Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ever Notice People Who Agree with You...

...are really smart? No, more than that. Wise. Really wise.

The Seattle Times had a recent interview with author Ivan Doig who said:

I write a given number of words a day, currently about 400, and I do it five days a week when I'm working full strength on a book.
And when asked, "Age-wise, is it ever too late to become a writer?", he answered:
No. It's never too old if you're game to write some every day, whether it's a journal or a memoir. The point is to make the material pile up into something meaningful.

You can do it! Never too old, never too young. Always just right. Always...

Just keep writing. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Personal Highlights and Government Censors

As I recall I wasn't much of a text-book highlighter when I was in high school or college. ("Gee, Bill, maybe that's because you're so old the only felt-tip marker color was black and using that would make it look like most of the chapter had been redacted by some government censor.") I suppose I did some underlining. With a pencil.

One of the (many) strange aspects of the brave new world of e-books is a reader can highlight a passage from your book and you -- and the world -- can see what he or she chose. Here are the top three for Nine Week Novel:

--Week One: 300 words per day for six days. (Take the seventh day off. You’ll have completed 1,800 words. Good for you!) Week Two: 400 words per day for six days. (And another day off. Now you’ll be up to 4,200 words.) Weeks Three through Nine: 500 words six days a week and that seventh day off.

--abandoned the comfortable, theoretical world of “writing a novel” and entered the uncomfortable,
real world of “novel

--A word count works much better than a time requirement. (No doodling on the paper or dawdling
on the Internet and calling it

I like all three. If you stick with those you can end up with a novel. You can end up with a novel.

Just keep writing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homeschooled? Write a novel!

I received an e-mail earlier this month that said:

"I just wanted you to know that we are using your book, How to Write Your Novel in Nine Weeks, and podcast as part of our homeschool curriculum this year.  My daughter, age 17, has always wanted to be a writer.  She has written many books, but hasn't finished most of them.  Her genre of choice seems to lean to middle/upper school, no vampires or sexual content.  I think this is a much forgotten demographic. Thanks for making available this writers program."
If you're homeschooling, include novel writing.  If you know a homeschooling family, suggest they try it.
A young person can write a novel. You can. Really.
Just keep writing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Free Fortune and Mystery

From today through Tuesday The Hidden Fortune and O Father: A Murder Mystery are free at (I suppose I could call this a back-to-school special. Little late for that. Or perhaps a "do your Christmas shopping early this year" theme.)

O Father is the book I wrote for the International 3-Day Novel Contest. The Hidden Fortune is a middle-grade novel. The setting for the mystery is the suburb where I was living at the time. (And still do.) And the kids' book takes place in a Seattle neighborhood where I lived in late grade school up until I got married. (At the tender age of 21.)

Write what you know and . . .

Just keep writing.