Setting a Story in a Foreign Place

I’ve read plenty of books by plenty of authors. My typical experience is that most authors will set their stories in a single place. And occasionally branch out from there. But other times I’ll come across an author who sets stories in many different cities that are nothing alike. And my thought is they’re either a world traveler or they are great at research. It’s usually a mix of both.

For example, Michael Connelly set one of his Bosch stories (in part) in Japan. But as he was in the process of writing it he took a trip there and stayed for three weeks taking everything in. And also writing, of course. Suffice it to say that I don’t have that kind of money to be able to do that.

But I realized something recently. My second story was set in a different city I’d only visited once or twice. And as soon as I reached the point in the story in which Andrew had to make the trip I stopped writing. So I’m really thinking that my story didn’t work out because I didn’t know enough about the city to continue. I’d planned a short trip just to walk around and take in as much as I possibly could, but that never happened. For now and into the future I’ll just stick to the one city I know.

What about you? Have you ever set one of your stories in a city you didn’t know well?

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Scrapped

This will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog with any regularity, but I’ve now decided to officially scrap my WIP. For those who may not know, I haven’t worked on it since the first half of last year.

Now you might be wondering what makes today any different from any other day before now. It all comes down to a feeling. That’s really it. I’ve been thinking just a little about my writing lately and I’ve reached the conclusion that I can come up with a better story and write it. The thing is that no one even knew what the original story was about because I kept it under wraps except for maybe two other people. Neither of them on WordPress.

The next question I can see you twirling around your head is what I’ll be working on next. I honestly have no idea. I think I might be able to revisit something I briefly worked on in the past, but I don’t know. I’m certain I can come up with one story to write. Hopefully.

Have you ever experienced a long period of not writing? What’d you do once you came out of it? And please don’t call it writer’s block. If you want to write, then you will. If you don’t, then you won’t.


On this day in 2014 I published Blogging Isn’t Writing.

 

Winner Announced!

Remember about three weeks ago when I wrote this post to celebrate reaching 2500 WordPress followers and to offer up a nice surprise? No. Too bad. I wrote it. And I asked for y’all to tell me why you’ve stuck around my blog. And I offered a nice incentive for all of your kind words. All you had to do was tell me what you’ve enjoyed about my blog, and in doing so would get a chance at one of two things. First, you could name a character in my current WIP. If you’re not interested in that, then I’d buy you two paperbacks of your choosing and throw in a copy of my own book. Woo! Free stuff!

Anyway, I’ve finally gotten around to picking a winner. And though I do appreciate all the comments on there, one person really summed up exactly what I try to do with every post. There’s an entertainment aspect. There’s an information aspect. There’s my opinion. And I want you to think about what I’ve written. That’s about it. Here’s the winning comment.

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So that means you’re about to get three new books or the chance to name a character in my second book! I know a few books or the name of a character isn’t much, but I think either choice is a nice gesture to simply show my appreciation for you sticking around here.


On this day in 2014 I published A Bucket List, for Books!.

 

2500 WordPress Followers and Surprise!

The following will be a short letter to you. And then I have a great surprise for all of you! Seriously.

To you,

Just recently Write me a Book, John! surpassed 2500 WordPress followers. I know so many bloggers talk about not caring about followers or site views and all of that and that’s fine, but I’m very open about the fact that I do. Think about it. There wouldn’t be any reason for me to post just about every single day if it weren’t for you. Maybe you read half my posts or a quarter or a tenth, but it doesn’t matter. You read them. You may disagree with some of what I say and I may have even offended you at some point along the way, but you’ve helped me reach this point.

And I understand that plenty of people (bloggers included) don’t take blogging seriously. I know of bloggers who will post a week straight and then not again for a month, and that’s fine. But it’s just not what I want from this whole experience. What I really want is to keep you constantly entertained and informed as much as I possibly can. I want you to wake up each morning looking for what I post each day. I want you to share my posts on Twitter or Facebook of whichever social media site you prefer. I want you to have to think before posting a comment on one of my posts. I want this little spec of the internet to become a little part of your day-to-day routine. And maybe all of that is me wanting too much, but you’ll never be able to tell me that I don’t take you, your opinion, and your blog seriously…because I do.

