Writers Block

I wish I had a nickel for every person who has spoken with me about writer’s block.

I don’t believe it makes a difference if you are a plotter or a panster; at some time in your life, you will experience writer’s block.

How do you deal with the infamous blank page?

I find it useful to examine why I am drawing a blank, or my characters have stopped talking.  Many times it is that part of the novel that we all dread, the middle slump.  Since we all know we want to avoid that, just possibly, we put undue stress on ourselves and cause our stream of conscious to become, derailed.

Keep in mind that it is your SFD or $hitty first draft.  Only you will see it, read it, and know that your characters decided to go on strike.

Some causes for the strike can be that you don’t want to deal with this part of the story.  Maybe it is too close to you.  There are many land mines with writing, and I find it refreshing and often times cathartic when I work my way through a story.

If the words are not coming, turn off your ‘IBM Selectric’ and go do something else.  As an artist, I find if I am busy with some graphic, or a painting, my characters will want to see what I am doing and come out and play.

Now, why do you suppose that might be?

When we are between awake and asleep, in the shower and yes, doing something with our hands like coloring or painting, your brain produces something called Theta waves.  A different part of your brain is active and guess where the characters hideout?  Yes, you have knocked on the door, rang the bell and now you have huffed and puffed the proverbial threat, all while trying to color between the lines.

One thing that I find that assist me is I will put the project up, and work on something else, such as this blog.  Hours, days, weeks, and even months later, I will start at the beginning of the project and reread it.  There you will find the epiphany.  The Ah-Ha moment will become apparent and you will see where your GPS took you on a wrong turn.  You might have to scrap a few paragraphs or chapters, but that is how my process works.  In ten years, I have written well over thirty novels, so I must know something.

The literary process, to me, is the gold standard of how I wish to live.  How can I tell the best there while remaining true to who and what I am?  Truth over lies, love over hate and yes, and a dirty mind is necessary at times to keep it real.

We are the perfect juxtaposition of Jekyll, and Hyde, only most of us ‘hide’ that dark side while putting on our happy face.  In my books, I rip the Band-Aids off.  One of my critics told me that she did not like the F word.  Umm, don’t read it.  If my characters use that vernacular guess what, the F word is there.

Honesty, truth, and kindness will take you far in life.  Knowing who you are will assist you through those bleak times when the blank page is striking fear into your heart.

“Write the shitty first draft and own it!”

 

Much Love -TW

 

Know the Rules, and Break Them!

Make it your story.

As writers, we are ever cognizant of the rules.

From show don’t tell to use simple sentences, we have all heard them.  There are even books on the subject.  “Shocking!”

One of my readers contacted me to tell me that ‘big’ words threw him out of the story.  My first response was, ‘only in my head, of course, was’  “bless your heart.”

That begs the question, do we dumb our writing down to appeal to the masses?  Is the reading public getting dumber?

Personally, I would rather lift people up than encourage them to read at a fifth grade level as adults.  It used to be that we would write for a seventh-grade level which is still insane but, to lower our standards to a fifth-grade level, one has to wonder.  Why are companies hiring from other countries instead of America?  Could it be that we are saying it is ok to stagnate at a fifth grade level of reading?

Here is another rule. ‘Simple sentences work best.’ Pro Writing aid will tell you many things, including identifying such sentences.  To me, this rule also has to do with the pacing of your story.  We want people to turn the page, not struggle over complex sentences.  Does that hold true for words like perpetuity?

Should we not endeavor to leave people a little more educated than when they found us?  Kindle makes it so damned easy to look up a word.  Personally, I rejoice when I read a word that I have not heard.  Possibly that is a quirk but I will own it.

As a child, I kept a dictionary close and looked up every word that I did not know.  I used a word in my second-grade class that the teacher called me on.  I mentioned that my sibling was obstinate.  She peered down over her long nose through her poorly fitted readers and pointed her crooked finger straight at me. “Do you even know what that word means?” She crowed.

“Stubborn, pig-headed, inflexible.”

This person was not impressed.  This individual should have retired years ago but ‘loved’ kids. PFFT!

I was ‘that’ child in school.  The precocious child who used words better suited for late teens, possibly college kids.  When you read, you tend to have a respectable vocabulary.

I wrote in a previous blog about how you get a glimpse into the heads of the author by reading what they wrote.  This is especially true for children and ‘stories.’

An astute teacher can glean much from those short stories, including trouble at home.

I learned the rules.  I know them, so now I break them with impunity.

