Category Archives: What I write

New Free Cooperative Book Listing Site.

Announcing Masterpiece Marketplace, dedicated to serving the writers and readers of Literary Fiction and Fusion Fiction.

Masterpiece banner2

Genre or Commercial Fiction doesn’t need much help getting seen and getting sold; that’s why it’s the bread-and-butter book for many authors to write. However, some authors also yearn to find an audience for their magnum opus: the lavish Literary or Fusion Fiction (multi-genre) novel they spent many loving years writing, but which may be hard to classify, and thus can’t be located amid the torrent of novellas and novelettes that flood the modern market.

There are also many readers who search for stories in which they can lose themselves for longer than a weekend afternoon. They’re the big-book fans of historical novels, family sagas, and multi-genre works that paint pictures inside their heads while portraying the intricacies of the human condition, in the literary classic writing style that can be hard to find on the virtual shelves of online retailers.

Masterpiece Marketplace exists to help bring together these writers and readers. It’s a completely free, cooperative virtual bookshop: Authors of Literary and Fusion Fiction join to list their works in blog posts that direct readers to their own blogs and retail sites; and they cooperatively help fellow writers by re-blogging others’ listings and promoting them via social networking. Readers will browse listings and click on the authors’ links to shop via their preferred retail outlets.

For wider recognition, the cooperative is also setting up shop at additional blog hosts. Book listings submitted to one Masterpiece Marketplace site will be distributed to the other domains. This is like placing your work in bookshop franchises in different cities.

There’s strength in numbers. Don’t try to market your Literary or Fusion Fiction all by yourself any more. Visit Masterpiece Marketplace today, join the cooperative, and find the readers who are looking for your magnum opus.


Source of book icon in logo:


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Filed under Blogging, books, Uncategorized

Should You Write an Outline? |

Source: Should You Write an Outline? | by Jo Robinson

My answer? No. Outlining is taught to readers during their childhood, by schoolteachers who use it to analyze completed and edited fiction (which probably wasn’t written from an outline), as a way to explain story structure. The true use of outlining is in non-fiction, which relies on facts organized to fulfill a specific purpose.

Outlining fiction in advance causes frustration in many who try to adhere to the practice. How many times have you read blog posts by writers who are suffering from “writer’s block,” or who complain that their characters are “running off” with the story? I’ll bet an advance outline was usually involved. If used at all for fiction, outlining properly belongs at the end, when writing is completed, to be used as a tool to evaluate the continuity of a story, in case developmental editing is needed, in addition to copy editing and proofreading.

Jo’s post is also an interesting look at Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I guess I’m a King-Koontz hybrid; possibly more at the Koontz end, because I revise as I write. I think King said Kurt Vonnegut worked that way, too. (Of course, our genres don’t match – I’ve never read any fiction by any of them, and only King’s how-to book. But I digress.) The success enjoyed by these famous pantsers shows that because Writing is a Fine Art (not a craft), any rules about it should serve the purposes of communication and creativity, and not attempt to control them.

National Novel Writing Month operates on hell-bent-for-leather pantsing, to get to the 50K word goal. The only reason to create an outline during NaNoWriMo is because it can be legitimately added to your word count. After that’s done, however, to pay attention to an outline is to invite writer’s block, and what NNWM calls “your inner editor” to wreak havoc with your writing momentum.

Outlining can help non-fiction writing, but my impression (based on reading individual writers’ blogs, and NaNoWriMo forum discussions) is that it’s of poor utility to creative writers. Instead of the fiction writing process being a 50/50 pantser/planner proposition, its distribution may be skewed. Spontaneous, organic writing may be how most of us really write fiction, but even if outlining doesn’t work very well for writing stories, the habit, mistakenly applied to fiction since childhood, is strong enough to be self-perpetuating. For many, it spoils the writing experience.

pantser planner

Do you suffer from writer’s block? Are you upset because your characters are misbehaving? Are you outlining because it’s said to be the right way to write, or that it’s the only way to produce good writing? Is your outline growing in detail and complexity, but your novel isn’t progressing? Are you reluctant to let go of the outline, because that could mean you have no discipline? Have you ever felt guilty of quitting, because you couldn’t finish writing a story you had outlined? In the past, did you dutifully produce outlines, but didn’t follow them, after all? When a teacher required an advance outline as part of a writing assignment, did you quickly write the assignment first, and then outline it? (The last experience is mine, and I’ve seen the others in writers’ blogs.)

Are you looking for commonsense suggestions to help make your writing life less stressful and more enjoyable? Try The 7 Reasonable Rules of Writing:

Excellent spelling.
Good grammar.
Sufficient correct punctuation for signage on the path to meaning.
Thorough research.
Understanding of literary conventions.
Love for language and loyalty to its complete lexicon.
Writing by inspiration, rather than controlling the performance of the tale.

We must all follow our own writing process, but we must make sure it honestly feels good to do it that way. If we don’t enjoy writing, we’re not doing it right.


Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Stop Writing Or The Mouse Dies.

The year’s best cat-and-writing meme! 😀

Here’s my version of Daniel’s meme:


Meme designed by Christine Plouvier. Image and text courtesy of Daniel Wallace.

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Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized