“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, February 19, 2016


Yesterday I cried out to a fellow writer: “Help, what do you do when you have completed the story at 25,000 words and you are aiming for 55,000?”

She answered: “I Hear ya. Like you said, “Keep on keeping on.”

Didn't someone say, ‘God is in the details?’" I asked.

And I quote my dear friend:
“Sure, God might be in the details, but some of the best mysteries are not.  One of my  all-time favorite writing classes was when we were asked to tell a story without any specifics.  We were to build a story as if we had already given all the history, details, and particulars and were now simply following the flow of events that the characters were experiencing.  It was challenging but a ton of fun!  It was so cool when we began sharing our stories and discovered that each reader (or listener) had constructed their own background by putting in the missing particulars themselves.  The fascinating thing was that not one person had the same story because each reader had been forced to come up with their own details.  They actually became a part of the creation.  Some of the most intriguing movies are constructed that way.  The audience has to put in their own particulars.  It's as if they are a part of the history of the story.  It's very creative.  If you aren't told too much, you get to make it up yourself!

#Ray Bradbury said, “A story goes until it’s over.”

 What say you?

I was reading a book on #Kindle the other night, that damn Kindle was touchy, didn’t want to turn the pages, kept going back, but that’s beside the point. I don’t mean to insult the Kindle,  it has its place—but stay in your place. Do not replace good old hold-in-the-hands paper books. Okay, I mourn the diminishing supply of bookstores. 

Alas,  back to the subject,  I wanted the basic story. It was a horse story, not #Seabiscuit, that was exquisite, but this one, ambled all over the place, history of the world and people and horses. (It worked in Seabiscuit, but not here, at least not in my agitated state of mind.)  I was scanning, for my purpose was to read about the horse. And don’t tell me about any cruel training procedures either. Okay, I thought, they are padding this book because the story about the horse isn’t long enough.

So I ask, what’s the sense of writing material the reader will scan rather than relish so that your word content meets publisher’s specifications?

My daughter phoned as soon as I had gotten to this point on the page, and the subject ensured. I commented that more people read non-fiction than fiction.

"Wait," she asked, “They buy it, but do they read it?”

Good question. We believe a particular book will give us something we want,  information, how-to do something, be something, think something, yet my daughter pointed out that what she likes to read is-- well for one her favorite author is Mercedes Lackey, a Science fiction writer who knows God is in the details. My daughter says what she wants is to be immersed in a different world. She doesn’t care so much what the action is, she doesn’t go from one car chase to another. She wants to hang out with the characters. What do they eat, think, feel? What is the atmosphere, and the shape of the land?

Yes,  I believe that fiction can add color, perspective, depth, and philosophy without being blatant or preachy. I can be an enrichment experience. 

Ah, the challenge.

Any comments?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Writers Choose Wisely

Three points to Consider:
1.      Positive or negative?

“I can do anything,” might be your battle cry in the light of day, oh, but those nights. In the dark of night, doubts come galloping in like wild horses. and along with them, the  “I can’t do it’s,” run amuck. It's a royal mess.
"Many who think and write about the inner creative experience believe that the 'shadow' part of the artist’s life is normal," writes #Meredith Resnick, "and it needs to be welcomed in order to deepen and enrich our characters, stories, and plots.”
Sure, okay, the other side of that equation, however, is that self-doubt diminishes our capacity to be open, creative, curious and productive.
Choose which.
2.    “Write what you know is a suggestion, not a commandment.”--Chuck Windig.

Yes, it’s easier to write what you know, but if you write what you don’t know you will say, “I have to learn about this thing in order to write about it.”

3. Semi-colons:
“The semi-colon is one of the most elegant of all punctuation marks. But it’s also one of the easiest to misuse. Authors can unintentionally use semi-colons to chop their prose to bits. Most of the time, this happens when one of the clauses the semicolon is dividing fails to be independent (in essence, becoming a fragment.”-- Chuck Windig

From #Life is Good, lessons in joyful living by #Trixie Koontz, dog, edited by Dean Koontz:

“While peeing, realize most humans are unhappy more than one and half minutes per day. Could help humanity by writing book, sharing dog philosophy of joyful living. Am scared about writing. Can type with pencil in mouth, but am scared of semicolons. Don’t understand purpose of semi-colons. Stupid, stupid, stupid semicolons. Must write entire book without semicolons.”