Thunder over the water sounded like two pirate ships in a heated battle; before one of them would meet Davy Jones.  The crusty old captain was not going down without a fight.  His younger rival had studied him, and knew what his moves might be.  This was the first time a woman would lead men into battle, and she was untested.

Her red hair blew about her, as the acrid odor of gun powder filled their noses. The splinter of wood sounded like the thunder itself, as the mainsail was the first casualty of the battle.

Susan saw the story in her head as she sat on the screened-in porch watching lighting dance in the clouds well in the distance.

Her mother was due home at any moment.  She could see down the mountain road and there were no lights from any cars.  In fact, there had been no traffic for what seemed hours.

A chill caught her attention as the winds from the impending storm blew through the screen, with a whistling sound that reminded her of the sounds coming through the open canopy of her father’s aircraft.

Never start a story with the weather… Hmmm, I think that start gets your attention.  This open or prologue took less than three minutes to concoct.

  • Who is Susan?
  • Where is her mother?
  • How old is she?
  • What about her father?
  • He is/was a pilot. Where does the story take place?

While allowing the reader to do some of the work, we the writer have this picture in our mind.  We know it is a cabin perhaps, in the woods may be up a mountain next to a lake left over from the glacial days.  We know that Susan has an imagination and pirates play into it.

I like strong women and red-haired women at that.  Wonder why?

Know the rules and then write the damned story.  Make it your story.

Comments?  I love to hear from you as always.

Much Love -TW

 

Honesty: So, you want to be a writer.

 

Hello, and welcome to my first post of 2020.  As I take time away from re-writing my novel Nudists of Shangri-La, I wanted to keep you my audience, followers, and friends updated on, what I am up to and why.

The reasons I am re-writing many of my novels are many.

  • My craft of writing has improved.
  • The story has evolved.
  • There is more that I want to say.
  • Some of these books are performing in a lackluster way.
  • I wanted to be more honest, more insightful with the characters.

Writers deal in lies.  If you think about it, we tell stories about people, places and things that never existed or, did not happen. There never was a wooden boy that had a nose that grew when he prevaricated.  We, as readers, can still anthropomorphize this and believe that it happened.  Indeed the wooden child is part of our culture. “Your nose is growing.”

The dirty little secret about writing and lies is there is an undercurrent of honesty in what we write. For instance, in many of my novels, there are parts of me on display that no camera could ever find.

I talk about the difference between being nude and naked in many of my novels.  For you who don’t know, if I were posing for a bunch of art students and I was to be undressed, I would be nude.  If right before that were to happen, I was in the bathroom getting ready to make an appearance, and someone came in unannounced, I would be naked.

Now some of you might just say that is semantics, but it is not; it is a state of mind.  In my novels, there are parts of me that are nude. They are on display, and I have chosen to put them out there for the world.  There might also be some parts that are naked that I did not intend to put out and did by accident.

Judy, in this novel, works her way through the process of being nude not only with her body but in discovering who and what she is, she must be naked and then find out what and who her demon is.

I have added an element of magic in these novels, and some mystical things to bring more audiences into the story other than just those who seek titillation. Judy is much deeper than being submissive for some Dom.  I am much more deep-rooted than providing a story for those who might want to read with one hand.

Sorry if that is too graphic.  When writing, we need to consider who the audience is. We can only do that when we are totally honest with who we are.  The problem or a consequence of that is this, we expose parts of ourselves to the world.  People might or will judge us.

As a writer, I hear many say, ‘I don’t want others reading what I write.’  Consider that statement carefully as it is relevant to the conversation.  When you write and you share, it is much like walking down the hallway in your school naked.  Yes, we all had that nightmare and I am sure some phycologist somewhere could piece that together with insecurity that you have.  You don’t want people to know who you really are.

This is who I am.  In my stories, I talk about finding a balance between your ‘bedroom’ life and your public life.  Your naked or nude life in your bathroom, vs. your clothed life in the world.

The life you portray on Sunday at church vs. Friday nights at the club.  Balance is critical and denying who you are or what you are is what makes us scared that we might be found out.

Follow me here if you have not already, as I will dive into this more as the week’s progress.  The nudist’s series will be a trilogy before it is over and it will be much more than a one-handed read.  We will be honest with you and ourselves about this subject and why so many write about and talk about nudism.

Being a writer is probably more revealing of who we are in that we go beyond being nude.

I hope your year has started off well, and I look forward to spending 2020 with you!

 

Much Love -TW

Greetings and Salutations!

