Skip to content

WHY D&D INSPIRED ME MORE THAN FANTASY NOVELS

November 15, 2017

As writers, we all get our inspiration from different sources. While a writer of a certain genre is likely to cite that specific genre as their inspiration, when it comes to fantasy, my core source actually comes from a different perspective.

ADVENTURE NOVELS

First off, no matter what genre I write – and folks, my thing is fiction, not non-fiction – everything I write is an adventure. Not only is the story basically an adventure, regardless of genre, but the entire production, from writing to editing to all the other stuff is an adventure as well. I talked about the novels that inspired me when I was a kid, and all of them except one (and even that “literary” classic) were adventure stories, some serial, some not. Sure, they may have been labeled mystery, or classic science fiction, but when you get right down to it, they were still adventures. That same ethos permeates my fantasy writing (as well as all the other genres I write).

ICKY BUG

Icky bug, my definition for horror, struck early. At first, I love/hated it when my cousin, Terry made me watch those old b-movie monster movies, They used to show them on Chiller Theater on Saturday or Sunday afternoons on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles when we all came to visit Grandpa in Playa Del Rey (or as we called it), Playa della Ray. I still call it that, as a matter of fact. My Dad loved those movies as well and used to watch them when they’d occasionally come on TV back in Lompoc, where we lived at the time. When I started getting nightmares and ulcers from all that, Grandpa got fed up with it and took me to a movie studio somewhere near Playa Del Rey where they’d filmed scenes from Gone With The Wind, and showed me a phony burned out town. Once I saw how fake it was, along with my dad pointing out errors in just about every movie we watched, regardless of genre, I finally “got it.” Then, when that “inverted ice cream cone” with the tentacles crawled across the screen, or the gorilla in the diving helmet blew bubbles to kill people, things became fun.

Over the decades, I read and loved a host of icky bug novels and authors. That played a role in what creatures ended up in my fantasy novels.

OKAY…SOME FANTASY NOVELS

To tell the truth, what most attracted me to fantasy novels was word of mouth and the awesome cover art. However, several things turned me off to them.

Number one was Lord of the Rings. This epic fantasy classic, first off, was written in omniscient point of view. Almost fifty years ago, when I first read it, I had no idea why I didn’t really like the writing, or why I struggled with it. All these decades later, I now know why. A few years ago, when I tried to read one of those books again, I couldn’t get through the first chapter.

Number two was the wordy text. The narrative dragged a lot. Unlike my adventure novels, this series did not easily get to the point.

Number three was that most other fantasy novels I tried to slog through lived up to those same issues, either with point of view, rambling narrative, or both.

Number four had to do with the cover art. A lot of times, the words inside didn’t even come close to living up to the cover art.

There were a few exceptions like the works of Andre Norton, but even then, I loved her science fiction stuff more than her fantasy.

The only fantasy writer that has ever kept my attention all the way through was RA Salvatore. However, it wasn’t enough that I went out and bought all his books. I had too many others in my more familiar genres to keep me going.

D&D – THE REAL CORE OF MY INSPIRATION

To get down to the true inspiration for Meleena’s Adventures, I have to look no further than Dungeons & Dragons. My wife and I were avid, dedicated players in much of the eighties when we lived in Turkey and Spain. Then, the more popular it became, the more assholes became involved and the whole thing lost its luster. That’s about the time the Commodore 64 and 128 came along and then the first computer role playing games. From there, I never played another pen and paper D&D game. I no longer had to put up with anyone else’s bullshit.

The core inspiration of D&D was still there, but it was other worlds, other rules.

I never intended to write a fantasy novel. However, since that’s mainly what my wife reads, she kept asking me to write a fantasy. I finally broke down and went for it. Little did I know how much I’d enjoy the process and get into the world of Meleena, then own the whole thing. I drew much inspiration from playing D&D and computer RPGs, but at the same time, that’s all it was. Inspiration. The real core of Meleena, despite the fantasy trappings, comes from all those adventure and icky bug novels, filtered through a D&D lens with maybe a little Ivanhoe and Edgar Rice Burroughs thrown in.

