Author: Michael Parks

Expectations

There are a few basic expectations a reader has from a story. One is that it will move them, somewhere – in either the world, in their mind, or in their heart… preferably all three. Because reading is escape, movement is a…

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.
-WINSTON CHURCHILL

What lasts in the reader’s mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what’s it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse.

ISAAC ASIMOV

Margaret Atwood’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils. 2. If both pencils break, you…

There is a Chinese proverb…

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” So slowly I go. Word count down to 179k (from 200k+). Simplifying, clarifying. Altering archs, modifying premise, tweaking plot. All sorts of change. This effort will be the…

The Pendulum Still Swings

Writing a novel is to have a pendulum in motion, a measurement of action and inaction, where writing and reflection have their place in the process. This pendulum is particular, however, in the case of novel building. Writing and reflection…

What it’s really like

It’s a Saturday morning in June in Northern California. A brief hot spell has generously given way to the gorgeous, low 70’s blue sky I see outside my window. The lawn is drinking the water I set out after mowing…