“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”~Ernest Hemingway American journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and sportsman Ernest Hemingway was born on this day in 1899.
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun As writers, we all want to write the next Great American Novel. But why? What made you realize that you wanted to be a writer? I can only answer for myself. I’m a life-long reader, even though I haven’t been as much of a reader lately as in the past. When … Continue reading Why Do You Write?
What is a plot? According to Brandon Sanderson, the plot is a promise made at the beginning, progress toward fulfilling that promise, and a payoff at the end. What does that all mean? In the first few sentences, paragraphs, and pages, you make a promise to your reader. That promise includes the tone. Is it … Continue reading DIY MFA: Learning to Plot
If you’ve been reading these pages, you know I’ve been watching the videos to Brandon Sanderson’s BYU course on writing science fiction and fantasy. As I listen, I’ve been brainstorming on what I call my New Concept and decided to make changes to my stories to fit with what I’m learning. If you’ve poked around … Continue reading Finding the Story
I’ve spent this week watching YouTube videos on writing and learning a lot. I decided to start with Brandon Sanderson’s BYU lectures on writing science fiction and fantasy. The nice thing about YouTube is that I can pause the video and back up to make sure that I heard a concept correctly. Because of this, … Continue reading Learning As I Go
My day begins something like this: I get up mid-morning and make my coffee. As I sip breakfast, I peruse social media and find out what’s going on in the world. Sometimes I find an article that tickles my brain. I let ideas percolate, then write on whatever subject comes to mind and let it … Continue reading The Value of Play
I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the stories I plan to use in my collection. I took down the works as posted and am in the process of reworking them to fit the new narrative. While I have a long way to go, I can see a possible direction this compilation could take. I’ve … Continue reading When Art Imitates Life
It’s been a wild couple of weeks. With all that’s happening in the “real world,” I’ve had a difficult time concentrating on the characters tiptoeing through my imagination. But as things calmed down to a dull roar last week, I watched a scene unfold with the twins as they discovered a hidden cavern. In this … Continue reading Using Life to Create Fiction
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun Sometimes when I write, I get lost in the story my characters are telling, much like when I read a good book. Other times, it’s like forcing every word through clenched teeth. Recent events have my head spinning. I’m sure I’m not the only writer whose mind is reeling with the … Continue reading Imagine A New (Hi)Story
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun Most of my ideas are set in some fantasy world or another. One notable exception is a story I wrote in college. The script I had penned for a class stayed with me over the decades. After reading It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, a story idea began to percolate. … Continue reading When Characters Have More to Say