Falling in Love with a Story

I know when a book is working because I stop being the author and become a reader. This book, I like to read. After an hour of pointless ranting, Hardesty had convinced me he thought everyone in Northern Africa was potentially part of a Muslim plot. I’d have considered that racist, but the man thought…

Editing Minute: Using a Reverse Dictionary

Since I get so many hits on my “Grammar Minute” posts, I’ve decided to start an “Editing Minute” series. They’re really more like 5-Minute posts, but that’s not as catchy a name. This first one points to a nice interwebs tool called “OneLook Reverse Dictionary.” The concept is a simple one. One of the main…

Shut Up and Rub Me

An excerpt from my current work-in-progress, Jeanne Dark. The bathroom door opened and steam roiled out, bathing the room in warm, damp air. From its dark midst emerged Jeanne, lit by the flickering light from the living area as if she were a chimera, or perhaps a wounded angel, defrocked and sent limping to Earth….

Excerpt from Awakening: The Backwards Man

I’m almost through my revision/tightening of Awakening, the 2nd book of The Stream, which I’ve tentatively retitled Grandfather Time. Since I’ve reached it, I thought I’d share my favorite scene. Behind them, approaching from the lighted room, was a bizarre vision of a man being led by twin horrors. The man was tall and thin,…

Excerpt from Awakening

Here’s a quick excerpt from Awakening, in Chapter 22, “Henchen Henceforth Penchen.” The chapter’s title is the name of a pet rooster, named after my mom’s own pet rooster from her childhood. Fortunately, her childhood was different from my characters’. The family stopped at a dingy, little shop off the main highway to pick up…

Types of Editing

I’ve written about editing a number of times, including listing the different types of editing. Since the last time I laid this out was two years ago, I thought I’d republish a portion of a prior post that lists different kinds, should any of you be in the market for hiring an editor. Developmental Editing…

Writing in Layers

Probably the most significant thing I’ve learned about the process of writing fiction is to learn how to paint. No, I’m not talking about painting with oils or acrylics–I’m referring to painting with lyrical brushstrokes. Getting the story down is much like laying the foundation layers of a painting. It doesn’t matter if you do…

Re-Discovery

I am revising my 1st book, Discovery, in order to change how it is marketed, and hopefully, published. If you’re interested, you can follow my journal of the progress on my other blog, Just Me. I wasn’t going to post anything more about it here, but I just discovered something striking while editing. Writing is…

Edit, Write, Edit

So, I’ve been busier than usual. I wouldn’t have thought that possible, to be honest. First, my wonderful editor has completed work on my completed draft, The Brooklyn Trace, which some of you may remember began as “Skip Tracer” here on this blog. I’ve posted a sample below because … reasons. The morning of our…

Nine Times Rise

All of the poems I’ve been posting over the last month have come from my “working” file, also known as the “probably crap” file. I’ve just this week renamed them to “working,” due to the kind response on the blog. Today, my process was the same: I pulled out a poem, read it, didn’t like…

Dear Barclays (wink, wink) – Editing Notes

I was going to post a poem, but I got a concerned email from Barclays Bank (wink, wink, nudge nudge). Apparently, I’ve had another breach of my fictional account. (Is Barclay’s even in the United States?) For the record, I’ve had the same bank account for 30 years. This ain’t it. However, as a public…

If Thine Eye Offends Thee

Edit it. I started re-reading Emprise, in order to understand where I went awry. I quickly decided it would be impossible to tell, as my writing style has changed so dramatically in the last year to be unrecognizable as compared to my first three books. In a word, the opening to Emprise stinks. That left…