So you can read my books

Thursday, October 21, 2010


{Thanks to all of you who visited my entry in Erin Cole's 13 DAYS OF HORROR.

If you haven't yet, here is the link : Now, onto my post} :

How do you write?

Do you write as if your novel were a pressurized airplane cabin?

Are your characters insulated from the truth of their environment?

Is your locale as flat as a cardboard movie backdrop?

Are there smells to your surroundings? Does the soft breeze make an airy stew of their aromas?

Or do you drag your poor reader down sterile, silent streets?

What are the prevailing winds of mindset, manners, and economic demands of your setting?

Does your main character sail against them? Or does he/she flounder in their wake?

Or does he, puppet-like, go through lifeless motions, tugged by your whims and not by motivations relate-able to your readers?

And what about you as a writer?

Do you persist? Or do you stall out when the words become lost in the mist.

Persistence. It is what separates those just playing from those dedicated to the dream.

When the writing is sluggish that is when it is most important to bull through to the end. Writing is like life in that.

Winners don't stop when they meet resistance. Weight resistance builds muscle. Blank-out resistance builds fine prose.

Persistence is the heart. The story is the soul.

For luck, Ernest Hemingway used to carry a rabbit's foot in his right pocket. The fur had long since been worn off. The bones and sinews were polished by wear.

The claws scratched in the lining of his pocket,

and by that sting he knew his luck was still there.

Why was that?

When you feel the scratch of life against you, you know that your luck as writer is still at your back. How is that?

The sting of life makes you aware :

of your own humanity,

of others' failings and strengths,

of the precious fragility of life.

And that awareness gives your pen the gift of perception, depth, and heart.

What did Ernest put in his journal :

Travel and writing broaden your ass, if not your mind, so I try to write standing up.



  1. I LOVE THAT!!! I so needed to read that just now. Thank you!

  2. Pk : I'm glad I was here when you needed me and my words. Your comment made my night.

  3. "Weight resistance builds muscle. Blank-out resistance builds fine prose."

    Gonna post this-it's a new top ten quote for me. I've been so filled with ideas the past two days about the's amazing because for three years, it's just been an ending in my head.

    And it has some really dark stuff in it, too. It's cool how it just sort of birthed out of some random idea bouncing between a friend (co-teacher's son) and me, and of course, Lydia's medical help.

    Actually, one character kinds scares me....but that's good, right?

    I really hope you're recovering well and you're in my prayers daily.

  4. I second the recovery prayers. I kinda shudder to think who I might need to pray to, though.


    Thing about dreams is that dreaming them is easy. It's when dreams become work that most people give up.

    You're right about word-blank resistance. I say: Don't let the blank page intimidate you. Let it ~inspire~ you.

    Good job on the short story!

    - Eric

  5. Wonderful, thought provoking post. Persistence is so important, and so many of the things you mentioned. And on that note, I'll be trying to get some writing done tomorrow...

  6. Kudos for being chosen by Erin. Was a fabulous read.

    I like to think my characters can go the distance. We'll see about the writer.

    Nice to see you doing so well Roland. I was afraid you might be out a few days. Be well my friend. Don't push yourself.

    Have a good night.


  7. I'm always in awe of your inspiration, Roland. Thank you.

    And as I like to say, if someone else can accomplish amazing deeds, why not you? What makes them any better other than determination and the will to not back down? These are qualities we all acquire.

  8. "Writing In The Crosshairs" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

  9. A thought provoking post. I've never considered writing standing up! I might just try it.

  10. I hope you know that you have become my Guru. It doesn't matter what the resistance, I only have to pay you a visit to feel that I have no other choice than to give 110% to my writing and I would feel ashamed to do any less. I mean that in the nicest way, of course. You are my roll model.

    Take care of yourself and I wish you a speedy recovery.

  11. Persistence can be hard, but it is what marks someone as a person who's dedicated to what they're doing.

    Sometimes I'll write standing up for a few moments, usually because there's either a cat in the chair or because I'm too busy jotting down ideas. :P

  12. I read a book recently, and realised I needed to add a bit more oomph to mine. It read flat. Interesting motivational post. Thanks.

  13. Great reminders to fill our words with ideas that engage the senses!

  14. I probably err on the side of 'too real'. It drives me NUTS to read about characters who don't notice anything or don't have minds process some of the details. It's probably why I stick to 3rd person... 1st person forces an active recognizing and THAT seems overkill... you can notice without noticing...

    That said--editing needs to lose some portion of this or my characters seem weirdly aware.

  15. Questions, questions! Too many questions! My head is spinning! :)

  16. Have you removed the cap from the camera lens? Put the strap around your neck. You must hold the camera aloft for years to come.

  17. awesome post--I've started using more sensory image in my writing, and it makes a huge difference. And you're right about persistence! Thanks, Roland~ :o)

    (ew--scary wolf picture!)

  18. No wonder your description of setting is always so vivid and spend a lot of time musing about its effect on the reader.

    This was a great post, Roland.

  19. Thanks for the much-needed inspiration, Roland.