Where Desire Meets Destiny

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pulp Fiction Writer

When I was a kid I grew up reading science ficton from the so-called "Golden Age", comic books ranging from Thor to those romancy comic books, fairy tales and big fat books on mythology.

See, there wasn't the plethora of fantasy novels that are avalable today. Weren't even that many science fiction novels for that matter. Neither of those genres was as"cool" back in the day as they are now.

So, I"m still amazed when I go to Borders or Barnes and Nobles and see all those shelves full of fantasy and sci-fi novels.
I bring this up because I was having a conversation with my brother the other day about facing facts.
One of the facts I've come to terms with about myself is that I write what could probably be called pulp fiction. Meaning it's straight up genre fiction.

I don't even pretend that what I write is "literary" I like to read and I want to write about larger-than-life characters who are thrown into over-the top-situations.

Now, I have to admit that I do have a M.A. in English and I did spend a couple of years learning literary theory, a lot of which, thank God, I've forgotten. But being a graduate student did affect me as a writer because, at least back then, genre fiction was pretty much looked down upon.

For example, while in grad school I took a creative writing class taught by a very well-known writer of literary fiction.

Nope, I'm not going to mention her name.

Anyway I wrote and turned in a story about a woman who learns she's a werewolf. The story was passed out to the class and the instructor's comment was that this was the kind of story you would find in drugstores or at bookshops in airports.

Trust me, she did not mean it as a compliment.

But, you know what? I'd LOVE to have a book of mine in a drugstore or at an airport bookstore.

So, yeah, I write genre ficiton or pulp fiction or whatever you want to call it. Erotica, fantasy, science fiction, mystery.

And I"m damn proud of it!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sweating with Sven

Still sweating along with Sven. So far, since the 70 Days of Sweat started nine days ago I've written 16,842 words, with an average of 1,684 words a day for those last nine days.
Yesterday I finished the draft of my 30,000 word novella. Now comes the hard, but fun, work.

Personally, I love to revise. Drafting is what I can't stand. That's why I try to write my draft as fast as I can so that I can get to what, at least for me, is the real writing. Revising, rewriting, editing.
My daily word count will go down as a result, because, as I'm sure you know revision involves cutting. But, I tend to write what I call bare-bones drafts, which means I leave out a lot of the description, internal monologue, dialogue tags and such that give texture to a scene.
I layer that stuff in after my draft is done. So it's a process of both adding what needs to be added and cutting what's not needed.
Fun stuff. :)
No, really. It's really fun. Hard work, but fun.
So, that's what I'll be doing from now until November 1st. Revising the novella and continue my prepping for NaNoWriMo.
Ciao for now!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thoth: The God of Writing

This is an image of Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing. He is credited with the invention of writing and the alphabet and was scribe to the Egyptian gods.

I'm invoking him today in order to report on my writing so far.

As of yesterday, for October I've written 38,734 words and I've written on average this month 1, 937 words a day. That's compared to my overall total for September which was 38,192 and an average of 1,539 words per day.

Yes, I'm obsessed with Excel! *grin*

Now, once I start revising many of those words will be thrown out onto the compost heap. But I've come to the realization that in order to get the words that will, with hope, stir the reader, I've got to write a lot of garbage. There's no getting around it. I've got to write and I've to write every day.

Others may not have to write every day, but I've learned it's pretty much a necessity for me now.

Someone said (can't remember who) that you've got to write a million words before you can even think you've really hit your stride as a writer. Don't know if that's true or not. But if it is I've got to write steadily for at least three years to have written a million words.

So, here I go. :)

I'm 50% done with the draft of my 30,000 word novella. Really need to pick up the pace on that in order to reach my goal of finishing the draft before NaNo starts. My prepping for my NaNo novel is proceeding apace. Again, need to get a move on that too since NaNo starts next week and don't want to be caught short.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo go to link below to see the lists of authors who will be inspiring us NaNoWrimers to write in November!

List of Authors - Pep Talks for NaNoWriMo

I'm reporting in at 70 Days of Sweat and am finding the daily posts by the sponsors to be very helpful and inspiring and reading the comments of those who are also trying to sweat along with Sven is also motivating.