My goal was to write a rousing adventure in a fantasy world, and hopefully to live up to the cover art. Every writer has their story of what inspired them. What’s yours?

Happy writing!

 

Advertisements

ADVENTURES IN VIDEOS

November 8, 2017

I’ve brushed on this subject a bit in various marketing articles here at Fred Central, but never talked about the subject specifically, or my exact adventures, at least that I recall.

I’ve made one video…well to be correct, two on my own and my publisher has completed two until this week when we just completed number three. It’s being processed and tweaked right now. Different formats, different purposes, as you’ll see.

THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Back in late 2015, when I first started out with Treasure Of The Umbrunna, I wanted a video to post on line of me talking about the book. I’d already had something cooking for possible audio interviews with an internet site, which is a whole ‘nuther story, but it wasn’t something where my readers could see me in the flesh (or pixels), so to speak. That audio interview went well but I didn’t own it and it was only available for a short time, unless I forked out big bucks. Uh, no…sorry.

What to do?

Since I didn’t have any fancy video gear, or a studio, I opted for the “el cheapo” route and did it “eau natural” (or something like that). I wrote a script which was a series of questions and had my daughter set up my hand-held digital camera on a bookshelf aimed at my computer. Then I sat at said computer and answered the questions she asked me.

Simple, down and dirty, right?

Oh…kay, dirty is right. There were a couple of factors I never anticipated.

Angles: I have two monitors and one was supposed to have a full image of the book cover next to my shoulder. The problem is that in the video, my shoulder not only blocked most of the monitor, but you couldn’t make out the image.

Sound: While you could hear me speak as well as my daughter asking the questions, there was something unanticipated. The sound of the computer fan. It was LOUD.

Lighting: There were shadows that didn’t look quite right, unless you were a fan of Wayne’s World or maybe Chiller Theater or something.

It’s those little things you don’t think about.

Oh well. I had to throw away a whole bunch of “film” on that one.

We adjusted the angles, I spoke up, used an extra light source and did a fairly decent author interview that lasted about ten minutes.

The next issue was the massive file and how to load it on the net to my Meleena’s Adventures Facebook page. I had to get my publisher to compress it. Then, it still took multiple attempts and a LOT of waiting before it would upload to Facebook.

When it finally did, voila! I had an author interview.

ANIMATED VIDEO

I paid a few bucks to my publisher (this came extra from a contractor) for an animated Treasure Of The Umbrunna video. We came up with a concept and the contractor took off with it, created the graphics and the music and took care of all the legal details. When I saw the final product, which was about a minute and a half, I loved it!

The final MP-4 loaded easily to my sites and it was an awesome compliment to go with the book. That video is also on my Amazon page.

It started with taking off from one of my original book blurb concepts and turning it into narration. That, in turn, accompanied the animation and graphics that went into the video sequence. I had nothing to do with that, but I did have the final approval. I also had final approval of the music, which I loved right off. It was a collaborative effort.

NEW BOOK – NEW VIDEOS

For the new book, Lusitania Gold, I have one short snippet of a video, animated, that I’ve been trying to post. It’s only a 10MB MP-4, but for some reason, I cannot get it to load onto my Facebook page. I’m going to try and post it onto the Amazon site on my author page. I need to get it up somewhere. My Treasure Of The Umbrunna video is 32MB and it uploaded to my Facebook page with no problem. I have no idea if Facebook changed their standards or what.

I finally tricked the Facebook system into uploading the video by using my regular Facebook page. For some reason, my official Treasure page would not load it, but when I posted it through my normal personal page, it came right up.

Last Monday, when we did the professional quality author interview through my publisher, it was quite an experience. It was a lot of fun, what with camera angles, sound, setup, rehearsal and all the nuances involved. I think it’ll be a great video once it’s finalized.

