Close

Tuesday’s Trail Notes

Mile 15: 10 Louis L’Amours

I’m following up on the previous entry, “The Importance of First Chapters,” and writing about a specific author: Louis L’Amour. Historically, L’Amour has been my favorite Western author, and I wind up rereading all 100-plus of his Westerns about once every five years. I got to wondering about what draws me back to his books,

Read More
Mile 14: Importance of First Chapters

I recently took an online class on writing fiction by James Patterson. It’s offered as part of the MasterClass program. Mine was a gift from my son. Thanks, Justin! While I’ll do an entire post on the class somewhere down the trail, I do want to mention one thing that Patterson highlighted now. I’m paraphrasing,

Read More
Mile 13: Surround Yourself

As I started to write this particular Trail Notes, I found myself kicking around a couple of different ideas. As I often do when I’m thinking about writing, I found myself looking around my office, and I realized this week’s topic was right in front of me. In fact, it’s all around me. I’m staring

Read More
Mile 12: The Team

You’ve started to write, which is great! Hopefully, you’ve moved beyond the first line and maybe even written a chapter or two. Writing can be, and usually is, a very solitary process. If you were writing a diary, or a journal, it would theoretically be designed to stay private. But you’re not. You’re writing a

Read More
Mile 11: Stephen King

Stephen King’s book on writing is called, you guessed it, “On Writing.” Some consider it a classic of the “writers helping other writers” genre. I don’t actually know if that’s a genre, but it should be, and King’s book is a good one. While he’s best known for his horror, fantasy and supernatural books, none

Read More
Mile 10: Be There!

If you read the previous post, “Mile 9,” you’ve hopefully written your first line. If so, congratulations! Now it’s time for the second line and to put some serious thought to your characters. I stole the title of this Trail Notes from James Patterson, one of the world’s best-selling authors. When talking about bringing life

Read More
Mile 9: First Line

The novel of 50,000 words begins with the first line. With apologies to Lao Tzu, writing a book is a journey, and at some point, you have to start. For most of us, staring at that blank page, or that blank screen, with not a word written, can be daunting, even overwhelming. Fight that feeling,

Read More
Mile 8: First or Third

One of the early questions you have to answer, even before you start writing, is if you’ll be writing in first person or third person. This is known as the point of view (POV). Each offers advantages and disadvantages. First person POV is “I” based. Everything you share with the reader comes through the point

Read More
Mile 7: Outline?

To outline, or not to outline, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of an unplanned novel Or to take arms against a sea of troubles By outlining them and so ending them Forgive me, but that was fun to write. Many, perhaps even most, writing

Read More
Mile 6: Software

When I started writing my first novel, “Coyote Courage,” I turned on my computer, opened up Microsoft Word and started typing away. I wasn’t too far in before I realized I needed to start making some notes: What kind of gun did I say Brock had? What was the name of the bartender? Did I

Read More