The 1000 Words a Day list is still going strong and has also proved a great source of motivation for me. Thanks, guys!

Saw a new episode of Torchwood last night. (Well, new for me.) Love that show! And Captain Jack? Well, what can I say? He's hot! Was an interesting one about one of the characters having the ability to hear other people's thoughts and the implications of that.

Ciao for now.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Torchwood has become my new favorite show. It's a spin off of the current incarnation of Doctor Who and features as its lead a character who was introduced on Doctor Who, Captain Jack Harkness, who is a bisexual (or perhaps pansexual or omnisexual is a better term as Jack just doesn't confine himself to humans when it comes to sex) time traveller and con man from the 51st century. He's also immortal.

Jack Harkness is not his real name. He doesn't know his real name as it was wiped from his memory.

I could go on about the show but suffice to say if you like X-Files, Buffy, Doctor Who, of course, and things that go bump in the night, check it out. It's currently showing on BBC America and the DVD of the first season will be out in January.

Well, it's hump day and I'm still writing and sweating with Sven, still getting ready for NaNo and still working that nine-to-five grind.

And still having to run around like an insane person to keep up with everything.

So, as usual, gotta run!


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Monday, October 15, 2007

Sweating Again....

I've signed up for the Seventy Days of Sweat, which starts today. When I saw that suggestions were being offered for those of us doing NaNoWrimo, and since I'm already writing on average 1,499 words a day anyway as a result of the 1,000 Words/Day List, I thought, what the heck? Why not?

Sounds like it will be fun. I tried to sweat with Sven the first time around but was unable to. But this time I'm ready!

Oh, as for Elizabeth: The Golden Age?

The critics were right this time. At least for me, it was a disappointment. All it did was make me want to watch the HBO DVD starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I. Highly recommend that instead of going to see this version.

Now, off to start sweating. I mean writing.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Writing and Elizabeth

I'm going to go see Elizabeth: The Golden Age this afternoon.

I guess the reviews have not been that great.

That's okay, I still want to see it. I've seen the first Elizabeth movie that Cate Blanchett starred in at least a dozen times so I defnitely don't want to pass this one up on the big screen.

And Clive Owen is in it.

A local reviewer said that Clive looks like he stepped off the cover of a romance novel.

And that's supposed to be a bad thing? :)

Still writing and moving along fairly well. Not too for behind on my draft for 30,000 word novella and am making progress on my prep for my NaNo novel. The NaNo website seems to be working a lot better too. They were running super-slow for awhile due to all the folks signing on.

Ciao for now!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update on Writing.

For the past month and a half I've been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to write before I leave for work.

I've done that every work day so far and, the more I do it-----no, it does not get any easier! LOL!

But I'm doing it.

As a result, this month, so far, I've written, 20,458 words, with an average of 1,860 words a day.

I finished the first draft of my short-short and I've completed, so far, 20% of the first draft of my 30,000 word novella.

And getting ready for NaNo, of course.

This is also as a result of the 1,000 Words a Day list. It's really helped me to stick to my writing goals knowing I have to report in every day to the list.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age starring Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth the I and Clive Owen as Sir Richard Raleigh is opening tomorrow. And I am so there! Going to go see it this Sunday afternoon.

Ciao for now!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Movies and Writing

I love movies. Have loved them since I was a kid. Along with books, of course. And, when I write, although the books I've read have been a big influence, movies have proven just as big an influence.

I think writers can learn a lot from movies. In a movie, unless you have voice-over, everything about a character has to be revealed through action and dialogue.

And the way movies are paced, the fast cut, which, actually, is a technique that wasn't used much before the 60s. In movies prior to the 60s you might show a character saying he's going to the office.

You'd see him walk out the door, get into his car, drive through the streets, arrive at the office, get on the elevator, greet the receptionist and go to his office. Now, it's a fast cut from his home to him sitting in his office. Unless, of course, something happened to him on the way to work.

The fast cut can be a valuable technique for fiction writers. I've read some stories where I was pratically yawning because the writer felt he/she had to detail every single thing the character did.