VIDEOS AS MARKETING TOOLS

Videos are great marketing tools because your readers get to see you in the flesh. On the other hand, the animated ones give them a chance to see something in motion, something flashy, something that dazzles the eye, if done well. It’s the commercial you couldn’t afford to put on TV.

It’s all about marketing. Use it wisely, Grasshopper.

Happy writing!

DESCRIBING CHARACTERS – UPDATE THREE

October 31, 2017

This will be the third time I’ve discussed describing characters here at Fred Central. If you’re asking why, it’s because the subject has come up often not only in writer’s group discussions, but on writer’s forums and among non-writers when discussing books. Yeah, folks, this is a popular subject. While I have plenty of other subjects to talk about, this one keeps popping up.

In the good old days, it used to be almost mandatory to describe your characters, down to the most intricate detail. Not too many decades ago, it was common to see the old cliché of the character looking in the mirror (or seeing their reflection in a department store window, as I got caught using) describing themselves through internal dialogue or through narrative. One way or the other, you had to describe each and every major character and most of the minor ones. Things have changed. No longer is it necessary to describe characters in detail. In fact, in many cases, agents and editors actually encourage authors to leave it up to the reader to draw their own picture.

IS THERE ONE CORRECT WAY?

Is there one correct way? Not really. There are, as usual, both extremes. Describe in detail and don’t describe at all. In certain instances, each method works. Which one is right for you? From the trends that I’ve seen, unless you’re an established author, or write chick-lit or romance, the most common method is somewhere in-between. Describe characters, especially for male-oriented stories or general appeal novels, by dropping an occasional hint and let the reader draw their own picture.

COMMON MISTAKES

I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. A big nono was the character looking in the mirror (or seeing his or her reflection). That was the place to describe the character in detail, which became a list (which I’ve discussed earlier), another no-no. I left nothing to the imagination. If you happen to describe a character with traits the reader doesn’t like, they may be biased against that character throughout the story, no matter how the character acts. The character may remind them of someone they do or don’t like. I say, don’t make it easy for them. Let them decide.

A second big nono was comparing a character to a celebrity. Never EVER describe a character as looking like “Danny Glover” or “Megan Fox” or “Katy Sagal” or “Brad Pitt.” By doing so, not only are you being lazy, but you’re biasing your reader. What if your reader hates that actor? What if that actor does something extremely controversial in real life? Or, that actor plays a character so far from what your character is doing? It’ll draw your reader right out of the story.

Detach, the hero in my Gold series fudges the rules a bit. I describe him as looking either like the late Russian leader Vladimir Lenin, with hair, or a crazed biker. Is that comparing him to a celebrity? In a way I used to think so. The reason I decided to keep his description was as much an inside joke with the other characters in the story as it was the fact that most people today have no idea who Lenin was. A few years ago, I watched a documentary on Lenin and saw him in disguise with a wig. Detach didn’t look a thing like how I pictured him with hair! That was when I threw in the crazed biker description. His real description came from a biker I once knew who somehow reminded me of Lenin. Crazy rationale, but it’s worked. I’ve steered away from that ever since.

In certain genres, such as women’s fiction and romance, the readers like the character described in detail. In that case, you still have to be very careful how you draw the character. Even if you’re describing Brad Pitt, or Fabio or George Clooney, make sure you don’t actually describe Brad Pitt, Fabio or George Clooney by name. You may describe them exactly in your mind, but your reader is likely to paint a different picture.

For most genres, drop a hint here and there. Joe stretched his tall frame as he got out of the car. Mary rubbed her blue eyes in the smoggy air. Andy tugged on his goatee while he pondered his next move. Throw these little things out but spread them throughout scenes, not all at once. Gradually draw a picture.