After a very long day following a short night, I am home once again.

I wanted to share the day with you, as it was interesting in many aspects.  If you follow me at all, you know that I am about paying it forward, and about assisting fellow writers.

When I sign my post with ‘Much love,’ that is not a catchphrase.  I genuinely value writers and those that have the desire.  Today was all about paying it forward.

Before I continue, please note this is not about blowing my horn or any kind of nonsense like that.  This is about leading by example.

I am involved in some writer’s groups.  Firstly, allow me to elucidate on why I am involved with such people.  They are my tribe.  We have this kindred spirit, this connection that I feel.  It is almost as if it is in the air.

This sounds a little esoteric, but here goes, I get a sense of people, much like ‘Spidey senses.’  That might make sense to some of you.  Have you ever been around someone that just made your skin crawl?  Well, today all of the ‘energy’ was positive and uplifting.  I stay away from toxicity, and that includes Debbie Downers.

I know you have felt them too.  You get into an elevator, and you can almost sense the person’s feelings in the cab with you.  Today I was at an event where we were joined by many different people from all occupations.  Some were doing things like blacksmithing, to picking locks.  These are all necessary skills for who?

Well, for you and me, who might write about such things.

Some of these events were hands-on and that was fun too.

I ended up giving an impromptu class on my specialty, and it was fun.  These were writers who were excited to be there, and I was genuinely happy for them.  I think I was feeding off their energy if that makes any sense to you at all.

As I seek to inspire those that I met today, you too are in my thoughts.  I make a point to visit your blogs.  Some of you are great writers.  I hope you are working on a book!

Enjoy your Sunday, and stay in touch.

 

Much Love -TW

Is Linux the Answer?

Is Linux a threat to Apple or Microsoft?

 

Hello my friends, I hope you are having a great start to yet another week!

Many out there in the writing community are truly starving artists.  I say that because they feel like they must have a state of the art computer and all the great software to accommodate their writing.

I don’t like excuses.

If you want to do something badly enough, you will find a way.

Tonight I wanted to tell you about what you can do with an older laptop that still functions, but just possibly, it is Windows 7 and does not have the spiz to go to Windows 10.

I recently took my laptop and cloned the hard drive to a new SSD drive.  My trusted HP with an I3 processor was destined for the shelf when it occurred to me that an SSD drive might breathe some new life into it.

A three-minute boot-up time went to thirty seconds.

Applications that would take forever to launch, now open almost instantaneously.

While it is outside the scope of this blog to go into the different types of SSD drives, the ones I bought are three-layer and a Terabyte for under $100.00 US.   ‘Don’t buy used.’  The care and feeding of SSD drives are different from regular drives. For instance, you do not ever run defrag on them.

Today I met an old friend for lunch who had upgraded their laptop.  Handing me the old one I was told the operating system was messed up.  This too was an I3 HP with 6 gigs of ram.

Ok, I have been dying to play with Ubuntu so…Here is where the story gets good.

Taking the hard drive out and tossing it into the recycle bin after it fell onto the cement once or a dozen times, I replaced it with a new Tera Byte SSD drive.

Downloading Ubuntu for FREE…I burned it onto a DVD ISO file and went to work.

Booting from the DVD, in no time the software was loading away into RAM.

A little history of me.

I was working with computers before the PC was truly a thing.  Home computers were unheard of and the Radio Shack TRS 80 was just released for around $5K

Bill Gates was buying DOS for $5,000 from a person in Washington State, and Steve Jobs who I met, was a criminal, making and selling devices in his garage that would defraud the phone company out of revenue from long distance calls.

Fast forward a few years.  I do forensic computing and on rare occasions, can be sucked into assisting companies with infrastructure and so on.  Truthfully, I want you all to buy my books so I can just write and entertain you…

Ok, that is not the total truth as many of you are already buying my novels.  I need one of them to go viral.  Tell a friend… 🙂

Ok, enough about me…Why am I going on about Ubuntu?

I am a PC person, I have been with DOS 1.0….  Someone at Microsoft figured out that all of their applications should be intuitive and of course that came with the invention of the WYSIWYG  …and, of course, the GUI.

While I think they got the idea from XEROX, who tried to re-coop their entire development cost in the sale of one of their computers, I digress.  If memory serves, some college kids came up with the GUI and the mouse, and Bill went and made a deal or something.  Not sure how he managed to get the rights to it.  Possibly becuase it was open source he just took it.  Who knows…

Anyway, Steve and Apple finally came around after his run at NeXT Step.  That is how I met him as I supported the NeXT Step computer and OS for years.  Steve has always charged too much for his products but, in spite of that they still took off.  I think it was the iPhone that was the secret of his success.

