Archive for the ‘Thoughts on Writing’ Category

Tightening the Gut

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

The first thing I do each morning is sit up in bed, then remove the mask on my CPAP machine. And then I tighten my gut and stand up.

Specifics can vary. Sometimes I may take off the CPAP mask first. Sometimes (especially when running behind), I may leap straight out of bed in a single motion, without sitting up first. But the gut-tightening is always part of the process, for unavoidable physiological reasons that also work nicely on a metaphorical level. Hence this post.

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October 2015 Writing Progress Report

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Every now and then, something happens to remind me that I had said I was going to post regularly to this blog. While I think the number of those currently following the blog is probably in the low single digits, I nonetheless feel a certain obligation to keep my commitment, for no entirely clear reason. And so…

A little over three weeks ago, I got feedback from my online writing group on the prologue and first two chapters of what is now projected to be a five-novel series.

This, in case you were wondering, is serious progress. I mean, seriously. And yeah, the feedback I got (which was excellent, by the way; I have the greatest writing group ever) immediately made me set aside what I had written and start reconceptualizing the plan for my first novel, which I’m sure was not what they had been hoping for. But it’s what I needed, and even (kind of) what I had wanted. And I have, in fact, been working on that reconceptualization, and hope to be ready to resume drafting again relatively soon. “Relatively” being, you know, a relative term. Whatever.

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Writing a Novel

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A member of my writing group recently put out a request for those of us who have written novels to talk about our composition process and experiences. As preparation for that upcoming discussion — recognizing that I’m still discovering what worked and didn’t work in my one successful and other not-yet-successful novel-writing efforts — here are some top-level thoughts.

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Two Hours a Day

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Spring and early summer were unusually busy for me, workwise. And then the middle of summer was largely taken up with a family vacation, helping my mother move, getting our house ready for my mother-in-law to move in, etc.

All that is mostly settled now, however. And the question now is, how much time can I realistically put into my creative writing? And will that be enough for me to get anywhere?

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The General and the Particular

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

There are, speaking broadly (the irony of which will shortly be evident), two different ways of looking at and systematizing the world. The first — favored by theoreticians ranging from Newton to Marx to Freud to Joseph Campbell — involves the attempted deciphering of fundamental underlying codes that explain a broad range of phenomena. The second, in contrast, while it may accept the existence of underlying patterns, focuses on differences: particular instances, local circumstances, and the like.

I admit it. I’m drawn to the general theories. But as I’ve gotten older, I find myself increasingly skeptical about them.

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New Writing Rookie post

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Hi all,

I’ve just posted a new “Writing Rookie” column (my first in two years!) over at A Motley Vision, talking about things I’ve learned (or not) over the last few years, and my current writing “method.” Rather than cross-post it here as I’ve done in the past, I’m choosing to lazily just put a link here.

I’d love any comments, either here or there. I’d love even more to feel like my novel is magically writing itself, but that doesn’t seem terribly likely…

Progress Report December 2013

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s been a while since I posted here. One positive reason is that September, October, and November were all heavy months for me, workwise (good for paying tuition!). There wasn’t much to report in terms of my creative writing. And there always seemed to be other projects demanding what time I could spare (like, say, cooking food for my family). But work has slowed down a little, and a lot of the things I could be working on are more or less “on pause” for now. And I want to spend some time documenting the shifts in my thinking about my creative writing during the last few months.

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First, a quick recap on how I got to where I am. About 12 years ago, around the time I turned 40, I had a sudden sense that it was time to work on creative writing. This took me by surprise, as I had assumed this was one of those paths permanently not taken.

So I worked on several story ideas, including one idea for a large story (or set of stories) told against the canvas of a particular fantasy world. I did some worldbuilding and wrote a few chapters. It didn’t seem to be working, though.

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2 Posts on Point of View

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

So what, you may ask, have I been doing the last month or so, since my “reinvention”?

Short answer: Many things (though not so many along the creative writing line as I’d like…). But one item I will advertise here, which is: I wrote two posts about point of view for the Association for Mormon Letters blog. Part 1 is here, and part 2 is here. Feel free to read and comment!

Reinventing Jonathan: 2013

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

And why, you may ask, should I want to do that?

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End-of-June Progress Report

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Hey! It’s been a while since I posted. And I don’t really feel sorry about that, because my resolve this year was to focus on my actual writing, and to write about my writing only intermittently, as I feel the need. And I’ve mostly managed to do that. So yay, me! Or something like that.

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