SUMMARY

When I originally wrote this piece, twice removed, in 2015, I decided to keep track of character descriptions of the past two dozen books I’d read before I wrote the original. Since then and including the sequel up until this version, it’s become a conscious thing that I do along with point of view and grammar and syntax. Since I review every book I read, all of that is part of my subconscious evaluation. It’s automatic and doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment (or displeasure) or make me want to pick up a blue pencil (well not usually).

What I have discovered over the years is that hardly any of the authors have directly described a main character in detail. I thought about it and for most characters, I have no idea what they look like except for a general idea. You know what? I don’t care. What they look like isn’t important. The story is what matters (and of course, how it’s told). On the other hand, I’m not reading romances (though some of them contain a bit) so I’m sure that’s a factor. I read thrillers, icky bug and mysteries. The only characters that are ever described in detail are occasional bad guys and special characters, usually to magnify evil or bad traits (sometimes in stereotypical fashion). However, the main characters usually don’t get that kind of detail.

Even if an author does describe a character, I generally forget that and fill in my own picture anyway, if I think about it at all. I imagine for some readers, they need to latch on to an image of that character and that’s fine.

I’m not telling you not to describe your characters in detail, but you don’t have to. It’s something you can leave to the reader’s imagination.

Whichever way you swing, give your readers some credit and freedom. They’re likely to take it anyway.

Happy writing!

WHAT BOOKS INFLUENCED YOU AS A CHILD?

October 25, 2017

We’re writers. Before that, we…well, most of us, started as readers. Somewhere, something inspired us to do what we do. Maybe for you, the non-fiction writer, your influences came from a different source, but for us fiction writers, imagination sparked from something.

For those of you of the younger generations, maybe it was TV or computers, apps or games. However, for us a bit older, we didn’t necessarily rely on electronics for entertainment. Paper held more sway. I know it did in my case. My nose was in books well before I figured out what those squiggly symbols (words) covering the pages meant.

Willy The Tugboat or Willy The Woo The Firetruck are still memories fromwhen I was in preschool. In conjunction with my Lusitania Gold book signings, I’ll be recalling sitting on my grandpappy’s knee and looking through the Encyclopedia Britannica “L” volume and seeing a painting of the Lusitania sinking.

I’m old enough that at the time, radio was still the dominant electronic media and TV was a luxury. TVs back then looked more like test equipment than entertainment consoles and the images were still black and white.

BOOKS OVER ELECTRONICS

To put it bluntly, back when I was a kid, there were no electronics, at least for kids. On the other hand, there were plenty of things to entertain kids, such as books, toys and outside. I chose all three, with the focus today on the book side of things.

Books were the gateway not only to reading and learning the ABCs, but to other worlds. Books took me places, taught me things, and spurred my imagination well before that interloper, TV, came along and spurred it further. My earliest influences were the likes of Fury, The Bobsey Twins, Danny Dunn, Tom Swift, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys among others.

My biggest influences were never the classics we were forced to read in school. You might be surprised to note that though I’m a writer, those oft-quoted classics had little sway over me.

SAME OLD CLASSICS

When talking to a lot of big-name authors, they often cite—maybe because they think they need to, to seem sophisticated—the big classics. We’re talking the likes of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, The Odyssey, The Old Man In The Sea. Bla bla bla. Little Women, Ann of Green Gables. The list goes on.

While I have nothing against these classics and even read most of them, among others, they were forced on me by the school system and each had flaws that dampened my enjoyment. In fact, almost all of those classics (and I left quite a few off the list), depressed the hell out of me. Also, the writing was quite archaic and hard to read. At that time, back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, they never bothered to update them. If you’ve ever seen them in original form, well…’nuff said.

MY CLASSICS

My classics were a bit different. My classics spurred my imagination, they set a creative bent in me that’s lasted a lifetime. They gave me a sense of wonder, something to think about and something that didn’t depress me.

