Source: home slice
Some writers can only write when inspired. Some suffer from writer’s block. Other’s cave in to popular culture or conventional wisdom. So, when they get around to writing words, they write words that are false, sentences that are flat, stories that are dead the moment the final period is placed on the page, then wonder why their their writing isn’t up to scratch. These writers become dejected, and repeat the process again and again. I know I have.
I think this because for writers, even young writers, the enemy is time. We are all guilty in luxuriating in the nonsense that is ‘waiting for inspiration’ or ‘ I need to research this in order to understand the subject’ or ‘when I accomplish ___________ then I can REALLY get down to writing.’
My first notion of writing a story came at 6 years of age. I wrote my first story at 10. By age 14 I had written, in large print, on white ruled paper, nearly 100 pages of forgettable juvenile nonsense. I knew I had writing deep in my bones, but allowed interests in other things to overwhelm me – I lacked punctuality, order and diligence to keep at writing regularly.
And when I acquired a modicum of those habits, I really had no idea what to do with them, so far as writing went. Because I had no sense of urgency. I still believed I had time on my side. Then I turned 40. Time had slipped through my fingers, and I had nothing to show for my efforts but notebooks and short stories and a life contemplating writing without really doing anything about it. So I set out to write what was in my heart and on my mind. I resolved to be published in my 40s and earn my living from my stories by the time I was 50.
I’m 58. Things are just now starting to come together.
It’s inevitable that one’s life takes over one’s art, unless one’s art is one’s life. I’m not talking about earning a living, raising a family, or being a productive member of society. It’s making time to write, or paint, or compose, or build, or cook – whatever it is – because, as every athlete or musician or painter or writer knows, it’s all about practice, practice, practice. And that takes habit, punctuality and diligence.
Jeff Goins says writers need to focus on resolve: that a write needs to commit, to develop new habits. I agree.
Still, I think Charles Dickens said it best.
Time to get back to it.
What about you?
See you soon!
Do you remember where you were in 1991? Some of you do, of course, and some of you don’t. And one of the great thrills of reading is being taken to a time and place you may never have been: Paris, 1870; Dublin, 1904; Rome, 30 A.D.; A galaxy far far away — stories take us to memorable places with people and creatures that entertain us for hours.
In the Shig Sato Mystery series, the reader enters the world of Tokyo, 1991. A world capital, a center for government, entertainment, industry, diplomacy, a cavalcade of characters from the world over stepped onto the shores of the Land of the Rising Sun. It was a time of Japan Inc., riding an economic boom, the nation making its mark as an industrial leader. A city and a nation with a new emperor, a new vision for the future.
The world of Shig Sato was unique: a long-serving, highly respected police inspector, Sato returned to Azabu Police Station after two years of diplomatic security detail and security assignments for the Imperial Household Agency. Sato’s world was heart of Tokyo – the Imperial Palace, Roppongi, the embassy districts, and Sato knows every inch of it.
Roppongi: served by Sato’s beloved Azabu Police Station, isn’t so different now than it was in 1991. And Sato knew that among many of the foreigners out for a good time in that nightclub district were American servicemen, including some stationed with the U.S. Navy and Marine forces in Yokosuka, 37 miles down the coast. In the Shig Sato mystery The Gangster’s Son, Kimi Yamada’s beloved Cpl. Charlie Parker Jones is a Marine stationed on a American ship at the Navy base.
Sato’s return to Azabu Police station, the murder of Kimi Yamada, and his journey to finding the truth about her killer and himself make The Gangster’s Son “A highly readable murder novel with authentic Japanese flavor and a fresh, intelligent plot,” “Unique,” “Gritty. ”
Next time: Tokyo Inc.
To get a copy of my ebook mystery The Gangster’s Son click here and The Thief’s Mistake click here. And you’re invited to keep up with the latest Shig news by signing up for my monthly newsletter. See you soon!
My friend Anita was kind enough to interview me. Have a look.
Joseph Mark Brewer, the author of The Gangster’s Son, is here to talk about his writing method, combining the work of journalist and writer, and the challenges an author faces when planning an intricate plot of an exotic thriller. He will also announce the upcoming adventure of his signature detective Sato.
1. You write crime mysteries, involving plenty of plots and subplots. How much pre-planning do they require and is it difficult for you to balance plotted plans and creative freedom?
The mysteries require lots of planning for story structure and the whodunit aspect, but I don’t find it difficult to balance plot against creative freedom. I find creativity in dreaming up the crimes, the culprits, the scenarios, the dialogue – creativity within a structure, so to speak. I find thinking about what a character might say or do, what comes next, all of that to be very…
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My friend Lizzie is in South Sudan. Eye-opening to say the least.
This morning, I awake in my net-covered bed to the sound of crickets chirping and a rooster crowing. I stumble into green flip flops, eyes half-closed, and lift the patterned curtain that serves as a door to the room I share with three other Seed Effect volunteers. I am still drowsy, still want more sleep, but when I see the gold tinted bulbous clouds and Alice, the sweet South Sudanese woman who wakes before dawn to cook eggs and flat bread for our breakfast, the sleep washes away and I am alert. I don a blue skirt, grey shirt (a shirt I’ve worn for four days now), my big round sunglasses and baseball cap. When I cross the compound, I see a group of kids pumping water from a nearby well. Another South Sudanese woman, whose name I haven’t learned yet but know as the woman who carries the baby…
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Really interested to know what you think of this.
STEP ONE: write a book.
You don’t need to know how to write, and it doesn’t have to be a great book. Don’t even think of it as a book. Think of it as a product. Based on their reviews, many of the writers on the Amazon Kindle freebie bestseller list don’t really know how to write, and many of those who do are giving away a single short story or essay, not an entire novel or nonfiction book. You don’t have to write a masterpiece, just something you can slap a title and cover on and call an e-book.
STEP TWO: give it an enticing title and a nice cover.
You don’t really have to know anything about book design. There are places you can buy premade covers for $50 or less. If you are low on a budget, Fiverr is a great place to get High Quality…
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