Category: Becoming a Writer

Aug 19, 2013
By Michael Rupured

What’s In A Name?

One of the first critiques of an early draft of my debut novel was that the names of the characters seemed random, like they’d been pulled from a hat. The comment surprised me. You mean there’s another way? The right name is a beautiful thing. That’s why parents spend so much time thinking about what to call their little bundle of joy. As a writer, I have a huge advantage over parents. I know how my children turn out in the end. My only rule had been to avoid picking names starting with the same letter. Telling James’s story in After Christmas Eve did lead me to add another rule. No more names ending with the letter S. The possessive is just too …

Jul 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Keep Getting Better

I hear from a lot of people, gay guys mostly, who write and hope to be published one day. When they ask for my advice, I always reply with the same question: What are you doing to improve your writing? No matter how good you are, you can always get better. A wealth of excellent resources with practical advice for aspiring writers is available online and in print. But having your work critiqued by somebody who knows more than you do about writing is the best way to improve. You’ve already had some experience with this. Remember your high school English teacher? An excellent example is the term paper you copied from the encyclopedia slaved over, returned by her with “Rewrite!” …

Jul 15, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Evolution of a Writer

I wrote my first novel using a technique known as pantsing — as in, flying by the seat of my pants. With nary an outline nor character sketch, I wrote chapter one of Until Thanksgiving — then known as Addicted — with no idea what chapter two would be about, and so on, until I’d finished the story. My beta readers will tell you the thriller/romance I ended up with looks nothing like the slice of life story I had in mind when I started. Pantsing is a very free-wheeling, stream-of-conscious style of writing that many writers prefer. The problem, at least for me, was the need to revise a finished chapter to include something I thought about six chapters …

Jun 24, 2013
By Michael Rupured

More Change

Like being gay, writing has always been a big part of who I am. In both cases, I was among the last to know what had long been obvious to just about everyone who knew me. Guess maybe I’m a little slow. “How could Michael Rupured be gay?” said nobody, ever. But I didn’t figure it out until well into my twenty-first year, and except for maybe my mother, was more surprised by the revelation than anyone. I’m not girly or feminine — just gay as hell — you know, in that way straight women love. I terrify most straight men, but that’s more about them than me. I don’t hit on straight guys. Blame a silly desire for mutual affection. Coming …

Apr 04, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Coming Soon: After Christmas Eve

The folks at Dreamspinner Press, publisher of Until Thanksgiving, have been wonderful. When I finished After Christmas Eve (the prequel), I sent it to them, ignoring the part in their submission guidelines about the story having to be a romance. By ignoring, I don’t mean that I read and then disregarded the words. I never really looked. My reaction to the rejection I got from them a few months later, “Doh!” The rejection still felt like a kick in the gut. I knew it wasn’t personal — they like me well enough. But the story wasn’t the kind of story they publish. My bad. So I do what writers do when they get a rejection email: sent a whiney message …

Mar 24, 2013
By Michael Rupured

So Now I’m an Author

Since my first novel came out back in December, my perception of the life of a published author has been about the only thing to change. The vast distance between my expectations and the reality makes me wonder what else I believe to be true that’s just wrong. I suspect quite a lot. Some things we learn through experience, in school, or from reading up on the subject. I probably have a lot of that wrong too. But I was referring to perceptions and assumptions about things I have no reason to know much about that may or may not be based on good information. Many of these I’ll go to my grave believing. Strike misperceptions about the life of …

Mar 22, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Birth of a Catch Phrase

For the first fifty years of my life, becoming a published author wasn’t something I dreamed about. In truth, I never even considered the possibility. To younger me, authors were like movie stars, professional athletes, and rock stars — ethereal creatures blessed with a sublime talent. Aspiring to something so lofty just wasn’t practical. Now that I’m an author, I see how wrong I was — on so many different levels. If I was in this for the money, I’d cut my losses and quit while I was ahead. But, as you’ll see, my motivation to write comes from somewhere else. For most of my youth, I just was. I don’t remember thinking much about the future beyond some vague …

Mar 12, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Taking My Time

People often say they’re impressed by my productivity. I may look more productive, but as a single man, I don’t have to deal with a lot of the stuff that keeps other people busy. Outside of work, my time is my own, to do with as I please. That doesn’t mean my life is better than someone with other responsibilities. Just different. My style for getting stuff done has evolved over the years to emphasize expediency over other factors. I keep my to-do list short by dealing with things as they arise. I pay bills when they arrive in my mailbox, and when possible, answer email messages when I read them the first time. I’m also obedient and will take care …

Feb 18, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Writers Read

I’ve been a voracious reader for most of my life. Name a genre, and I’ve read it. Mystery, horror, romance, adventure, fantasy, erotica, historical, science fiction…   Whatever I could find was just fine. My favorite? All of the above and more. I like variety. Story is what matters to me. Give me a good one and I’m in to the end. Shoot, depending on the circumstances, it doesn’t even have to be very good. Thirty years ago I read through a big box of Harlequin romances a coworker kept under her desk just to pass the time. Becoming a writer has raised the bar. Story is still important. But now I pay attention to a lot of other stuff …

May 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Sent!

The vacation from my day job means I’ve had time to focus on advancing my budding writing career. Until Thanksgiving (formerly known as Addicted) has moved on to the next level. I submitted the first twenty pages of the manuscript and a complete synopsis to a small, relatively new publishing company this morning. Let the waiting begin. Writing a book is the easy part. Seriously. After that, unless you’re Stephen King, James Patterson,  or someone famous enough to get an advance for your memoir, it’s uphill all the way. Self-publish? E-publish? Agent? Major publishing house? Boutique publisher? The options and permutations are endless. My initial plan was to start at the top and work my way down until I found …

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