Those two giants own the industry until Linux came about.  Linux or Ubuntu looks a lot and feels a lot like Apple.  Unlike Apple, I have about $100 invested in an old laptop that is very functional with Linux and several free apps.  From Libra Office to a French program I just downloaded for writing novels called Plume Creator.  For a free program, this thing looks pretty doggone good!

With the SSD drive, I opened the lid and hit enter and it was ready to go.

eBay has older laptops on it all of the time for minimal amounts of dollars. My other HP I3 processor laptop I upgraded to Windows 10.  It loads and is ready in thirty seconds.

When this laptop that I am talking about was new, it sold for about $400.  Linux based OS with open source apps is a super way for anyone who can’t afford a newer machine and $400 or so for Office to get going.

Yes, you can load Linux on a regular hard drive and still have a functional computer.  Why?  Invest in an SSD and WOW!

Had I not had experience with Apple, the Linux OS might have been a little challenge but honestly, it looks and acts so much like a MAC it is scary.  I, in fact, read that you can run Linux on MACS.  I have a MAC desktop I am seriously thinking about putting one of those SSD drives and loading Linux on it.  This thing has like 32 gig of Ram and a nice video card.  Goodwill and other thrift stores have these things as well.  If you can spend less than $100 and get a fast computer for writing and such, why not?

I would love to know about your experience. If you are a Linux user let, us know any hacks you might have found. By ‘us’ I really mean me but, I will share it… 🙂

 

Much Love -TW

 

 

 

TW do you have a thing for Lesbians?

I have a thing for People!

That was the basic gist of an e-mail from one of my readers.

I have a thing for people.  I am what is known as a ‘humanist.’  I value critical thinking skills over your ability to catch a baseball or perhaps kick the winning goal in soccer. Those are all important, but I endeavor to engage the higher self in my novels.

If you read my novels, even the naughtiest of them will have that philosophy in them.

No, my works are not anti-Christian or anti any religion.  Humanism is a type of philosophy, which I happen to ascribe to and participate in, as I construct my stories.

I took the time to re-write one of my favorite novels, Diamond Joe.  In that novel, we take a perfectly ordinary person and turn her life upside down.  As writers, we get to do that.

You see a thinking person can think outside the box.  What if you were totally bereft of love, and pick your gender, someone shows you affection and kindness, and they happen to be in a body that matches your assigned gender?  A thinking person can look past that.

No, I don’t have a thing for lesbians. I have a thing for people.  I encourage people to seek a higher form of self.  The stereotypes that we grew up with should be challenged.

We can debate many things, and I am happy to do it. What I think may not be mainstream, or it might.

The key to debate and thinking really is to do so without emotions.  Once you interject ‘feeling’ in the discussion or conversation, the playing field is skewed.

One of my close friends believes that every word in the bible is sacrosanct and the absolute word of God.  As a thinking person, I can dismantle the bible in its entirety.  I asked my friend if he cared to debate the subject with me.  This was after he assured me that he was open-minded.  His answer was..’ as long as it does not go against what I believe, we can debate it.’

Stated another way …no…

Humanism is about doing away with the mythology and superstitions and looking at who you are.  It is not who I am, or your wife or husband is; it is about looking at who you are. Only when you know who you are, can you possibly understand the world.

Do I believe in God? …Yes.  Do I think God is as defined in the bible…?  Not so much.

Unlike those who blindly go to church every time the door is open and give their tithes and offerings and time, I don’t do that blindly.

We can talk about the world’s divergence from God and how it is falling into a bad place.  We can make an argument about why the church and God are essential and why we should have decency laws.

We can, in fact, argue for that spiritual connection between you and your creator, but I have no idea what I would label it.  Possibly just Enlightenment.

There are well over 3000 denominations of Christianity today, which is, overwhelming.

The early church had to be controlled by SATAN himself, and man was just as corrupt then as they are now.

Back then, they would sell you indulgences to get your dead relatives into heaven.

Today they want to sell you carbon credits to save the world.  I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt why this climate change thing is a talking point for money for the rich, but we have put emotions in the mess by having coke cola have those cute polar bears drinking coke, and now they are all going to drown.  Oh please!

The world is being brainwashed by the ‘elite’ who want to find ways to control you.  En masse, they are doing it.

