As I near the mid-point of the second draft of my upcoming novel, I am reminded of something I did before diving into the first draft so many years ago. The novel I am working on is a ghost story. The book centers around two points of focus, a classic muscle car and a haunted bridge. In an attempt to make the story as scary as possible, I engaged in an exercise I often employ while writing.
WRITE FROM AN OUTLINE AND FINISH YOUR NOVEL. There you go. The reason this sentence is in all caps is because if I shouted from where I am writing this article, you couldn’t hear me. Some authors write from the hip. This practice is called discovery writing. Some authors are successful at this method. I am not. And, based on what I have heard from writers who can’t seem to make it through a first draft, not many find success in this wandering-through-the-woods approach.
The final result: a game that has been universally loved with every demo. We have sold tons of Shoot Your Friends. Considerate players often pass along compliments on how much fun they have playing. I believe much of the reason for the game’s early success is found in its humanistic character and in the world players get to visit when rolling up to the table to play.
Is writing worth it? My answer: I’m not sure. There you have it, brutal honesty. All I know is, I have to write. I am compelled to it. Sometimes I enjoy it. Sometimes, not being extremely comfortable around people, I escape to it. Sometimes I even live to some degree in my stories. Sometimes I hate it but have to live with it.
Greetings all. I thought I would try something new. I am currently working on my 7th book. I am extremely excited about this novel. It is a supernatural investigative thriller that follows Block Vang, a newspaper man, as he unravels the story behind a small town secret that tends to kill people in its community. […]
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand My rating: 5 of 5 stars Best book I have read all year. If you read only one book during your year, perhaps you should make it Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Laura Hillenbrand gets […]
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote My rating: 4 of 5 stars Many consider In Cold Blood the original non-fiction novel. Any way you look at it, this book is a classic in the true crime genre. It took Capote 6 years to write the manuscript. In Cold Blood follows the gruesome quadruple homicide committed […]
Here is my latest creation. I and the band contacted a few of my best friend authors. I asked the authors to write something Halloween related. We all converged at mediaRif studios. As the authors read their work, the band composed a spontaneous soundtrack. This ended up being far cooler than I expected. I think you will enjoy it.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars Did you ever wonder what happened to young Danny Torrence after escaping the Overlook Resort back in The Shining? This novel answers that question. We all rooted for young Danny. But in Doctor Sleep, we learn that his psychic abilities have taken their toll […]
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley My rating: 3 of 5 stars I regretfully admit that it took me decades to finally get around to reading Frankenstein. Writing a review of this classic somehow seems futile. I suppose I have a dual-forked opinion of this novel. On one hand, I have to judge it by its times […]
Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher My rating: 4 of 5 stars An excellent edition of the Harry Dresden Files. I was skeptical of a short story compilation. But in the end, I greatly enjoyed it. I especially liked the stories about side characters in the Dresden series. Butcher’s Dresden Files […]
Throttle by Joe Hill My rating: 3 of 5 stars Some excellent writing here. This was my first experience with Joe Hill as an author. Although the prose flowed expertly, Throttle as a story felt a bit contrived. Some of the characterization seemed a bit archetypal. But, overall, I liked it. View all my reviews
Duma Key by Stephen King My rating: 3 of 5 stars Stephen King is a self-proclaimed discovery writer. As such, sometimes it feels like he wanders around in his books until he discovers a story. Once he discovers it, he quickly figures out a way to end it. Duma Key had many positive attributes, including […]
The October Country by Ray Bradbury My rating: 5 of 5 stars Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Once again, Ray Bradbury proves that he is one of the greatest short story writers in all of time. This compilation is particularly terrifying. Some of the most chilling stories in this collection: The Next in Line, The Crowd, and […]
Crecheling by D.J. Butler My rating: 5 of 5 stars This wildly imaginative YA fiction novel kicks off a gripping adventure in an unexplored world. Butler does a great job of freshening the current YA dystopia trend with plenty of action, well-drawn characters, and an inventive story-telling style. Should you pick up a copy of […]
The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers My rating: 3 of 5 stars This young adult fiction story tries to play in the same arena as The DiVinci Code, with riddles, twists, and turns throughout the narrative. The problem is–and The DiVinci Code shares this problem–the characters seem to have the instant ability to solve […]
Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King My rating: 5 of 5 stars As a huge Stephen King fan, I have to say that, perhaps, I like his short stories the best. King excels at character development and getting readers right down into the gritty worlds he creates. Everything’s Eventual offers 14 different worlds […]
Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay by Stephen King My rating: 3 of 5 stars Great read. Although, Stephen King released this as a novel, it is nothing more than a screenplay. I think it was an innovative notion for him. But screenplays just don’t have the internal reflection and character development of novels. […]
Nightmares and Dreamscapes: Volume 1 by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars I am a constant fan of short stories. And when it comes to short horror, Stephen King continues to be the reigning master. This book contains many facets of fear and fantasy. King drops readers into a new world with every […]
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King My rating: 3 of 5 stars I didn’t enjoy The Tommy Knockers as much as some of Stephen King’s other stories. The Tommy Knockers was a bit over-written for my tastes. It seemed every time King introduced a new character, he felt inclined to write a complete back-story. I think […]
Needful Things by Stephen King My rating: 3 of 5 stars Great book by Stephen King. King does a masterful job of juggling a huge cast of characters. Perhaps the main character is the town in which all of the players live.This story is a pretty compelling, if bleak, glimpse of human nature. Perhaps a […]
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King My rating: 5 of 5 stars If you read only one Stephen King novel in your life, perhaps you should chose Dolores Claiborne. King, since his first novel, has been a master at writing strong characters. This one stands out as one of his best. Not often does an author […]
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