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Showing posts from July, 2018

Kingly Writing Help

I’ve heard that “ On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft ” by Stephen King is a great book about writing. I don’t recall where I first heard about it or who recommended it, but it was probably two years ago that it was first brought to my attention. This afternoon, I looked it up on Amazon , and it was just a little over six dollars for the paperback.  I ordered a copy. I assume, that King being such a prolific author for some many years, has lots of advice to offer other writers.  I will soon discover what he recommends.  I’ll most likely write more about the book, once I have had the chance to read it. Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

Life Gets in the Way

Yesterday, I had plans to get a quick oil change, before our evening plans.  I had my appointment for 4:30 pm.  I thought I would be done in 45 minutes to an hour. I noticed the tires were starting to wear some time ago, but i wasn’t expecting to leave the shop with a new set of tires, a new air filter and a new drive belt.  They showed me all the problems, and they were legitimately old tires, belt and filter. I wasn’t expecting to spend three hours there or to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs, but sometimes the unexpected happens.  You’ve got to deal with it and keep moving forward. With this delay and few others things that came up yesterday, I didn’t have the time to write.  I did give up or quit.  I got back to my 1,200 Words A Day Challenge today.  My time was not as limited, but I felt like my creativity was today.  I wrote 1,201 words. Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

Don't Give Up

I think with any challenge, there will come a time when you are unable to complete part of that challenge.  I've challenged myself to write 1200 words a day.  For fifteen days, I wrote at least 1,200 words each day.  On day sixteen, for various reasons, I was not able to write anything. Does that mean that I will force myself to write 2400 words today?  No, I think that mentally would quickly cause someone to give up a challenge all together. For me, most days I have written more than the 1,200 words.  After sixteen days, I should have theoretically been at 19,200.  Without writing anything yesterday, I was at 18,935.  I decided that would I catch up partially, in that I would like to reach or exceed the total of 20,400 word for today, which would keep me on track. By not trying to force myself to write 2,400 words, I ended up writing 1,738 and developed my story further, with some key elements starting to come into focus. If you don't reach you goal for the day, don

The Three W’s

If you are going to write, I think you need to figure out what is the most comfortable method, when is the best time for you to write, and where is the most comfortable place or places for you to write. If you like to write with a pen a paper, and then later transfer to your computer.  Great, do it that way.  Figure out what works best you. I seem to write more easily on my iPad with an Bluetooth keyboard than on my computer.  I find that interesting. If you don’t have a lot of free time, the “best time” might not always work out.  The best time for you might be 10 am, but if you’re working in the morning like most people, that isn’t an option.  I seem to have an easier time writing around 10 pm, verses the afternoon or earlier in the evening. You might get more work done away from home and some of the distractions there, or you might find a public place totally distracting.  I like to write at the local coffee shop, but I seem to get the most writing done at home, in a comf

Have Fun Writing

So far today, I've written 1,507 words of my novel.  I really had fun today.  I wrote for a couple of short periods earlier in the day, and I just spent quite a while writing.  I think for the first time, since starting this project on July 1, 2018, I had fun. It seemed so much easier to write today.  Oh course, it is Saturday which means that I have more free time and that hours of the day my brain wasn't consumed with things for work, which I'm sure helps as well.  However, it was more than those two things. I got to a place in the story that I found really interesting, and it since it was interesting it was easier to write and it was more.  It included some interesting back story, a lot of dialogue, and a few interesting set pieces. I guess that means I have expanded my three steps to four steps. Start! Challenge Yourself. Write! Have fun! Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

Face Your Challanges

Today was day thirteen of my 1200 Word A Day A Challenge.  I wrote an additional 1,280 words.  I think the story is starting to come together.  A few more piece of the puzzle are being moved into place. I find it interesting when the protagonist or hero isn’t looking for the adventure or quest, but rather it is thrust upon them to undertake the challenge set before them.  I like movies like Die Hard, for example. In the first movie, John McClain was just a normal guy, who was an detective and was having martial issues.  He flies to California to see his wife.  He goes to her Christmas party and terrorists take over the building.  It’s really a brilliant setup for a story, which is probably why Die Hard has been copied so much the last few decades. I should also I guess mention, my story is not Die Hard on something, in something, or at something. Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

Have Two Tmelines Become Passé?

I wrote exactly 1,200 words today. It has been more time consuming the last three days, and I think part of the problem is there are so many different ways the story could go. I have not made an outline or a plan. I have some vague notions of some things, and some more defined ideas about other things. Today was day twelve of my challenge. I think some of the material written today is the best so far. I have added some new elements, that I think makes the narrative better. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m primarily dealing with the early 90s.  However, a key part of the story takes place in the mid 80s. The prologue features a scene that takes place in the 80s. I have nt decided if that part of the story will continue as a secondary timeline, throughout the novel. I think that is a cool technique, but at the same time, it has been done a lot. Let me know in the comments, if you think that two timelines as a story telling device has become passé. Thanks, J. Allen Tu

