Posted in Blogging

10 Things I Like

Photo of cinderella fairy tale in Efteling
Photo of cinderella fairy tale in Efteling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As part of a writing exercise I’m listing 10 Things I Like, just so that you can have a chance to get to know me a little more. When I write or read, these are the things that settle in the back of my mind. The scent of cut grass will bring me instantly back to my childhood and remind me of my deceased father mowing the lawn. The thought of Lobsters and Chicken Barbeque makes me reflect on my younger days of growing up in Pepperell and attending the annual Fireman’s Muster.

I love dogs and wolves. I can’t stand not having a dog in my home. They are more than just four legs and fur that barks a lot. They mean security, friendship, and family. Birds of Prey like owls have an inner wisdom one can’t begin to fathom.

Finally, you can see, I’m a BIG – Walking Dead Fan. I love Game of Thrones just as much, except I’m not watching the HBO series, instead, I’m reading the books.

  1. Watching the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, I love how the writers have built the characters through relationships and survival
  2. Game of Thrones is another great example of Character Building. Also a great example of World building.
  3. Fantasy and Historical Fiction – To me they both belong in the same category. When I think back in history, even though I know it was just a fairy tale, my thoughts wander to Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.
  4. Fresh cut grass or the smell of hay – neither gives me allergies, I would be miserable if it did.
  5. Dogs and wolves are companion pack animals. Packs are equal to family, which is why dogs are considered man’s and woman’s best friends.
  6. Owls and other birds of prey are symbolic – wise and powerful
  7. Thunderstorms and Rainbows – power and forgiveness
  8. Lobster Bakes with steamers and barbeque chicken is the ultimate cookout venue fare.
  9. Gazing at cloud covered mountains from a distance and wondering how long it would take to climb to the top and how far could one see in the distance.
  10. Walking on the beach at the Ocean is peaceful and pleasant for meditating.
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Posted in Blogging, Making the Words Flow

How Many Words Does it Take to Make a Novel?

Have you ever wondered how many words it takes to make a novel?

I just picked three of my favorite books and did a simple count equation, added them all together and divided the sum by three. The average I came up with was 83421. This means to me that my stories are falling short of novel status. I need to learn more about my characters below their surfaces. It is time to start digging deeper.

I need to find out what their secrets are, what they fear and what they dream about. All these things make them tick and keeps them going.  A bunch of dominoes waiting to fall. If the right one falls, everything can fall apart for the hero or the heroine. How much should they lose before they take action?

Life is full of conflicts, even in historical stories. Back then it was constant war. Most people never lived beyond forty. With the biggest cause of death being killed in battle. The second cause of death was a disease. Then came starvation.

Getting inside a character’s head can be a bit scary. You’re about to experience the same thing the character is going through. Loss of family and homes, being alone in a world filled with constant battles to stay alive. Where is the safe haven?

These things are some of what I have avoided in the past when writing. Now, I’m about to embark on this new character encounter. Learning to see through their eyes all the stumbling blocks they will need to face. This must be one of the reasons some writers will write the end of the story first. That way they can remember that the story does have a potential to have a happy ending.

What does word counts mean to your writing?

Do you ever feel like you fall short of your goals when you write THE END?