Blog on Writing

Michael Paul on writing. 

Writing can be daunting at times. If you have ever attended school, then chances are you had to write a paper. Perhaps it was something creative that you had to come up with or maybe it was a book report on some miserable boring tome. You would probably agree that starting the writing project is the most difficult part. The blinking cursor on a blank screen can be a taunting bully at times. 

I want to discuss through my blog on how to write fiction, in other words, how to tell a story. So please sit back and go on this journey with me. Disclaimer: This was my process and may or may not work for you.

January 7th, 2023

Dreams and Stories

Often times, I day dream about different lives that I could be living. I mean I am very happy with my own, but what if things were done differently. If I made a left instead of a right back 1997, would I be at this exact same spot. I doubt it and that's what makes life so darn interesting. I am not a millionaire but that's okay. I have a roof over my head and I have an eight year old boy that keeps me rolling with laughter and he keeps me on my toes. 

I guess that's what sparks my interest in stories. I don't have to live another life, I can just dream about one and still exist happily in my current life. Some times, when I can't sleep I often think up interesting stories that I think would be cool to tell. 

I love to Read

January 13th, 2023

I started writing and telling stories at an early age. Some of those stories that I told my grandparents, who raised me by the way, were just that, stories which at times landed me in a heap of trouble. See, we lived on a farm and I didn't have a lot of playmates that I could just hang out with. My aunts and uncle who lived with me were much older and didn't have much to do with me. My grandfather, a pharmacist and drugstore owner by trade, was a prolific reader and had an immense library in our living room. It took up two large walls and it almost dwarfed the fireplace that was really meant to be the centerpiece. 

I remember vividly grabbing those books and returning to my room only to become lost in other worlds. Books are wonderful and if you want you can be shoved into another world riding the crazy waves of imagination created by some author. That's what happened to me. I read wonderful stories that I simply didn't want to end. I was transported to another time and place and I just didn't want to come home. It was surreal that I found myself in other lands where I fostered relationships with characters out of books. 

I figured that I could write and tell my own stories. So, that’s what I did. I decided to write a novel. Honestly, I just wanted to write one. It would be great if I sold thousands of copies, but as an independent author, I doubt that I will. That’s okay, I just wanted to do it. If I sell only one hundred copies, I will be happy. 

To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. Never stop reading books. There is a book out there that you will fall in love with! Read often! 

The Tale of Two Writers

January 20th, 2023

I guess the word in the writing realm is that there are two types of authors. Now, two type of authors when it comes to writing a story. The Panster or the Plotter.

Let's say a person lives in the Pacific Northwest like I do. They decide they want to drive to Mardis Gras in New Orleans (Naw Leens) from Portland. Some people will plot the entire trip down to the rest stops, fuels stops, food, etc. etc. They have even mapped out the entire route, from beginning to end. They have the schedule down to the minute with meticulous care. Nothing wrong with that. Seems very safe to me, you know what to expect.

Let's say another person decided to take the same trip to Mardi Gras. They don't have a set time or an exact date to arrive. They just want to get there before the 21st of February (if you go in 2023). This person just points their vehicle southeast and they put the car in drive. No expectation, just enjoying the ride. Nothing wrong with that either. 

As we all know in both scenarios the intent was to just to get to Mardi Gras before the 21st. Both people make it. Well, what does that have to do with writing?

Some writers use and outline and they go by that outline like their lives depend on it. Other writers, well, just write. They, the pansters, have the destination in mind but they haven't really gotten the journey down on an outline. They watch the book unfold in front of them as if they were part of the audience. 

My last book (my only one published) was written by the "seat of my pants." I enjoyed that process. I tried using an outline but I really had no idea where the book was going to go. So, the outline was just a blank piece of paper. 

Anyhow, if you want to know more about Plotter v Panster, read this amazing article written in the writers digest. 

Write What You Want to Read!!

February 13th, 2023

Chances are we are not going to find our books on the NYT bestseller list. That's okay. There are so many great works out there and the sad thing is, they will never be discovered. Words that will never be read by others. 

Reminds me of a line from Paul Simon's hit (Simon and Garfunkle) The Sound of Silence, "People writing songs that voices never shared"

It's important to me that I write stuff that I want to read. I write for myself. I write about things that I would find interesting. If we write for the masses then we aren't really doing any justice for our own voice or inner creativity. We are pandering to the masses in hopes of selling tickets to a show that isn't guaranteed to garner to an audience. We are selling out and not in a good way. 

At times, when I am writing I wonder if the person reading it will finding it interesting. See, I have to stop that because it hurts the writing process. If you find something that is captivating that captures your interest, chances are it will capture other's interest. 

Write What You Know?

March 28th 2023

I think the jury is still out on this. Everyone has heard this phrase unless you live under a rock.

I think this should apply if you are writing non-fiction. I mean don't write a book all about rocks if you don't have a simple understanding of geology.