1200 Words A Day Is Hard

I challenged myself to write 1,200 words a day on my novel. The first several days seemed easier. The last two days have been more of a challenge. I’ve written in smaller chunks of time, until I felt like I was at a stopping point. I didn’t force myself to keep going right then. I took a break. Today, I wrote a little while, at the local coffee shop, and then I stopped. I wrote a few minutes on my iPad and stopped. I finally spent around an hour working on writing this evening, and ended up with a little over my 1,200 word quota. One thing that I’ve been considering is where is my story going. I am making this up as I go along, so I t’s been fun thinking of different scenarios and different problems for the hero to solve. Keep writing my friends. J. Allen Tucker

My Friends' New Novel

My friend Joshua Heston recently published his first novel.   Plague Child's Doctor  is a dark fantasy set in rural Missouri in 1924. His description of the novel is the following. Fourteen-year-old Cyrus Thatcher already knows he’s a freak and his father hates him. But when his beloved baby sister disappears and the townspeople won’t help, Cyrus must choose to take matters into his own self-doubting hands. Set in rural Missouri of 1924, The Plague Child’s Doctor is a fanciful plunge into fantasy, horror, and Americana in which nothing is as it seems.  He is having a an event tonight, and I plan to purchase my copy. It’s also available on Amazon ! If you check it out, I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

The 1990s was a Different Time

The story is now over 11,000 words. I think that the mystery is starting to slowly reveal that it exists in this small town that I’m creating. It has been a fun exercise, doing some version of world building. The story is taking place in the early 90s in a fictional town. It’s been interesting trying to determine family names, circles of friends and how the characters act and interact. Creating something more foreign would be a different a process. However, trying to establish the reality of the era and the things the characters does reflect the times in many ways. In many ways, the early 1990s is foreign to us today. Some of the entertainment options are similar, there are movies, TV Shows, video games, and books, but it was in many ways a different world. None of them have a multiple function computer device in their pockets, so they don’t have constant access to a camera, a phone, a calculator, or a video camera. They can’t send a text message or waste hours on end with

Music In My Novel

I mentioned yesterday, that the novel, that I am currently working on, takes place in the early 90s and that it has been fun making pop culture references. One of the things, that I have done several times early in the story is have the characters listen to music, that was popular and influential at the time. Today, part of what I wrote included a character driving around listening to Pearl Jam. I did not include the lyrics, but it is interesting how some the song lyrics match up with little elements in my story. Whether its mentions something about driving or being in a small town. Music was such a huge part of my life, during that era. In a lot of ways, I found meaning in the music, that I listened to. When I was a teenager, music was almost a religion to me. That is where I turned, if I were happy, sad, depressed, or whatever. I would go to a CD that in some way expressed my feelings, that maybe I was unable to express, with my own words. As I grew up, I still loved mus

Pop Culture of the Past

This morning, I got up early and took care of a few chores around the house.  Once the local coffee ship that I frequent opened, I headed over.  I drank my current favorite iced latte and continued my novel. I’ve often heard the old saying, “Write what you know.”   I think over the last week, that I am starting to understand the saying a little more. One of the fun parts of what I have been writing is remembering bits and pieces of the past. My story is set in the early 1990s.   I have been thinking about the movies, TV shows, bands, songs, and video games that I enjoyed at the time. It’s been fun including little references to an episode of Saturday Night Live or a new CD that just hit the shelves, of the local music store.   I think this is part of the reason why the creators of things like Stranger Things and Ready Player One do what they do.   They create a new story, by incorporate things that they loved from the era that is almost a character in the story. It’s

Three Easy Steps to Writing?

A few days ago, I started writing again.  I sat down at my desk, and I just started.  I think that's the hardest part of the battle sometimes. Last year, I decided that I wanted to draw again.  I didn't make a New Year's resolution per say, but I challenging myself to draw everyday.  By the end of 2017, I had complete 450 sketches, with more sketches that were rough drafts or concepts etc.  I completed more finished artwork last year, than probably the entire rest of my life. I think my new 1200 word challenge will do the same for me.  If I continue this process, I will exceed the word count of the longest story that I've ever written on July 7th. I had to write a lot of papers in college, so it might take a while for me to surpass that total.  However, if I keep this up, like I plan to, it will happen sooner rather than later. Start! Challenge Yourself! Write! Thanks, J. Allen Tucker

The Novel Writing Journey Begins

On July 1, 2018, I started writing again. It had been a while. I have started novels on several occasions, at this point, but I think it’s time to finish one. I started a new story, and I wrote 1260 words that day. On July 2nd, I wrote an additional 1300 words. By July 3rd, I decided to challenge myself to write at least 1200 words every day. I have not set a specific time frame exactly. I would like to keep add at least this number of words every day to my novel for at least six weeks. On the third, I added an additional 1226 to my story. On the fourth, I committed time to writing again, and I wrote 1215. Today is July the 5th, and earlier I added an additional 1259 words to my new and developing story. I just watched a hour and a half webinar about blogging, and I decided to chronicle my journey to trying to write a novel. Welcome to the journey. I do not plan to post the portions of the story that I write each day. Eventually, I want to share my novel with the worl