Category Archives: On Writing

Forgotten Story

I found an 8,800-word story that I don’t remember writing. I can’t say for sure what it’s about, but a quick skim reveals that it is a crime story.

Think I’ll go ahead and submit it without reading it and see what happens. If it’s published, maybe someday people will come up to me and talk about this character or that and the things they did, and I’ll have to ask them, “Which story is that?”

Oh man, what a day

While, legally, it is the second day of the new year, being 2:37 AM and all. For me, it still counts as the first day, because I haven’t gone to bed yet. And I still have a couple more tasks to complete before I can call it a night.

I’ve been busy today. Did five pages on a short story and ten pages on the novel, as well as all the chores on the list.

I made a few adjustments to my daily checklist on December 31 and I decided that would be it. There would be no changes made to the checklist once the new year started, That’s the rule I made for myself. I will keep the checklist the same all through 2017, no matter how frustrating it might eventually become.

Another rule I made for myself is, I can’t go to bed until every task on the list has been checked off. I’m going to do my damnedest to stick to that.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll have everything done earlier.

Okay, now I can check  off “Blog”.

Happy New Year

Okay, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to party and I don’t plan on getting drunk. I have some resolutions for the next year.

1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

I think that’s everything. Happy New Year.

 

Landmines in Fiction

Yesterday I blogged about how shootings are often weirdly exaggerated in fiction. That brought to mind another thing I often notice, how landmines function in fiction.

How many movies have you seen where a group of soldiers are making their way cross-country and you hear a click? The soldiers stop and look around at each other, and then one of them says “It’s me.”

If the unlucky soldier is really generous, he’ll stand there until his buddies are a safe distance away, and then he’ll lift his foot. Boom, he’s dead.

It’s hard not to think that all the soldier had to do was jump to the ground, cover his head with his arms, and the blast wave might not have done much damage. They jump to the ground when grenades are thrown at them, why can’t they do it when they step on landmines?

Research shows that there were times in real wars when landmines did not function properly and you could stand on them without them going off. But a properly functioning landmine will not give a warning. You won’t hear a click. When you step on a landmine, it goes off. You’re not required to lift your foot for it to go off.

I think the people who create these scenes know this. They might even know that a 12 gauge and .44 Magnum won’t send a person flying backward in real life. Maybe they put those things in because it makes the scenes more thrilling for people who aren’t obsessed with the details like I am.

Personally, I wouldn’t do it that way. I’m overly obsessed with trying to get everything exactly right in my fiction And I’m still afraid that readers of my work will find so many booboos.

Shot in Fiction

I keep seeing scenes in stories and movies, where Character A shoots Character B with, say, a .44 Magnum or a 12 gauge shotgun. Character B goes flying through the air until he crashes into the wall behind him.

That just doesn’t happen. Not when shot with a .44 Magnum, not when shot with a 12 gauge. Not even a .50 BMG will send Character B flying backward. It’s entirely possible that he wouldn’t even fall down right away.

If Character A wanted to make Character B fly backward, he’d probably need to shoot him with a rocket launcher. But then, the rocket would just blow Character B to pieces.

If shot with a .44 Magnum, 12 gauge, .50 BMG or any other caliber, Character B will not fly backward. His feet won’t leave the ground. If the projectile hits Character B in the chest, he might fall backward or he might stumble around a bit, and then fall. But he’s not going to be lifted off the ground

Morning, Sam

Morning, Ralph.

I’ve been getting up at 6 AM. I try to have a new blog entry written before seven, but it often takes me longer. And then I work on the novel. If I manage to get ten pages into the novel, I’ll work on a short story and try to get five pages. That doesn’t always mean writing, sometimes it’s editing.

I finish my day by reading no less than  one chapter of whatever book I happen to be reading. Right now it’s Finding Fish, by Antwone Fisher.

I have a checklist on excel, that’s divided into two columns. One column is blog, novel, short story and reading. The other column is chores that I can get up and do if I’m stalled on the stuff in the first column. I don’t always get everything on the list checked off, but I try to.

…and I’m off

20161216_192714Yesterday I announced that I got that novel submitted to a publisher. I don’t know when I’ll hear back from them. Could be weeks, could be months.

Before starting Book Two of the series, I remembered the new illuminated keyboard I bought a couple weeks ago and decided to hook it up. I have another one of these that I was using until a year or two ago when some of the keys stopped functioning properly. But this new one feels like it’s better made and the letters are bigger. It also has seven different light colors, but I like the white light best.

This means I can write in the dark again. It also means I don’t have to strain to see the keys anymore, which I often had to do even when the lights were on. I was never one of those people who can write without looking at the keyboard.

So, yesterday, I got 312 words into Book Two. That’s not a bad start.

Novel Sent Out

Yesterday was a long day. I spent the entire day putting together a submission package for one of the big publishers. I didn’t think it’d take me till one in the morning to finally submit the thing.

Writing a cover letter and synopsis, and all that stuff, is like pulling teeth. It’s not fun at all. The fun part is writing actual fiction. The rest is just agony.

I got up from my desk only a few times yesterday.

Think I’m going to start Book Two today.

I guess my motto is “Let’s see what happens”. I’ll do the best I can with each project, send it out and see what happens.