Power corrupts.  The more you give someone, the more corrupt they become.  I would steer clear of any mega-church or one that has some central authority that you must contribute to.

Small churches without a governing body that reports to some other high priest or what have you, is where I would look.

I say in many of my novels, and I mean this.  If they preach hate and bigotry from the pulpit, I will not give them a dime.

No, nothing for lesbians my friends but I do have lesbian friends, and I do love them. I have gay men friends who I also love.  Oh, and I have many straight friends who think outside the box, who I spend my time with and love as well.

I tend to stay away from what I affectionately call the knuckle draggers.  You know who they are.  Pray for them or lead by example but…I caution you most earnestly if they are toxic, keep them out of your life.

Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.

Writers tend to be ‘great minds,’ which is why I call them my tribe.   Not everyone that writes falls into this category but…they might be working on it, which I will most certainly encourage.

Much Love -TW

Diamond Joe

Newest Release Coming Soon!

If you fell in love with the worst of the bad boys, what would you do?

Hello from the lair of TWScott

In case you don’t follow my tweets, I wanted to update you on my progress.

I rented this cabin in the woods in the Smoky Mountains.  I could say a lot about the roads in Tennessee, but that would take us away from the exciting news I want to share with you.

My latest novel is finished.  107K words give or take of everything you have come to expect in a TWScott Novel.

When a young girl from Iowa leaves the farm for college in Florida, her life is transformed. The need for cash drives her to look at the unthinkable as a way to survive. Her lifelong friend had already discovered ways to make money working at Gentleman’s Clubs.   

Predators looking for young girls to work as escorts, troll those clubs and colleges. Lacy was an easy target.  Barely five foot tall, Blond hair and blue eyes with a ‘Monroe’ type body and smile, she became the focus of a recruiter.

Hired as arm candy, or love toy; Lacy soon learns the horrors of the industry, while catching the attention of one of the world’s wealthiest of bad boys.  A strange romance ensues as Lacy and her friends become part of the fabric of a modern-day brothel. An island entertainment facility for the worlds rich and famous was in the works and she was to become part of it.

With the world’s leading bad boy in love with Lacy, several people try to infiltrate her group to claim the reward on her lovers head.

How is that for a tease?

With the Epstein Island fiasco, the story wrote itself.  Instead of one island, I have two, as Peter; her ‘friend’ has competition who relies on sex trafficking to get his girls.

I don’t want to spoil the book, but I just love it when the evil person gets theirs, don’t you?

Schadenfreude

Captives of Pleasure Island

Taking a week to travel on vacation was not time lost as the story played out in my mind while driving.  I hoped that an Agent would see the tweets about it, and I would not have to Query it as that takes four hours for each agent.

The process is broken and needs repair.  The likes of Bezos or Corker will be the beneficiaries of many independent novels.

As you can see, I have created the cover art.  So far, I like this much better than my first attempt.  The name Schadenfreude is the name of a yacht that the rich boyfriend gives Lacy.  The name is a word that means deriving pleasure from the pain of others.  This man is twisted.

I spent a fair amount of time with my laptop on the screened-in porch, with the gentle breezes, generated by Dorian whispering through the trees.  When you think Dorian, you don’t think gentle anything, do you?

It is my sincere belief that you need to leave your office or as I jokingly call it my lair, to experience life.  We writers are a rare breed of human who lives inside our heads.  I could get into the science of theta waves and how we could use that science to break writers blocks, but suffice it to say, live your life.

All experiences are fodder.  If you write solely from what you see on TV or read, you are most probably borrowing from someone else.  Go, get out of your office, and move.  Walk through, the park, smell the roses.  Pick up a rose and get pricked by a thorn.  Bump your knee into something and experience the pain.  Life is full of bumps and bruises, but it is also about love and happiness.  Without the wicked things, how would you recognize the good?

Last chance agents!

Currently, I am in the final editing stage of this novel.  As I Jokingly say ‘Stephen Hawking’ is reading my book back to me one chapter at a time.  As I make my final edits I will be creating a Kindle-friendly upload that I can send to advance readers, i.e. you, or I can self-publish and market it myself.

If you want to make some money and discover the next prominent author, here is your chance.

I have well over 30 published novels with many of them selling nicely.  Just think how I would do with a professional editor and some marketing dollars.

Not afraid to go it alone.  I enjoy writing more than I do just about anything else.

www.authortwscott.com   contact page

@authortwscott

@twscott823

TTFN

-TW