… In the beginning, writing a whole book, a whole 50-60 thousand word or more novel or even a shorter “how to” book, feels daunting. But, once you get the first draft done you realize (at least if you’reContinue reading “First drafts, and the mountains to follow…”

Use your tools…

There comes a time when the big things are done: you’ve figured out your audience; you’ve finally got your voice down; your themes, concepts, and symbols are there; your plot is running; and your characters are who they need to be. But, sadly, the big things being done doesn’t mean everything is done. This isContinue reading “Use your tools…”