All I’d like to say is thank you. For reading my rants. For disagreeing with me. And mostly just for reading. It means the world to me that you spend your valuable time on this little blog of mine.

Your fellow blogger,

John


Now for the surprise.

I want to ask you something. And in return I want to GIVE you something even better! I realize that a great many of the 2500 followers on here don’t hardly interact with me, if at all. But many of you do. And many of you have been around here for many months and several have been here since early 2014. And for every one of you I’m talking about there’s a reason you’ve stuck around. Maybe it’s my direct nature of writing my posts. Maybe you think I’m sometimes funny. Maybe you just like books and put up with me. I don’t know, but there IS some reason you read my blog.

And I want you to tell me! I want you to tell me why you like my blog as much (or little) as you do. And I’d like for you to really think about it before posting your response because the person who I determine writes the best response will get to name a character in my WIP! You can name he/she after yourself or after your dog or after whatever you want (within reason) OR if that isn’t enticing to you, then I’ll buy you two paperback books of your choice (and throw in a signed copy of mine).

What do you think?! All I want to know is what you think I’m doing right. That’s it. I really hope you’ll take a minute to comment.

PS: You’ll get the two books or the opportunity to name one of my characters ONLY if I get at least ten individual responses.


On this day in 2014 I published 200 WordPress Followers!.

 

 

Amazon Launches Write On

You should be well aware of the fact that Amazon wants to dominate the book industry just from my past posts about their other programs. I don’t think they want to dominate traditional publishing, but just about everything else seems to be in their wheelhouse.

Just recently they launched Write On. The simplest way for me to explain it is to say that it is their version of Wattpad. Almost exactly. Users can upload stories as they write them and readers can follow along. Pretty simple, huh? You also should know by now that I’m pretty much in Amazon’s corner when it comes to anything they do. That isn’t changing, but I won’t be using this site. Actually, don’t let me lie. I know for certain that I won’t be using the site to read other stories. But who knows, I might use it once I have more written of my current WIP? I doubt it, but I can’t say for certain one way or the other.

What do you think? Will Amazon pull away from Wattpad or just sit back in its shadow?

You can learn more about the new site here.


On this day in 2014 I published The Stigma of Self Publishing.

 

The Act of Writing

I realize that every person is different. And that what comes easily to one person may be rather difficult for another. With that being said, the act of writing (actually writing) comes very easily to me. If I were to open my WIP right now I could get anywhere from 700-3,000 words on paper without blinking an eye. I’m not saying I’d be writing the next great anything, but words are words and are mostly better than nothing.

But I have no desire to write right now. None. And I’m okay with that. I can’t think of any person who really cares about what I’m doing with my current book. I mean, some bloggers might ask about it every so often, but no one really cares at the end of the day. And I’m also okay with that.

But the point of this is that many of you out there do want to write. And you aren’t. There are people I know off the top of my head who write in every free moment they possibly can because those moments are few and far between. There are people I know who have a lot less going on than even I do and write just as little as I do. My point is that if you’re not writing, then perhaps it’s because you just don’t feel like it. And I don’t think anyone should be punished for that.

I Think it’s Time to Revisit the WIP

Do y’all remember that I originally started this blog to document my progress as I wrote my first book? Or that I actually started writing my second shortly after finishing my first? Yeah…about that. You likely also know that I haven’t even glanced at my WIP in many months. But I think it’s time.

I’ve known for several months now that I’d revisit my story at the start of 2015. I don’t have a particular reason for waiting so long, but I had no reason to look back any sooner. See, I’m in no rush. I’m not over here thinking I’m writing the greatest novel that no one will ever know about. I’m just writing along and seeing where it takes me.

Let’s refresh just a bit. My current WIP is my second book around Andrew Banks. Someone who is mildly controversial. (I’m poking fun at some of my reviewers). He’s a Houston area PI and he has this girlfriend who goes by the name of Sydney. Ha. That’s all. But really, I’m something like 30k words in and I stopped just as Andrew goes on a trip out of the city following a lead.

But enough about that, what are you currently working on? Book one? Book two? Book 38?