Category: Becoming a Writer

Oct 07, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A Writer’s Temperament

A Writer’s Temperament

Anything I’ve done — whether writing a novel, losing fifty pounds, becoming a runner, or whatever — I tend to believe anyone can do. On the other hand, just about everyone I know does something I could never do.  I’m not smart enough, don’t think that way, or lack the talent. I’m an ordinary guy in a world of extraordinary people. Recent conversations about becoming a published author opened my eyes. I encouraged two friends who like to write to try writing a novel, insisting, since I had done it, they could too. They disagreed, and in different ways, told me I have what they referred to as “a writer’s temperament.” I wouldn’t repeat the character-building decade of my twenties …

Sep 30, 2013
By Michael Rupured

The Serious Writer

The first advice aspiring authors get is to write every day.  Jobs and other responsibilities are just excuses. The serious writer should get out of bed several hours before anyone else, or stay up after they’ve gone to bed. Whatever it takes to meet the daily requirement. Writing time, when I can find it, has always been a fun and enjoyable escape from the daily grind and the pressures of the real world. Becoming an author raised the bar, forcing me to act more like a serious writer should. The occasional hobby I’d loved became a chore. Trying to follow the daily writing edict sucked every ounce of joy, not just from writing, but from my whole life. Wah! Don’t get me wrong. I …

Sep 16, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Two at Once

For me, writing a novel is a lot like a relationship. Managing more than one at a time is just too complicated for my simple mind. Yet, despite my usual single-mindedness of purpose, I’m currently working on two novels. After writing the first two books in the holiday series, I wanted to try something different. Adventures in Trauma Car is a first-person coming-of-age story very loosely based on my life. Figuring I knew the story well enough not to need an outline or character sketches, I forged ahead. But 30,000 words in, I hit a wall. I’d changed things up so much that any resemblance to my life had disappeared. I hit this wall with every book I write. The story …

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
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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
Comments Off on So Now I’m an Author

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
Comments Off on Birth of a Catch Phrase

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 …

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