I will have a new book on writing out in a few weeks, first week of December. It will be on all the major online retailers. The book covers the topics I cover on this blog but in a more organized way. Some of the content even comes from this blog, revised and edited. But there's whole lot of new material and a lot of content from the class in Creative Writing I taught for many years. Below is the book's introduction. That's my pup in the picture when he was just a pup. He's 125 pounds now.
BE THE DOG
HOW TO START AND (MORE IMPORTANTLY) FINISH YOUR NOVEL
Dogs live in the moment. It’s one of the great things about dogs. They are Zen without knowing what Zen is. You have to Be The Dog when you’re writing the scenes of your novel; you have to live in the moment of your scenes. Like a martial artist or musician or painter, you can’t be thinking about all the art and craft you’ve learned when you’re doing what you do, but it all has to be there when you create. You need informed intuition. The informed part will be all the craft you can learn. There’s a ton of craft advice in this book.
The sections in this writer’s guide have titles like Story, Language, Characters, that sound convincingly practical, and they are in the sense that there is plenty of nuts and bolts craft talk and also some attempts at discussing the more airy aspects of artistic endeavor, but the information and advice are offered in bite-size segments rather than point-by-point instruction.
Additionally, there are Extra entries that offer commentary on my commentary, sort of a spoonful of meta.
Admittedly, this is not your typical writing manual. It is more like the disreputable cousin who sneaks his way into the family reunion uninvited.
A little about me: I’ve written over a dozen novels. Five of them were published traditionally and two won awards from the Texas Institute of Letters. I’ve independently published three urban fantasy novels. I’ve had over a dozen stories published in magazines like Glimmer Train and Literal Latte. I also taught a college level creative writing class, off and on, for over a decade.
I’ve written a lot of words and I plan on writing a lot more because I love to write and I love to have written. It took me a long time to get published. I hope I can shorten your road to whatever your goals are as a writer by using my mistakes and my experiences writing and rewriting novels to help you along your journey. To do something you love (sometimes even be paid pretty well for doing it) is a gift. I’m lucky to have found it. I hope I communicate my absolute and unconditional joy for the art and craft of writing. Maybe you will be lucky, too, and discover you have a similar passion. Good writing.
Thanks for reading.