No god ever killed any human over something the human drew. That’s the realm of humanity.


The Secret Formula

There’s no more a secret formula for writing a great novel than there is a formula for life. Both are too big and messy for that kind of thinking.

That Smarts

I just excised a character from my WIP. It feels like I slammed a door in her face. She was a good character, she simply didn’t fit in the narrative.

It’s okay though. I promised her she could have her own story some time. đŸ˜‰


My wife and I shut off our cable/satellite TV about 5 or 6 years ago. Since then we’ve relied on streaming, DVDs, and console games for our idiot box entertainment. Recently, however, our cable company threatened to raise our internet costs, because we had reached the end of an introductory period. Since the cost of keeping our fast internet (we’re addicted to it) was nearly the same price as adding cable and phone service, we pulled the trigger–ordered the whole package.

That’s how they get you, by the by, but that’s a rant oft repeated by the masses, so I won’t bother repeating it here.

My youngest son, who is seven, doesn’t get how cable works. This afternoon he asked his brother to turn on Spongebob. Big brother dutifully flipped over to Nick, but Spongebob wasn’t on. Little bro didn’t understand that. In his world, when you want to watch a show, you press a few magic buttons and that show plays commercial free and for as long as you like.

I find this fascinating.

Double Your Pain

I am in the throes of massive rewrites on a novel I had–once upon a time–considered near completion. Fortunately, I had the good sense to consult a professional (and paid $$ for the service). Not only did I get my money’s worth in the form of great suggestions, but I also learned some valuable lessons about composition and plotting. Maybe I’m a slow learner, or perhaps I’m just not as insightful as I’d like to be. Either way, despite my many years reading books on writing and clicking away on keyboards, it took my mentor’s gentle remonstrations to correct some banalities in this book–ones I simply couldn’t see until they were pointed out to me.

For example, I seem to like twins. In at least two instances I twinned characters in this novel.

The first iteration was the most blatant. I had inserted actual twins, a brother and sister who, though they served little role in the book, nonetheless managed to split that role for no better reason than…hey, twins!

My second set of twins were less obvious. In fact, my mentor didn’t mention them, but then this person read only the first 100 pages of my novel. I essentially have two antagonists filling much the same role. Now, in my defense, I was attempting to throw in a red herring for the reader, so that you think one guy is the ultimate evil in the book only to find out it’s the other dude. But it ain’t necessary!

Going forward, I’m splitting all my twins so that the remaining character does twice the work and gets twice the page time. It feels better already.

What a Thrill

I finished writing my first thriller novel this morning. As with all my first drafts, it’s an ugly beast. I know of at least one character I abandoned somewhere around the 3/4 mark because I realized he was essentially a twin to my main character’s sidekick/secondary antagonist. And the book has other problems, namely that I started it as a young adult novel and ended up with something more like new adult or just straight adult.

Regardless (in SC we say irregardless), I’m pleased with it, and still excited about the concept. I’ll return to it sometime in the spring after I’ve completed the 7th draft of a little novel called The Doolands and possibly another draft on a book called Drawn.

Yay, productivity!