So you can read my books

Sunday, July 21, 2013


{Cancel before the 30 days and you still pay NOTHING!}
Victor Standish here. How's Roland you ask?

Well, he's a bit under the weather.

In fact, he says he's so under the weather that he's got the bends!

As to where Roland is, he's so ill

even he doesn't quite know,

except that it is somewhere in the vicinity of the backend of an 8 ball.

So being his bud, here I am.

But what do I know about writing?

Hey, I'm Victor Standish, and I live on the streets of the French Quarter by knowing plenty.

Including how to write.

Quit snickering, Alice.

Think about it :

what you need to write well you already know just from living.I.) Like Elu, my Apache grouch of a teacher, would say:

A.) To master yourself is the 1st step in mastering story-telling.

B.) In other words: life skills are story skills.
C.) You don't have to take lessons like with tennis to survive on the streets.

D.) But what you do need to know:

1.) Mind your surroundings before they mind you.
2.) Be aware of the pattern of predators before you become prey.

3.) Routes of escape: spot the exit soon as you slip through the front door.

E.) Put those details into your story, and it will seem real.

(But it won't be real ...)

II.) Good story telling seems real but isn't:A.) It's Compressed

1.) Unlike life, a good story is compressed.
The interesting stuff is linked 1-2-3 ... with all the boring stuff left out.
2.) Unlike life, a good story makes sense.
a.) If your life is like mine (and I feel sorry for you if it is) then most days are filled with things that flat don't make sense.

b.) A good story has to make sense if you want your reader to stay with you ...

those three ghosts promised at the beginning of THE CHRISTMAS CAROL had darn well better show up.

3.) Unlike life, a good story is focused:

Target on those happenings that are important to your hero.
Ouch! OK, Alice ... or to your heroine, too.

a.) Focus in a good story leaves out all those irritating things that don't push the story forward.

b.) No hands (or details) pushing sideways on my stalled car, please.

B.) All reality doesn't contain truth -- I mean, listen to those politicians.

1.) But your story has to ring with truth in order
to sell it as real to your reader.

2.) And it must fit the story type you're writing:

You don't try to fit an eagle in a parakeet cage or a pit bull in a terrier's doghouse.

3.) Knowing what size canvas you need is what prose painting is all about.

It'd be hard to write about the air war in WWI through the eyes of a soldier who spends the story in the trenches, coughing up nerve gas.

III.) Good story telling first depends on you having a good story that grabs the reader and won't let him go.


A.) Some woman in Wal-Mart cut in front of me in the 20 item line. And get this: she had 21 items. (Yawn.)

B.) Some crazy lady in Wal-Mart pulled a gun on me and took all my money, then she shot the clerk as she ran away. She turned to me as she flew out of the door, and you'll never guess what she yelled at me.

1.) That's a story that you NEED to tell.

2.) More importantly, that's a story people WANT to hear and to know what happened next.

IV.) A good story is closure.
A.) Closure -- yeah, that funny sounding word you adults use all the time when the pain hurts too bad to get your mind around it.

B.) You want to know Victor Standish's definition of closure (even though, like Huck Finn, I don't do school)? :

Closure is just a kid-glove way of saying "making the equation come out right."

You know, X + 5B = 3Y ("Unsupervised Politician + Lots of Money = Theft.)
C.) Finding a meaningful outcome for rape, murder,

or a mother abandoning her son in mean city after mean city.

You know, like that.

V.) A good story doesn't necessarily have a happy outcome ...Just a way of living with it


Dying because of it.

(I've seen some people who could only find closure in the grave.)

A.) Sometimes tears are the only way to finish the story, the moment, the situation.

B.) Sometimes tears are the only answer to the equation of life.

VI.) But life, like a math test, always has new problems to solve.A.) And so does the good story.

B.) The closure of it only leads the reader in search of another connection, another good story.

C.) Seeing the road going on for some or all of the main characters leaves the reader feeling as if she had dropped in on the events of real people

with real lives that go on over the horizon.

VII.) Leave them hungry for more ...
Speaking of hungry, I hear growling ...

Ah, Alice, is that your stomach growling?

Alice? Alice!

Don't look at my fingers like that.

Sure, you're a ghoul. But you're my ghoul FRIEND.

What do you mean I wouldn't miss one little finger?
Wasn't that mugger last night enough?  Aw, jeez, Alice, I've heard of high maintenance girls before but you take the cake.
Hey, Roland! Quick! Where's the roughest street around here? Fast!

Damn. Bella and Katniss never had problems like this!
Only $6.95!

Like Siv, I truly love this tune:


  1. Unlike life, a good story makes sense - Victor, you are very wise!

  2. I like this line by Victor:
    "Mind your surroundings before they mind you.
    2.) Be aware of the pattern of predators before you become prey"

    Good advice, back to the wall, facing the door, or with a trusted friend covering your back.

    Life does teach us a few tricks, if we have our eyes open.

  3. Ha! Your (Victor's) Closure example made me laugh.
    You know, X + 5B = 3Y ("Unsupervised Politician + Lots of Money = Theft.) Spoken like a true Louisianan!

    Awesome ending to an excellent post. Alice isn't the only one hungry for more!

    VR Barkowski

  4. Are you really sick? I hope you feel better soon!

  5. Alex:
    Alice says I am otherwise! If life really made sense some of the recent headlines would never have happened, right?

    "Mind your surroundings before they mind you" is my mantra, taught me by Elu and the Sensei (the ghost of Bruce Lee) -- and when you are reminded by a broken bone when you don't -- well, you learn fast!

    Your constant visits and comments mean a lot to Roland. You, too, Alex and Words Crafter! VR, I know that your lack of WiFi has stopped your always insightful, fun comments. :-)

    Yes, being transported here to the French Quarter has taught me even more angles of crooked politicians than I ever suspected!

    I hope Massachusetts only has happy facts for you!!

    And by the end of August my own first adventure will be available in Audiobook.

    BUT IN JUST A DAY OR TWO ... Alice's solo adventure with Captain Sam, Elu, Father Renfield, Magda, and a certain gypsy ghost HITS AUDIOBOOKS.

    lOOK FOR IT. Alice gets so cranky when her book doesn't sell!

    Ouch! Just kidding Alice!!

    Roland worked solo this whole weekend and worked first call, too!

    He drove over 500 miles and got ziltch for sleep. So he slept till 3 P.M! I kept checking to see if he was still breathing!

    Thank you so much for being concerned, Lydia. You are a true friend.

    You think you could mention Captain Sam's new audiobook here and there?

    Alice is glowering at me. She is so Victorian!