Writing Prompt: 10 September 2016

Here’s today’s Writing Prompt: Background: A 2016 study has found that Acetaminophen (also called Paracetamol outside of the U.S.) the main ingredient in Tylenol and about 600 other drugs, not only reduces pain, but also reduces empathy for the pain in others. Prompt: There is a global epidemic of a new, virulent flu strain, for…

Influences

I don’t have literary influences. That is, simply, because I have read more non-fiction than fiction. Although I love a good book, I’ve always been far more a movie buff than literary aficionado. I suppose that is why the most common comment I receive concerning my writing is that it is “visual” and the reader…

Overthinking and Underthinking in Plotting

I often see writers debate about which is preferable, “plotting” or “pantsing.” Plotting refers to diligently lay out your story’s plot before writing in earnest, using outlining or some similar method. True plotters may create outlines so detailed that they are actually incorporated into the work during the writing phase. Evan Marshall, author of The…

One More Weird Idea

I’ve had people ask me from whence come my stories. … Okay, my dad asked me that once. Still, he was quite insistent: “Where on Earth do you get the ideas you need to write an entire book?” That’s actually a good question. I previously wrote about the Event Wheel, which is a device that…

The Next Book, Day 1

They whisper to me, you know. Like auditory hallucinations, I can hear their breathing, inside my ear, their breathy words, their admonitions. Although they speak mostly gibberish, as if I were dreaming, it is their emotional content I recognize. She wants out, does Jeanne Dark. I begin to see the colors of her graphemes, and…

Seeing the Future via Event Wheels

I was watching a poorly done movie about a viral outbreak today – I don’t even remember the title, though it ended twenty minutes ago – and as my mind wandered, I started thinking about strategic planning. Wait, that’s not as weird as you think. When I finished graduate school, I went to work for…

Finding My Reading Style

What if you read one of the “best ever” books in your favorite genre, and you don’t like it? Does it make you a bad person? Perhaps there is that small, dim voice whispering that you are a crass peon who has no aesthetic sense. That could be true, of course, but it likely is…

Getting Dark

My next book, which I will start plotting this month, stars a female Security Analyst – a female Sherlock Holmes type – who is gifted with Synesthesia. Her partner is a burly, ex-Army Ranger with what he calls a “Crazy Magnet.” Together, they stumble across a plot that threatens to unravel the uneasy thread of…

Outlining Short (or longer) Works

  Getting  organized can really blow. Typically, I don’t outline short stories. That isn’t because I don’t think I need them. Frankly, I think any story can benefit from a bit of outlining. Rather, I use short stories as stretching exercises; since I am by nature organized, I use shorter pieces to expand my extemporaneous…