Monday, July 13, 2020

On Justice and Writing Don'ts.

As you may know, my daytime gig is as the president of our county’s chamber of commerce.  As such, I’m not in a position to support or oppose any political party or candidate, in spite of the fact that many chambers do.

In this political climate, it’s extremely difficult for me to keep my big mouth shut.

That’s why as I write, there’s a certain freedom that I can exercise. Through my recurring protagonist, a wise-cracking crime reporter, I can pretty much say whatever I damned well please.

I’m nearly finished with the second round of edits for my newest book, Shadow Hill, and in it, climate change figures prominently. So do greedy corporations and lying politicians.

I get to take them all on.

I guess what prompted this particular blog was seeing a certain “political dirty trickster”, after being convicted on seven felony counts including witness tampering and lying to investigators, had his sentence commuted.

In my book, the political dirty tricksters get what’s coming to them.

In real life, I’ve watched as a certain attorney paid hush money to a porn star to keep her from talking about a brief affair she had with the president.

In my new book, I write about a company CEO who does the same thing, he pays hush money to his mistress. Guess what? He’s murdered in the very first chapter.

So, what's the point of this rambling blog? I'd like to point out that the reason mysteries continue to be so popular is because there is justice. Most of the time, in the end the good guys win and the bad guys lose.

We want to see the bad guys go down.  As a mystery writer, I’m happy to do just that.

Okay, rant is over. Here are a couple of writing don’ts I’ll be discussing with my creative writing class on tonight.

Don’t procrastinate. 

Honestly, I can be one of the worst offenders.  Just as I’m sitting down to attack a new chapter, I’m up and headed downstairs for a cup of joe, or taking a look at my email, or skimming online news sites. Just sit down write!

Don’t believe that you won’t get better.  

I liked the way that Rick compared writing a novel to mastering a musical instrument. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. With every day that you sit down to write, you get better. It took me five attempts at a novel before I scored a publisher. Looking at my earlier work, yes, I have gotten much better.

Don’t Quit. 

Do most writers find a publisher right out of the gate? Hell no. Back in 2001, I was signed by an agent in New York. I thought I had it made. But as it turned out, he shopped my book to the major publishing houses in the Big Apple but was declined. Then he dropped me like a bad habit.

I didn’t write again for a year. Fear of failure is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

But as I’ve said before, a writers gotta write. Oh, and who else will bring the bad guys to justice?

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