Category: Writing Process

  • My Own Book

    My own book is next on my reading list. I’m not vain, or at least I hope I’m not. The reason I’m reading my own book is because I need to revise it. It’s been a work in progress for a couple years, and I plan to get it published some time in 2022 or […]

  • A Great Day

    6:00 a.m. – Wake up. 6:15 a.m. – Start breakfast. 6:30 a.m. – Eat breakfast. 6:45 a.m. – Shower. 7:00 a.m. – Start writing. 9:30 a.m. – Say good morning to Michael while he drinks coffee and I drink tea. 10:00 a.m. – Write. 11:45 a.m. – Have lunch with Michael. 12:30 p.m. – Work […]

  • Living in Bold

    Living boldly. What does that mean to me? What a writing prompt! To underline (haha) how difficult this question is, all I need to do is point to the fear of being just another grain of sand on the beach. I mean, how many people would say that living boldly means doing the things you […]

  • My Writing

    The question today is what I like most about my writing. I like that I don’t use a lot of overly long, complicated, “boring” sentences. I try to write how my characters would think or talk, not in a particularly literary-conscious style. I’m not concerned with how I sound, but with how my characters come […]

  • Trouble with Stories

    This post contains what some might consider a very small spoiler for my story in progress, Time Gone By. I’ve been publishing free fiction on this site since last April, and I currently have five pieces in progress. The problem is, I can’t seem to make anything happen in any of them, which is why […]

  • Just Jotting (or Maybe Juggling) and a Question

    Ideas are nice. I sort of get into trouble with myself for having to many of them. I get a new one, start writing, and then leave other projects waiting for my attention. I’m going to come up with a list of “rules” for making sure I work on every story. 1. When an idea […]

  • Grammar – Haiku

    Good grammar’s nice but, What’s more important is the, Story you unfold.

  • About Time (and blogging)

    I have twenty-six days left in my sprint to reach a 500-day blogging streak, so I started to think about that, and came up with the idea of doing a post with a title that starts with each letter of the alphabet over the next twenty-six days. Some of those will be easy, like A, […]

  • Writing Science Fiction – Revisited

    There’s much more to sci-fi than science. On this day last year, I wrote a post about writing sci-fi. Rather than reposting it, I’m going to rewrite it. Science is important, but it’s not everything. Chances are, your characters don’t live and breathe science on a daily basis. Even the ones that do will still […]

  • What could there be to writing more than writing itself? Inspiratioin, perspiration, and beyond.

    The answer is that there’s plenty. Writing is like a puzzle. All the pieces are mixed up in the box, and a finished puzzle (published book) seems a thousand miles away. Actually writing, either by pen or by keyboard, will get you only about a quarter of the way assembled and ready to go. Another […]

  • Still working on The Dark Tide and names

    I need to revise “The Dark Tide,” and one of the problems I have with the original story is about names. “The Dark Tide” is fantasy, and that is a genre devoured by names. There are two reasons for this: fantasy generally has a lot of characters who each need a name, and those names […]

  • Haiku – May 11

    An idea is born, If it doesn’t write itself, Put somewhere to keep.

  • Haiku – April 20

    A first draft might be, Great to begin with but all, Will need revising.

  • Writing Fiction Is – Haiku

    Writing fiction is, Having empathy with those, Who do not exist.

  • Writing Advice: consider point of view

    Who tells the story? Point of view (POV) is an important topic when you start to write a piece of fiction. In Lockdown, I tell Billy’s story in the first person. I’m curled up comfortably inside his head, feeling what he feels, hearing what he hears, and seeing what he sees. I can’t experience any […]

  • Writing Advice: Break up long sections of dialog, and an accidental story

    When I sent Wounded Bride to be edited, the book was full of long sections consisting of nothing but characters talking to each other. In that story, the detectives talk to suspects, and you’d expect there to be lots of dialog, but it should be broken up by actions, sentences about what your characters are […]

  • Writing Advice: no need to be tense about verbs!

    Stories are full of action, so verbs are important, but don’t let that worry you. When I start a story, I have a choice of writing in the past tense, or in the present tense. Both are great, but both have advantages and disadvantages. The choice shouldn’t bog you down. Pick one. You can change […]

  • A Word about Word Count in Fiction

    I seem to be obsessed with word count. I don’t mean that I worry about my stories having specific word counts, but I keep wondering how many words long a story is. “How many words?” is the first question I have when people talk about their writing. Many years ago, when I first started trying […]

  • Writing: endings and beginnings

    With the year 2020 about to become the year 2021, I’m starting to think about finishing up old projects and starting new ones. That goes for all kinds of projects, from cleaning the house to trying new foods, but since this website is mostly about writing, I’d like to talk about the beginning and the […]

  • The Writing Process: When you need an idea but

    When you need an idea, but there don’t seem to be any in your head. This happens to me fairly often. I wouldn’t say I get Writer’s Block, but sometimes I just don’t have any ideas for a blog post. This mostly happens with nonfiction topics. When this occurs, I often just start typing. For […]