No, you don't have to do that. Unless, of course, it has some significance. I mean, you can do it. You can do anything you want. But you risk boring the reader. Elmore Leonard has a famous quote. He says that when he edits he cuts out all the stuff the reader will skip.

Film editors do the same thing. They cut out the stuff that might cause the audience to start shifting in their seats or rattling their buckets of popcorn out of boredom.

As for my writing I'm doing good. The 1000 Words a Day group is also doing great. Everyone is writing and making progress on their projects. I'm done with the draft of a short-short, am ready to start drafting my 30,000 word novella and have finished the character sketch for my heroine/sleuth for my NaNo novel.

Until my next post.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Different Drummer

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that we’re all different people. We live lives that are separate and unique onto ourselves. We share things with other people, of course, but we’re still who we are

Unique and special.

I’ve always been terribly suspicious when someone, no matter who they are, or what their motives are, tries to tell other people how they should live, what they should do, and how they should do it.

Especially when it comes to something as creative as writing. Yes, there are what you could call “rules” or, what I like to think of more as guidelines, when it comes to writing, especially fiction. There are things we should know about craft as it relates to story structure, character creation, dialogue, writing scenes, etc.

But when it comes to what we write, how we write, when we write, how often we write, how long it takes us to write, whatever, that is going to be unique to that individual.

We should all listen to the beat of our own hearts, to that drumbeat of the different drummer. Follow what is true for us and not for someone else. There’s nothing wrong with seeking and taking advice, but always be sure it’s the right advice for you.

If you want to write a book in a month or a week or a day, go ahead. If that’s what you want to do. If you want to take a year, two years, five years to write your book, that’s fine too.

Do what’s right for you.

I read somewhere that the hardest battle anyone will ever have to fight in their lifetime is the battle to be themselves.

I truly believe that one of the keys to becoming a successful writer is being yourself. Not letting anyone, no matter how well-meaning they may be, try and change you into something you’re not.

Not only will it be a tragedy for you, if that should happen, but a tragedy for us, your potential readers.


Thursday, October 04, 2007


I'm going to be participating in NaNoWriMo, this year. That's National Novel Writing Month for those not familiar with it. It starts on November 1 and lasts until November 30th. In that time period you have to write 50,00o words or, 1,666, words a day and complete a novel. Or in my case the first draft of a novel.

I started participating in NaNo back in 2003. I didn't finish that year, but I did finish in 2004 and 2005. I didn't participate in 2006.

This year my plan is to get a draft of a 75,000 word novel done by doing the 50,000 word in a month challenge.

It's a lot of hard work but it's also fun. And if you do sign up, there's a forum where you can post and read messages from people all over the world who are participaiting.

Plus there are local chapters where you can meet and greet face to face. Some people have gone on to publish their NaNo novels. But for most people it's a chance to write like mad for 30 days in November.

As for my writing this month, it's going well. I do credit the 1,000 Words/Day list. It's really helped me to stay on focus. I can't say enough about it.

Speaking of, time for me to get back to my writing before I head to the salt mines.

Have a great Thursday!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

October 1st and 1,000 Words a Day

It's October 1st and, at least here, pumpkins are everywhere. Although with the rather warm weather we've been having it doesn't quite feel like fall

As for this blog, with hope, things won't be so hectic this month and I can at least post once a week.

September was a BUSY month. I drafted, finished and submitted all three of the projects I was working on. Two 13,000 word stories and one 4,000 word story.

And, I have to say, it was thanks to the 1,000 Words a Day List that Joely and I created.

As a result of that list I wrote 38,192 words in September which is 10% of the list's goal of helping its members write 365,000 words in a year.

I averaged 1,273 words a day and, as I said, I not only finished my projects by writing every day, but I got up early and wrote before heading to work and I also wrote when I got home.

And, so far, the members of the list have reported that it has helped them also with their writing.

So we're entering October with a renewed sense of purpose. I have two projects I want to finish by the end of the month and, this year, I'm going to do NaNoWriMo and see if it can help me get a jump start on writing and finishing a novel.

Happy Monday and Happy October 1st

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