Archive | 6:39 pm

Beginning the Writing Process

16 Jun


I just started a new novel, “Shadows Over a Hangman’s Noose”

I just started a new novella, “The Billy the Kid Chronicles: Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day”

I love the beginning of the process.


“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.” Vincent Van Gogh

That quote by Van Gogh may be a little too close to the truth for me.

But God help me, I understand it and love it.

The novel is the third in the “Shadows” series of mysteries.  The novella is the fifth in the “Billy the Kid Chronicles”  In other words, I know these characters well and for me it’s like having dinner with old friends and catching up on old times.

They all talked to me this morning, told me where they wanted to go and then gave me the keys to the literary car, and I am so looking forward to the road trip.


Go online and do a Google search for “how to write a novel.”  You’ll find quite a few tips on the “proper” way to go about it, and so I offer up my tip as well……ignore all the tips and do it your own way!

The longer I am a writer the more I realize there is no one way to write a novel.  Some people outline.  I can’t stand that restraint.  Some people know the entire story when they start.  I have no clue.  Some edit as they go along.  I finish the first draft and don’t do any editing until the third draft.  My way works for me but most likely would not work for others, and their way would definitely not work for me.

The best tip I can give is to just write.  The story will emerge in its own time as the characters allow it to happen.  You can’t force a story.  You can’t will it to happen.

You may never write a novel and that’s fine as well.  It may be true that there is a bestseller in every writer, but not every writer can write a bestseller.  That truth you can take to the bank.


My disgust with the forums at the writer’s site HubPages is well-known and well-documented.  I see no reason for me to stop by a place where nasty trolls linger waiting for their chance to attack the unsuspecting.

But not all writers’ forums are like that.

Someone asked me the other day in my Mailbag series if I could steer them towards a good writing forum, so I gave them a couple suggestions.  Here’s the thing about forums: you are under no obligation to stay in them if you find them disgusting or rude or just not helpful.  Bounce around the various forums until you find one that works for you.  There are some good ones out there but you’ll have to find the one that matches your needs.


Another shout out to John Hansen and his new site The Creative Exiles.  If you are a creative writer, prose or poetry, then take a few minutes and check out this great new site.


To Mike Friedman and his extraordinary book The Carriage Driver.  If you haven’t read it you are shortchanging yourself.


That’s it for today…short and sweet!

The new novella is up and available in paperback and Kindle…”The Billy the Kid Chronicles: Home is a Dangerous Place

Have a great week of living!  Embrace life… often…sing often…hug and kiss more often…and in your spare time…..



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”