May 18th, 2015

The Golden Quill says: G.O.D.P.A.P.A. test your scenes. (Goal, Obstacle, Disaster, Passion, Analysis, Plan, Action

May 18th, 2015

Arkansas girls are allowed to drink hard liquor, aren’t they? She smiled. “Only with strange men in strange places.”

May 18th, 2015

A clear and ever-present danger for writers is a death beetle called Self Doubt. Kill that beetle by learning the art-craft of storytelling

May 17th, 2015

Writing is a dirty, lonely business. You frustrate people, frighten them, even kill them just for fun and money.

May 13th, 2015

Plotting. First solutions are often cliche or trivial. Think harder and longer. Find a creative solution. It works.

Wisdom for Writers. ..

May 13th, 2015

“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann


Re WordPress hackers

August 22nd, 2014

Question is, do I have a way to prevent hackers on my blog.

The answer is:

So far, I’ve had no problems with hackers. Perhaps it’s just dumb luck, or maybe the truth is I’m not important enough to hack.

The bottom line is if I get hacked, the site goes away. Too much hassle otherwise. Of course, I’m not selling a product, only providing information for striving novelists, which may not be appealing to hackers.


Do you have to be a bestselling writer to write about writing bestseller? I don’t think so. You must understand research.

August 16th, 2014

SOME PEOPLE ARE SKEPTICAL about the claims I make about Writing Great Stories. They ask, “How many bestsellers have you written?” My answer: “None yet, but I’m working on it. I have one that could be, if anyone knew it existed.”

So, what gives me the arrogance to think I can write a relevant book about writing bestselling stories?

Two things. First, I have known a lot of successful writers who couldn’t teach anyone about their craft if their lives depended on it. They’re intuitive do-ers, not teachers. For instance, I know one writer who wrote and published seventeen novels (before self publishing). The man, I’ll call him Jack, had no idea how he did it. He just started writing, and if it worked, it worked. Quite frequently, though, he would get a third of the way through a book and then throw it away. I always considered that a waste.

Second, I have always had a real love for research. Had a number of factors not intervened, I probably would have become a mathematical physicist, because that’s my nature. I love to ask questions, then find the answers. Along with my love of research, I’m a determined cuss. Once I set my mind to do a thing, I figure out how to do it. I don’t quit until it’s done. It took me thirty years of hard research to amass the information contained in this book.

Writing has always been my principal love, with music and mathematics running close seconds. So, when at an early age, my life ran into a major snag, making finishing college impossible, I switched to writing and have never looked back. I also switched my research itch over to figuring out what makes some stories successful and others dismal failures. The fact is, I’ve always been a damned good researcher, and I’ve applied that skill to the problems of fiction writing.

Early on, I learned that the biggest problem for most hopeful novelists is not how to write, but how to properly understand and create successful stories. I, therefore, turned my efforts to story. This book is the result.

My quest for the golden quill of storytelling began more than thirty years ago and culminated in a series of ten articles I wrote at the request of a start-up writing website.

I can’t recall the website’s name, now, but the articles —based on the research I had done to that time—were so popular I received about 600 emails asking me to write a book about the Golden Quill, which was a term I invented to cover both story craft and writing craft.

Frankly, I was astonished at the hunger for what the writers called real, usable information. As a result, I’ve toyed with the notion off and on over the years, but my very busy life and the feeling it wasn’t quite ready for big time kept me from going forward with the project.

Finally, however, I believe I have the material under control enough to stick it out to help other struggling writers.

A lot of writers tell me, “Oh, another writing book, eh? Just what the world needs.”

I just grin and say, “Yeah, but you’ve never seen one like this before. Ever!”
The truth is this book is a gold mine of hard-learned information for want-to-be novelists and story tellers. It has taken much of my life to dig out the knowledge and wisdom contained in these pages. Writers are my favorite people, so I gladly share the results of my years of research.

I’m happy and relieved to say with publication of Writing Great Stories my own personal Quest for the Golden Quill of Storytelling is now finished. I’ve got it, and now you can get it, too.

Even a tiny ant, carrying one grain of sand after another, can build a pyramid. So, too, writers, one word at a time, can build a novel.

August 15th, 2014

The bottom line is: be persistent, be consistent. Hit the writing desk every day. Unwritten work cannot be sold. But even a few words a day, written consistently will build a novel

When does tolerance become a crime?

August 14th, 2014

Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil, according to the great German author, Thomas Mann.

He also said: “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”