First off, The Hardy Boys. When we moved into our rental house in Lompoc, California, we, or at least me and my sister, inherited a bunch of stuff from the kids that used to live there. One of my most treasured possessions was a set of original edition Hardy Boys books from the thirties. We’re talking in the original font, un-politically corrected and still in the original bindings, with no fancy artwork on the covers. Unfortunately, over the years, my parents gave them away. They’d be worth a fortune now if I still had them!

Those mystery stories were absolute gold to me. Up until I was in Spain in the 70’s as a young adult, I continued with that series, re-reading them. Even seeing that immaturity in the text, I still wanted to revisit those stories for the memories of that innocent time.

Nancy Drew. Do you think I cared it was a girl detective? Not a chance. I ate those up just like the Hardy Boys. I didn’t have any originals, but I started reading them early enough that I got the reprints of the originals before they politically corrected them and ruined them like the Hardy Boys.

Life On The Mississippi by Mark Twain. I asked for this one for a Christmas present when I was in middle school at Lompoc Junior High. It had a stern-wheeled steamboat on the cover, which I was fascinated with. I think my parents ordered it out of the Sears Catalog. It was a bit of a struggle to get through because of the writing, but my intent was to revisit my memories of the old TV show starring Darren McGavin called Riverboat. In a roundabout way, that book did the job. It spurred my imagination. It was one of his more obscure tomes.

The Bobsey Twins were a big influence in my very early reading years. Can’t forget them.

John Carter On Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as the Tarzan series were always favorites as well.

The Danny Dunn series, including The Homework Machine, The Antigravity Paint, The Desert Island and many others were a big influence in elementary school. I had the pleasure of reading those and doing book reports on them.

Then there’s the short Tom Swift series. Classics that spurred imaginations of a bevvy of science fiction nerds.

What you’ll notice, outside of the one Mark Twain story, is that my early influences were all book series. Not a literary classic in the entire mix. All of them were “pulp” classics.

Little did I know then how it would affect me later in life.

SUMMARY

Each of us comes from a different background. That background summarizes what we are today. That reflects who are as writers, the flavors we present to the public through our stories.

How about you?

Happy writing!

ARE YOU A WRITER OR AN AUTHOR?

October 17, 2017

This question has come up numerous times lately in my wanderings across the web.

Are you a writer or an author?

What’s the definition of each?

The prevailing opinions have been relatively consistent. Oh, sure, there’s always someone contrary. You have to expect that when you’re talking about hundreds to even thousands of people.

FIRST OFF

Writing itself. I’ve stated many times that writing for me is a passion. It’s not a hobby or a job. It’s something I love to do. I’m going to do it whether I’m published or not. I’m going to put it out there either for pay or for free. If I can get paid, so much the better, but one way or tuther, it’s getting out there for the one or two of you to see. Some would consider that self-publishing. Okay, I’ve already done plenty of that unofficially over many years. Never paid a dime for any of it except with my time and effort. Is that still self-publishing? That’s a whole ‘nuther discussion.

Writing has been a job for me. In that case, I still loved doing it so it almost wasn’t even work, though by definition, it was employment and I was getting paid to do it. In my other work, long before I took up writing, I did plenty of writing as part of my job as an Air Force maintenance puke. Once I found my muse, so to speak, I often liked the writing part a lot better than my “real” job!

In all of that, I considered myself a writer.

WHAT’S A WRITER?

By the generally accepted definition, a writer’s someone who writes. Whether for fun, or work, they write. For purposes of this discussion, we’re talking about stories, whether short, long, fiction or non-fiction, poetry, projects, etc.

A writer is someone who writes and writes and writes. Their goal may or may not be to get published.

I’ll tell you right now that if you’re a prolific writer and put in at least a little effort, the chances are, you’ll get at least something published.

However…

Writing and being good at it doesn’t necessarily go together.

You remember the old computer term, garbage in/garbage out?

That can apply to writing as well, if you just write with no regard for honing and improving your craft. If you slap your stuff down on paper or in the ether, with no regard for cleaning it up or getting feedback—no attempts to improve your work, don’t ever expect to get anywhere with it.