  • A Letter to Letters

    Dear Letters, It’s writing Wednesday, and I used to write you on Wednesdays every week. I tried to be philosophical, funny, factual, or just plain foolish. Do you think I should bring you back as a regular feature? You know, maybe between writing advice posts? Oh, my phone’s ringing. “Hello, this is Hyacinth, who’s calling?” […]

  • Writing Advice: What to do when an Editor sends you your edited manuscript

    It’s time. You’ve sent your manuscript to an Editor, you’ve waited while they’ve been working, and now they’ve just sent you your manuscript. Like me, you’re probably kind of nervous about opening that document. Don’t be. (No, I don’t take this advice. I’m always going to be nervous, no matter how many times I do […]

  • NaNoWriMo in 17 days and following my own Writing Advice

    If you go to my Fiction page, you can read my NaNoWriMo 2020 novel in seventeen posts. They’re longreads, so you might want to save them or even print them out. Some days, I wrote only one chapter, but there were a few days when I wrote two, or even three chapters. I had originally […]

  • Writing Advice: dealing with too many ideas

    As a Writer, I often find myself in a situation many people might be surprised to hear me complain about: having too many ideas. How can a Writer have too many ideas? Okay, maybe not too many, but too many to write all at once. When I wrote Wounded Bride, I had to deal with […]

  • 5 Reasons to Start Writing Right Now

    1. Writing is a fun and safe activity during COVID-19. Even if your children don’t read yet, they can dictate a story and you can write it down for them. 2. If you have a story in mind but are afraid of it, don’t be. Put it to paper or screen. Make those memories now […]

  • Are there rules in Writing?

    If you’ve never shared your writing with others before, especially those whom you don’t know, you may be wondering if there are rules about how to write. The short answer is: no. Millions of Readers haven’t sat together and agreed on exactly what makes writing good. No two people in the world are the same, […]

  • Writing

    “Writing” is the writing prompt today. I normally talk about writing fiction, but nonfiction must also be written word by word, thought by thought, letter by letter. Both must then be revised. Nonfiction especially requires profesisonal editing. A typo in a story is annoying to both Writer and Reader, but not the end of the […]

  • The Writing Process: the imrortance of getting into your characters’ heads

    In March, I wrote a post called Write about what you know. Last week, I was thinking about Writers, and how they must transcend what they don’t know from experience in order to tell a tale. Oscar Wilde came to mind. He was a Writer who didn’t worry about what he knew or didn’t, but […]

  • Reawakening: the hardest part of writing

    In October 2019, I wrote The Hardest Part of Writing. There will be two more posts about writing this week. Tomorrow, is Writing Wednesday, and on Thursday, the writing prompt will be writing itself.

  • The Writing Process: after you press the Approve button

    “There’s nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart.” Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart Being a published Author was like that for me. I didn’t really know what to say. Go me? I rock? Those were all things I could have said, but I didn’t have any words, and didn’t know […]

  • The Writing Process: Revising or Falling Apart

    “Every now and then I fall apart.” Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart Plotholes are as thick on the ground as leaves in the fall. Characters say and do things they wouldn’t. The whole thing’s FALLING APART! No, it’s behaving exactly like a first draft in the cold light of morning. Never fear. The […]

  • The Writing Process: Building a Relationship with Your Story

    “Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time.” – Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart The first part of writing a novel (or short story) is like falling in love. There’s passion. There’s fun. There’s discovery. No, you don’t have to be writing romance, but of course, that works, too! […]

  • The Writing Process: The Beginning of Forever

    “Forever’s gonna start tonight.” – Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of the Heart Great, now I have that song in my head instead of the words I need for this post. But now that I’m thinking about it, that song could be about the writing process. It really can be quite a roller-coaster. Forever can start […]

  • Writing Wednesday – time got away from me

    I meant to have a post about the writing process for you today, but time escaped me, and I didn’t get it written. With this kind of essay-style post, I need to start it before the day I publish it, so that I can leave it for at least a day before I revise it. […]

  • The Writing Process – Overview and Ideas

    Writing is a complex process. Many people start writing stories in school. Some keep on writing stories, even after the assignment has been handed in and graded. Some people write until the day they die. I don’t know what makes some of us write all our lives and others only when they must, but the […]

  • Genres: Tips for Writing Horror

    I think that horror is one of the most flexible genres. You can do anything you want, and often, little or no research is required. I do have a tip for you, though. It’s easy for a horror story to sound like a catalog of events. Each one is scary, but if you pile terrible […]

  • Genres: Tips for Writing Science Fiction

    Sci-fi can be a difficult genre to write in, so here are a few tips. Know your science. I once wrote a sci-fi story in which there was a temperature of minus a thousand degrees. Such a temperature does not exist. Yes, you’re allowed to change things, but it’s better to know how the real […]

  • How to Pick Genres to Write in

    There is a huge variety of genres from which to choose before you sit down to write some fiction. Here’s how to pick them. You will probably hear the suggestion to write in a genre you read a lot. I don’t have a problem with this, but why limit yourself? If you have an idea […]

