I have often said that I am a social media neophyte. I am. And, for the most part, I don’t care. However, there is one social media platform that I’d like to know more about: Goodreads. Yes, I am the only person in the entire world, perhaps the entire Universe, that does not have an account. yes, I know that’s strange. I know so very little about it…
Here is my understanding. I put down the books I want to read. I say which book I am currently reading. I check them off as I read them and rate the books. Then Goodreads recommends new books to me based on my likes. It also lets me know what people I know are reading, have read or want to read.
Is that pretty close? Did I miss anything? Say anything wrong? Continue reading
Back in the late summer of 2015 I serialized a novel, The Halley Branch. For the first couple of weeks I wrote a chapter and posted it the next day. Later I spent a weekend and finished the whole thing in one sitting ( about 20,000 over the weekend) and then posted at my leisure. I found some very good and some very bad points about posting like this.
One good part about it is that I always have a post ready! When I start a new writing project, I stick with it (or have over the last 4 or 5 years, before that, no ;) ). It is also great to get immediate feedback. I actually wrote two of my best chapters for The Halley Branch in response to comments, chapters that added depth to the overall story.
But then, what about my blog readers who don’t want to read a serialized novel? My guess is that the majority of you out there really don’t want to read a new 2,000 word chapter every day, or even three of them a week. And also, when it’s time for me to start doing revisions and pounding it into shape, is it good thing to have the first draft lying around? Continue reading
Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile
I have mentioned a few times lately that I am in a writing phase. There have been times in the past that I’ve been more prolific, writing the Halley Branch in less than a month comes to mind, but I have been writing quite a bit of fiction, not all of it making the pages of my blog. A couple of things, though, stand out for this week.
A few stories have come up lately that remind me a lot of The Fireborn, the first (still unpublished) book that I wrote. Last week I pulled out the 4th full draft, the latest, and did a quick read through. I forgot how much I liked it! I do need to brush up a few rough spots. And then I will need to do some deep editing, sending it out for other eyes. But in its present state, it is almost ready to go. Of course I did do three major revisions and a half a dozen read-throughs in the year after I finished the first draft. With all of that it had better be pretty close to being ready! My current plan is to put it out in the late spring or early summer. Continue reading
Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile
It’s been a weird week so far and I haven’t gotten half as much done as I wanted to. There are some large stones that I put into the jar first so at least I got a few things done (I don’t have room to talk about that time management paradigm). One of the large rocks I literally lifted was exercise. OK, that pun didn’t work as well as it should have, but still, I have been forcing myself to make time to run and to do weight exercises. The thing is, it makes me feel great! I never understand how “ungreat” I feel until I get back into the routine. It takes a week or two to get back into it, but once I do I can’t figure out why I stopped (this time I stopped because i fell of a cliff, but that’s another story ;) ) Continue reading
After “talking to someone on the blogs I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to write poem to express the inexpressible. It is possible some of my poems had done this,but this was the only time I sat down with this odd goal in mind. What I tried to do is increase the rhythm of the poem with the intensity of the words, to build the feeling as the poem built. You can read “When I Think of You” to decide if I succeeded.
So on Thursday I wrote a post about poetry being able to express the inexpressible, to say things for which no words exist. Of course I fell flat. The only way I could think of doing it is by showing examples and maybe two or three people looked at the examples. It isn’t a new idea,of course. We express ourselves in poems and others can relate to that expression. I ended the post by saying i should try the same thing in prose. So, of course I did. Try, that is. Continue reading
Here is a confession: I am not a life long poetry lover. Funny thing, my mother is a poet and has written poetry her whole life, having a some published and even having an internationally known composer use some of her poems for art songs. But me? No, I’ve never been much of a poetry lover.
“But Trent,” you say, “you post a new poem every week on your blog! You read other people’s poems and make nice comments. Are you hypocrite, just writing and saying things for some evil purpose?”
Of course not. Continue reading
I have no reason to procrastinate. I spent an hour or two last week discussing my short stories with my mom. After our discussion I went through the list of stories I have written and came up with a final list for my short story collection. Last night I copied each story I chose to its own Word file so I can start editing. In my opinion the stories are still pretty much just first, rough drafts. Some are more polished than others, but some are very rough around the edges. I want to do at least one rewrite, possible two, on every story and do up to three or four drafts of some of the roughest.
So, where to begin? I know, start at story #1 and do a second draft. If I feel momentum, I might write the third draft, but then move on to story #2 – I want to attack each draft with a fresh mind. Sounds easy. Continue reading
When you write fiction, how do you come up with the names of your characters? As I’ve been reading through my short stories once again I’ve been looking at names. As I look at the names, that question about naming occasionally comes up. Why did I choose that particular name and what would happen if I changed it?
First a few little details. Between the short stories I’ve posted here, including the flash fiction and 100 word “Friday Fictioneers” stories, and the stories I have not posted, there are well over 200 stories that combined to more than 250,000 words. Of course, if I toss in the two books I’ve written, at about 80,000 words each, we are talking about a lot of names, a huge number of names, perhaps thousands of named characters. Sometimes it bothers me when I find a repeat, but over all I think I did a pretty good job keeping unique names. Continue reading
“Space and Time will be my toys and I’ll create whole worlds and universes. I’ll visit dinosaurs and slay dragons, travel to the stars and serenade princesses.” (excerpt from my illustrated short story, The Magic Wand – B&W version – color version)
Let me take you away, through time and space. I’ll wave that magic wand and create a universe for you. I have already created quite few – see here for some examples!
Today on Valentine’s Day I am paying tribute to my love for writing and the imagination :)
This is a bit of nothing, just a quick homage to words, words in an attempt to portray the wonder of words. As readers and writers we have a love affair with words. We dance to their music in our ear and savor their delicious flavor in our mouths as we speak them. We delight in a new word or a clever combination of them.
One of the things that I’m often curious about is vocabulary. More specifically, how many different words have I used in a story? Are there any tools out there that people use? I write in MS Word. It gives a total count but it doesn’t tell me how many unique words I’ve used. I’ve played with a few different online tools. I’ll admit that I only did a few quick searches and tested just a small sampling, a handful or so, of different online tools. Of these, this was my favorite: http://wordcounttools.com/ Yeah, the name says it all. Continue reading