Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Soaking Up Story

I Have No Idea What For…

I know I will be really picking up speed with the writing over the next few days before the first of the year so that by the first I will be at full speed. (Doing the same with exercising and reducing food intake.)

Watched most of two movies tonight and a good episode of The Rookie. Not a clue why I am watching and reading so much. Also finally finishing up the last stories from the challenge and will be getting everyone feedback once my notes are typed into an email.

So story, story, story.  No idea why more than normal right now, but I am just going with it and trusting the process.

I hope everyone else is having a good week and getting ready for firing into the new year.

And for those of you counting, this is my 1,974 straight daily blog without missing a day. Not sure how many blogs that is because I sometimes do two in a day. No matter what, that is just flat silly. And yet, for the moment, the streak continues.


  • James Palmer

    My family and I love The Rookie. And it has given me an idea for a space cop novel series. Soaking up story is always a good thing. I’ve been catching up on season 3 of Daredevil. Good stuff.

  • Philip

    I’m also consuming a lot of story in prep for my January Pulp Speed Short Story Challenge.

    It’s funny, last week you discussed stories that are not to a reader’s taste, and recently I noticed my tastes have changed a bit. It’s exciting because I’ve discovered new stuff to read that I never did before. For example, I’ve always been into gritty noir and hardboiled mysteries. Lately, I’ve discovered the world of lighter, more humorous mysteries–not necessarily cozies, but comical heist books and bumbling PIs — Westlake, Robert Block’s Bernie Rhodenbar, Carl Hiassen, Janet Evanovich, etc.

    It’s been great fun as a reader, and as a writer it’s influenced me to experiment more with humor in my own stories. I can’t wait to jump to the keyboard to get down fun, wacky tales.

    QUESTION: Dean, a lot of people discuss “finding your voice.” As a short story writer, I love that I can dabble in any genre or tone or mood. But this humor experiment has brought a lot of new energy to the table and I’ve been more productive. I’ve always been the class clown, a loud guy who loves to make others laugh. Every time I tell people I’m a writer, too, they always say the same thing: “I’d love to read your stories, I bet they’re hilarious.” Then I have to explain that oh no I writer dark, serious crime stories and they look baffled. I guess I’m curious, is there something to tackling a type of story that fits your outward, non-writer personality? Can others see something in you that you don’t see in yourself? As a writer, is it ideal to finally identify the core of your personality and how it matches certain types of stories?

    • dwsmith

      Philip, you can’t see your own voice at all because it is how you talk, speak, act and is so natural to you, you can’t see it or hear it. That’s one of the major reasons rewriting is so deadly. You think you are taking out a dull spot and actually you are taking out your voice and making the story dull. Also, if you just write what you love and want to write, your voice will be there. If you are loving the lighter mysteries, then go that way if you love them. Try writing some. I tend to write a lot of humor (but am not known for it). My humor is always situational or character story based. Or over-the-edge based like Poker Boy superhero stories. And my Cold Poker Gang novels are light but not humor. Just light mystery.

      So relax on this one, don’t try to see it, just focus on writing what you love and not messing with it. Your readers will see your voice, but you never will.

      • Philip

        Makes sense. Poker Boy is on my TBR list. I always avoided Poker Boy because, as I said, I never read the lighter stuff, but now I’m finding my taste is to read light stuff. Also going to check out the old Shell Scott mysteries by Prather.

  • Lloyd MacRae

    Congratulations on your streak, Dean. Two thumbs up.

    And this is a great time of year to absorb story. I watched three different versions of ‘Scrooge’ – I also have the original story – and it’s interesting how the same story can be presented in different ways. My wife hated the one with Patrick Stewart LOL.

  • Prasenjeet Kumar

    Dean, I’ve noticed this streak in myself. The more I write, the more I need to read. I think your creative voice needs fuel. It’s sort of a pre-workout meal I guess. You need to consume calories in order to exercise. You need to consume stories in order to create new ones. I read more words than I write. If you don’t read, my creative voice somehow shuts down.

  • Topaz

    Same thing here. Since I returned to writing regularly and finishing stories, I started to read more again.
    Years ago I read a lot, practically lived in the library and started writing to have more fun stories to read. Last year I came back to writing, barely reading fiction at that time. I read a lot of nonfiction though. Learning craft and writing became a habit and in the tracks of writing followed reading fiction again. 🙂 I love both.