New Year, New Thoughts

Starting 2021 with some basic reviews including:

This one’s new to me. Seems especially good for young creative entrepreneur. He writes (talks in my audio version) about “radical self refection” and the beliefs that commonly inhibit (and help) our productivity and success.

And a classic, on many coaches January re-read list, Steven Pressfield is particularly helpful to me as an author.

Happy “New Year” to us all!

Day Six: Stuck in the middle

I feel like I’ve been planning and writing and rewriting act 2 for years. I’d think it would move quickly. After all, my characters are careening from incident to incident, discovering secrets, anecdotes and desires that propel them to act.

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But every time I think my hero is ready to move on to act 3 and the climax of her story, another act 2 reading requires more explanation. What’s stopping her and me? Just a thought today.

Day Three: Fictional Characters

Today I’m working on planning a series of adventure novels set in the 1970s and 80s.

A series depends on a couple of recurring characters that appeal to readers over a longer-term. so, even though it’s a book about structure, her character development advice helps me plan.

Jessica Brody (the author) says I need characters with: “… a strong, compelling want and an even more compelling need that readers will resonate with. … figure out what to do with this beautifully flawed character of yours.

Where are they going?

What is their big journey?

What is their most perfect plot?”

What Goes Here?

The riveting story of my journey to writing stories?

I’m told there are lots of things an author can say about their work. As soon as I figure out what, I’ll add it here!

Writing a Novel is…

Harder than it looks!

After 10+ years of writing copy and content for products and courses created by clients, I finally decided I had an inspiring idea for a book I’d put my own (pen) name on. I’ve been a fiction reader forever and have certainly come across a few books I knew I could improve upon. Though many more amaze me with their creativity, the characters, the plot twists, the ingenious ways they to transport their readers into worlds past, future, and those hidden among us now.

But, ideas are worthless. The value comes from the creative effort, the production of something. And so, I started on a journey to find out how that’s done. As a lifelong student, my first act is to find a class, a teacher, and some fellow students. Turns out there are plenty of people, even some successful authors, willing to offer instruction on all aspects of writing. And most have written a book or two on the subject.

So far, one of my favorites is:

Almost as soon as I got started, I found myself bogged down in spreadsheets with outlines and word count targets. Zig this way, zag that way, pulled in a myriad of directions, many of which were dead-ends (at least for me). There’s software that makes writing long-form fiction more manageable but it requires learning a new tech system (off to read the instruction manuals I go).

And then, as I’m kind-of making some progress, pleased with how a few of my pages read, the publishing business must be dealt with (assuming I want to actually let strangers read my work). This isn’t anything new, it’s the reason I first decided to write for hire, ghostwriting for others who then printed and mailed my words to their prospects and clients. Long before Amazon broke the book publishing business wide open for authors, the gatekeepers strictly guarded the product that appeared on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. A new author had to find an agent to help them find an editor at a publisher who wanted their kind of book. Now we get to be publishers too!

But first, writing a good, salable book. That’s task #1.