  • What Writing Is (and is not)

    Writing is not an arcane activity. You don’t need to be an expert in anything to be able to write. Having good grammar, spelling, and punctuation helps, but as long as you have a story to tell, you can write fiction. You don’t need to take a writing course or follow certain rules. You can […]

  • What I’m Doing This November

    November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and last year, I wrote one novel and started another. This year, I’m going to write one novel, but every day, I’m going to post what I’ve just written to this blog. My regular features will be suspended during November, so if I’m in the middle of a […]

  • Science Fiction

    Because it’s May 4, I want to talk about science fiction, even though this post has nothing to do with Star Wars. In November 2019, my NaNoWriMo novel was a sci-fi story called On Ice. It’s still in the freezer, waiting for me to take it out and revise it, but while it’s coming up […]

  • Two Weeks

    I’ve posted something each day for the last fourteen days. I find myself wanting to harmonize the spelling of “week” and “streak,” so instead of calling it a “too weak streak,” I’ll go with a “strong two-week streek.” Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Indie April Why I Write What I’ve Learned The Choice […]

  • Writing Advice – Dialog Attribution

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “show, don’t tell.” I’d like to show you why I think this is good writing advice when you’re writing dialog. Here are a few sample sentences written solely for this post. “Not again,” she sighed. “My best friend forever doesn’t want to talk to me anymore, and I’m completely and […]

  • My Writing Space and a Question for Readers

    I write best when I’m alone. Whether it’s a blog post or a novel, I can write anywhere, as long as nobody else is in the room. In practice, that means my home office, where my computer lives. I don’t need anything special. As long as I have a computer and am not too hot […]

  • What I’ve Learned

    Blogging is a great sport. Reading about writing makes me want to write more. I can rarely resist an upgrade. I should pay attention to things I don’t know about, such as using tags in blog posts, because doing so could bring more people to my website. Trying a suggestion, such as writing a list […]

  • Why I Write

    I write because I enjoy writing. I also deeply feel the need to express myself through the written word. Writing helps me to deal with my emotions in a safe and liberating way. Let’s take the current coronavirus pandemic as an example. I don’t want to blog or tweet about how I feel about it. […]

  • Why I Write

    I write because I enjoy writing. I also deeply feel the need to express myself through the written word. Writing helps me to deal with my emotions in a safe and liberating way. Let’s take the current coronavirus pandemic as an example. I don’t want to blog or tweet about how I feel about it. […]

  • Indie April

    This is the first Indie April for me as a new author. I have heard mixed opinions about self-publishing, and this blog post is an examination of some of them. Is it hard work, or is it just vanity? You may have heard the term “vanity publishing,” meaning that anybody with money can have a […]

  • Write about what you know

    Lots of people say to write about what you know. This is good advice, or is it? What is “know” anyway? How much would you need to know about something to be considered knowledgeable on that topic, and who decides this? I probably don’t know a great deal about engineering, but I could learn enough […]

  • Genres: Part 2 – Fantasy

    I think that the strength of fantasy is its limitless possibility. You can create places, creatures, and powers that don’t need to be real to be believed. I can do pretty much whatever I want, and I don’t even have to think, is this possible? Anything is possible, and that includes whatever story I want […]

  • Genres: Part 1 – Detective

    On Twitter, I was asked why I write in my particular genre. While Wounded Bride is a detective novel, I like to write in many genres. I’ve decided to answer this question in a series of blog posts, because I would like to talk about many genres, and putting them all in one post would […]

  • A Lesson Learned about Outlining

    My relationship with outlining has always been a little rocky. I’m a Pantser, so I usually just start writing, often with little or no idea about the story I’m going to tell. When I decided to write science fiction for NaNoWriMo, I did a brief outline because I wanted my plot to stay on track. […]

  • Now on Goodreads

    I’ve signed up as a Goodreads Author, and I’d love to connect with you on there. I’m currently very interested in books about writing and editing, so if you read a good one or wrote one yourself, please send me a message. http://www.goodreads.com/grey_hyacinth

  • After You Revise

    You’ve worked very hard and finished revising your novel. Isn’t it amazing how long it takes? I’ve been working on a fairly substantial book, and have logged about forty-eight hours of revisions. That’s more than a work week. It’s not finished yet. Writing it was fun, and revising it sometimes is, but I find it […]

  • The Hardest Part of Writing

    For me, it’s not getting the idea that I find difficult. I don’t struggle with the blank page, nor with the first chapter. Sometimes, I do find the middle of the novel a little bit slow, but if I sit on it for a few hours, I usually figure out how to fix it. Writing […]

  • One day in the Garden

    This post isn’t about gardening, or even being outdoors. I didn’t know this two years ago, but people who write without having much in the way of starting ideas are sometimes called Gardeners or Pantsers. (Those who use outlines are often called Architects, Plotters, or Planners.) All I knew was that I wanted to write […]