A small caveat I needed to get out of the way.

WHAT’S AN AUTHOR?

Now, this is the meat of the matter. An author is a writer that gets published. When you see your name in lights, so to speak, you’re now an author.

That pretty much sums up the difference between a writer and an author.

A writer writes, while an author is a writer that’s published.

How many of you are both?

To get technical, I’ve been an “uncredited” author since the late 90’s when I wrote all those preventive maintenance manuals for the rubber extrusion plant in Frederick, Oklahoma. However, my first piece, credited under my name, was a short story for an anthology by the Highland Writer’s Group in Highland, Indiana in 2002. Now that was my first real credit as a named author.

Even though I was writing much earlier, I first considered myself as an official writer for what I do now, fiction, since 1995 when I got serious about writing novels. Why? I guess it’s because I found my real muse and realized writing was a passion and not some passing thing. That time was my golden moment when I knew it’d be a lifelong thing for me.

Here I am, twenty-two years later (as I write this), and I’m both a writer and an author. I’m loving every minute of it (well, except the marketing). After all, nothing’s perfect.

How about you?

Happy writing!

SNEAKY HEAD HOPPING

October 11, 2017

As many of you regular readers know, one of my big pet peeves is point of view (POV) and particularly head-hopping.

I’ve just about seen it all. No, let me rephrase that. I have seen it all, at least in the genres I regularly read. I can’t speak for romance, most westerns, gay porn and a few others I can’t even imagine. Oh, literary fiction. Almost forgot that one!

Anyway….

The genre-fiction I read includes a lot of different writers. I screen the books as best I can at the bookstore. On the rare occasions when I buy off Amazon, I screen the writing samples with the “Look Inside” feature. As you know, I won’t normally read first-person and never present-tense. I’m also no fan of omniscient. The problem is that when scanning a book for a few minutes, it’s difficult to detect head-hopping until you dig deeper. The same for omniscient. You have to read for a while to see it, unless it’s blatant.

I’m especially annoyed by overt head-hopping. To me, this shows…well…it dilutes the impact of the characters on the story (among other things) and indicates lazy writing.

That’s one reason I’m no big fan of omniscient, though…well, see below.

OMNISCIENT

Omniscient is more a style than lazy writing, but it’s a style I don’t like because there’s no focus on any single character and that “cast of thousands” approach dilutes the emotion and feel of being inside the head of each character, even though you are for short snippets. It adds a confusing picture you have to keep sorted out in your head all the time. It’s more of an accumulative effect.

No focus.

For me, that sucks.

Some writers are better at controlling omniscient than others. The ones that do I can tolerate and have enjoyed those books. Others, I find unreadable.

Omniscient is an orgy of head-hopping which is a quote of mine and the title of one of my previous articles. For the masters of omniscient, they keep the reins on it and the writing is good enough that the stories shine through. For those that aren’t, the writing is total chaos.

SNEAKY HEAD-HOPPING

Since I insist on reading solid third-person and shy away from omniscient, I get a lot of authors that are sneaky with their head-hopping. What I mean is there may be a main character POV but right in the middle of a scene, another character will pop in with POV for a paragraph or a few sentences, then it goes back to the main character for the rest of the chapter. You don’t see it again for several chapters. On the other hand, there’s a book I recently read. This female author of detective novels (the only clue I’ll give) has one central character that controls almost every scene. However, right in the middle of a particular scene, any random character can take over POV for a paragraph or two then shift back to the main POV instantly. THAT’s blatant head-hopping! It’s sneaky at times, because these pauses can be a sentence or two, but they’re there.

That’s the classic definition of head-hopping in what’s supposed to be solid third-person, focused POV.

This author gets away with it because she’s got almost more books out than I have articles on this web site. It’s irritating to have to deal with that. They’re short bursts “juss cuz,” but annoying and sloppy.

