Yearly Archives: 2011

First draft of “Carpathia” completed

Whew! I just now finished the first draft of “Carpathia.” My goal had been to get the first rough-rough-rough draft done by Christmas, so I’m a bit ahead of schedule.

The for-now word count is 83,295. Not bad considering my goal was 60K.

I use the term “for-now word count” because I am no where near done. Going back and forth through the draft for continuity while working on the later pages, I saw a lot that needs to be, shall we say, worked on. A lot.

Still, I’m pretty pleased to have gotten to this point. My immediate plans are to let “Carpathia” ferment on my hard drive for a week or so, and get started on the second draft after the first of the New Year.


The novel’s title is now “Carpathia”

Yes, when it comes to posting on this blog I know I’m about as regular as a 90-year-old man whose diet consists only of cheese and potatoes. Sorry about that (or maybe I’m not … you don’t know).

Anyway, last night I cracked 66,000 words — my goal was 60K so yay, me — and today I’ve brainstormed how I’m going to wrap the story up. My goal was to be done with the first draft by Christmas, and even though I’ll be taking care of my granddaughter during her Xmas break from school, I hope to accomplish it.

And I ditched the working title and now I’m calling this little project “Carpathia.” Why? Well, when you read it, you’ll know why.

Happy holidays to you all. More later.

Sample chapters for “Carpathia” (working title)

I’ve completed Parts I and II of my NSGAN (not-so-great-American-novel), and today (Nov. 19) I “broke ground” on the final part. It wasn’t much of a start, just a thousand words or so, but that’s okay because I’m still thinking through the steps I want the story to take before getting to the Big Finish.

Without further ado (I’ve always wondered: How does one measure ado? Was that enough, too much, too little? My mind spins) here is the prologue and first three chapters of my novel-in-progress, which I’ve given the working title “Race to Darkness.” (Please, I beg of you, if you’ve got a better title let me know). “Carpathia.”

Enjoy, and your feedback, comments, suggestions are welcome.

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How goes the novel? Slowly, very slowly

I cracked 41,500 words today, but the going has been slow of late. There are a lot of reasons why, but most fall into the category or “real life” getting in the way.

On top of that, I’m rapidly approaching Part III of the novel, which is where my outline gets fuzzy Don’t get me wrong — I know how the story ends. But getting from the end of Part II to that point, well, that’s not quite as clear. Continue reading

The next Not-So-Great American Novel

Everyone wants to write a novel, right? A novel that sells so many copies that it leads to a comfortable career writing prose for living. To be the next Stephen King (Cha-Ching!) or J.K. Rowling (Cha-Ching!x 1,000).

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Rules of the game change as sports journalists compete against teams they cover | Poynter.

An interesting piece by Jason C. Fry of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University. I strongly recommend sportswriters also pick up a copy of Fry’s book “Sportswriting for the Digital Age” on Amazon, too.

Rules of the game change as sports journalists compete against teams they cover | Poynter.

“There was this one time …”

All war stories are true, even the ones that are not. That’s the premise — greatly boiled down — of award-winning author and Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried. Never read it? You should, along with Dispatches by Michael Herr, A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo and A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan. I highly recommend all of them.

Sea stories are a lot like O’Brien’s war stories. Many are probably true, even the ones that aren’t, and every Sailor with more than a month of service can tell a few — some that are their own experiences and some that aren’t.

Usually sea stories are told to make the teller seem smart, funny or squared-away, and that’s where they often stray from truthfulness. Dialogue is added, people who really weren’t there are suddenly part of the story, and events change or are added from other stories to serve the greater purpose.

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