Update: July 10, 2019. Word Count Blues

I now have around 64,000 words of my first draft of my sci-fi novel, Between 80,000-100,000 is my goal. I worked on it some yesterday and very early this morning when I could not sleep. I am working on it now, though I have had very little sleep over the past 2-3 days. Various things have been keeping me awake at night (too much tea before bedtime, basic insomnia, etc.). Unfortunately, once awake, it is hard for me to fall asleep during the daytime and I have to press on to nightfall in order to sleep. I am writing now until I can no longer stay awake and will essentially pass out in my bed.

Anyway, I have been thinking about word count.  Having set the desired word count for my novel, I find that at times I wonder: how in the world am I going to come up with ideas to reach my goal? At other times, I have so many ideas that I fear 100,000 won’t be enough words to express all my thoughts and I worry about how I am going to condense everything to fit within my limits.

One nugget of writing advice that I picked up long ago from the movie “Wonder Boys” (based on the novel by Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon) is that a writer must make decisions about what to include or not include in his/her novel. I am finding that to be very true. I have so many ideas at times that I know I can’t fit them all into 100,000 words, but if I try to go over the set limit, I will end up in the same situation as Professor Tripp in “Wonder Boys” and have a never-ending novel thousands of pages in length that I can never finish.

At times, when the goal seems nearly unreachable, I have to remind myself that I have written short stories nearly 20,000 words in length, and therefore writing another 20,000 for this novel is quite doable.

By the way, everyone interested in writing should watch Wonder Boys. Very entertaining with humor only a writer can truly appreciate..

Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel — Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Men have breaking points. Stick them in a cubicle and harangue the fuck out of them, take away all their opportunities to express their aggression, ring them in with a masterful cage of passive-aggressive bullshit, and repeat ad nauseum for forty fucking years… Well, you get the idea. Which is why I’m planning my escape […]

via Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel — Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Remembering Rip Torn’s “I . . . am a writer” speech from Wonder Boys — Literary Hub

Beloved stage and screen actor, geriatric bank robber, and Norman Mailer hammerer Rip Torn passed away on Tuesday, after a long battle with genteel society. He was 88. There have been many wonderful Torn performances down through the years, from his Tony-nominated early role as a sadistic young ne’er-do-well in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of…

via Remembering Rip Torn’s “I . . . am a writer” speech from Wonder Boys — Literary Hub

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is Available on Amazon Kindle and in Print

My e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is available on Amazon Kindle.  For your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page (amazon.com/author/philslattery) where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Don’t forget to show your appreciation for these tales by leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.


P.S. Winn gave the collection four stars on Amazon, calling it “Great variety”, and commented: “The author has given readers a fantastic collection of varied horror stories. Short stories, flash fiction and even shorter micro fiction tales are included in a collection that might have readers keeping their lights on. I have read other books by this author and love the writing style and the way his words draw one into the tales.”

Comments on previously published stories (which are only a part of those in this collection) include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes A “Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

Follow me using the link on the homepage or check back frequently for updates.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or on other social media.

What the F$#K? Should You Swear or Not in Your Blog Posts? — The Art of Blogging

Odds are you guessed this terribly, terribly wrong. And if you guessed “Luck be in the air tonight” maybe this blog post won’t help you much anyways… Blogging using some cuss words has become quite trendy among some incredibly popular bloggers and social media users, but I’m wondering if it’s really worth it? Or beneficial? […]

via What the F$#K? Should You Swear or Not in Your Blog Posts? — The Art of Blogging