When you have a built-in audience, I guess you don’t have to abide by any particular standard. Since this is the first book I’ve read by her, maybe she was worse in the earlier ones? On the other hand, the story was pretty good. I finished it and it was worth a good four stars. It would’ve been five except for the head-hopping.

DOES IT MATTER?

There are always excuses for sloppy writing. The story is all that matters. Bla bla bla.

That’s a load of crap.

Your integrity as a writer should also matter.

Your legacy as a writer should also matter.

Maybe to the casual reader or fan, this is something they’d never even notice. Then again, keeping the POV straight makes for so much better of a read.

I’m certainly not the POV police here. On the other hand, POV has always been something that’s bugged me even before I knew what it was. There was always something about certain books that bugged the hell out of me but I didn’t understand what it was at the time. Now that I know, I can define it, describe it and at best, pass it on to you, the writer. You may simply ignore my advice and do what you want. These things that have bugged me for almost six decades don’t apply to everyone, I’m sure. However, as I became a writer and stopped to smell the roses, so to speak, I took the time to analyze the what’s and the where’s and the why’s. POV was a biggie, such as head-hopping.

Not giving a crap about the little things is just as bad as not caring about the big things. My goal is to write to the best of my ability and make for the best read possible.

After all, that is your goal, isn’t it?

Happy writing!

CAN YOU FOLLOW YOUR MUSE ON A WHIM?

October 4, 2017

If writing isn’t in your blood, if it isn’t a passion, it’s work. If you’re on a crunch for time, every moment is precious when you can sit down at the keyboard or the notebook or whatever medium you use to write. On the other hand, if it’s truly a passion and you have something to say – in other words, the muse hits – you drop everything and go with it. True?

This is something I deal with all the time. I’ve chatted with other writer’s and received feedback that dropping everything, even for a short while, to pop off a short story (or an article or anything) while working some other project is unthinkable. For whatever reasons, some people can’t break concentration to follow another thread.

How about you?

CONCENTRATION

This is the same thing as multitasking. If you get a muse, an idea, you go with it. Your nature is to follow it through.

On the other hand, what do you do when you run across multiple muses? Do you have the capability to follow several of them at the same time?

Some people can’t do that. Understandable.

For some, writing takes too much concentration and effort. It’s not that it isn’t a passion, but it’s still so much effort…let’s say, lack of proficiency? They need to place all of their energy on one thing at a time.

Is this your state right now?

Or, are you proficient enough that you can multitask? Can you concentrate on multiple threads?

LOSING THE MUSE

There’s the case of humming right along on a novel. Then an idea comes up for a killer short story. Or, a different idea for an even better novel. You set aside the novel you were working on, pursue the whatever it was. Then you either finish it or it crashes and burns. Now, you come back to the original idea and pffft! It’s gone!

Has this ever happened to you?

Me?

Never.

I’ve heard of the fear of this happening to others.

I’ve wondered if it would ever happen to me. In a small way, it has.

How?

Right now, I have four novels I’ve started over the years but never completed. For one reason or other, I stopped writing on them. The muse petered out. I lost interest or moved on to something else. One day, I may get back to them, but for now, they’re sitting idle in my files. I had an A and a B but never filled in the in-between. Other bigger, better things drug me away.

SUMMARY

The thing is that I constantly write. I constantly multitask. I have many muses, most of which I complete. I don’t have many failures, but those that one might consider failures, I consider incomplete at this stage.

The point being, I can follow my muse on a whim. Writing for me isn’t such a burden that I have to drop everything and concentrate on one thing only to git’ ‘er dun. I can do several projects at once.

At the moment, I’m doing this article, compiling and editing the September LVAS Observer’s Challenge, editing a short story I’m submitting to the next Henderson Writer’s Group Anthology, and writing another chapter in the third book in the Meleena’s Adventures series.

The short story was something I came up with on a whim. In fact I think of those spur of the moment, just like these articles I write weekly.

How about you?

Happy writing!