Category: Writing

Jan 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Sentimental Favorite

Before 2011, penning a novel was something I never thought I could do. Dreamspinner Press will release Whippersnapper, my fourth novel, on January 29th.  I’m proud of all my stories, but I have to admit, Whippersnapper is a sentimental favorite. Each of my four novels has challenged my writing ability and pushed me out of my comfort zone. In every case, writing the story from beginning to end came down to three essential elements: inspiration, motivation, and challenges. Everything about writing Until Thanksgiving was a challenge. My motivation was to write a novel. Inspiration came from when I lived in DC. Before the end of my first draft, the story changed direction and even genre several times. Be that as it may, I wrote a novel. The …

Dec 14, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Writing Pet Peeves: Point of View Issues

Point of View is the perspective from which a story is told. A writer may choose to tell a story in first person (I was born) or in third person (he/she was born). I suppose second person (you were born) is possible, but is more appropriate for personal letters than works of fiction. Whatever the perspective, the narrator can only comment (or think about) things he or she can see, feel, touch, taste, or hear themselves. If Bill is the narrator, he can’t say “Mark knew what Bill meant,” unless, of course, Bill is psychic and can read Mark’s mind. Unless Bill’s looking in a mirror, he can’t say his face turned red, either. Instead, he’d probably say his face …

Nov 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Method Writing

Writing a novel is a process. The path from conceptualization to completion can vary. No two of the many authors who I’ve talked with about their process approach the task the same way. My process has been different for every novel. Or so I thought. Upon closer inspection, a single thread runs through the beginning of the process for all my stories. Whether I have an idea for a whole story or just a concept, it’s serious when I start writing paragraphs about the characters. These short little bios include a few essential details about the character, his or her appearance, and a bit about their past. The more I write, the more fleshed out the characters become in my head. …

Sep 28, 2015
By Michael Rupured

First Round Edits

Labor Day weekend, I took off an extra day from the day job. Four days is a nice block of time to get some writing done. I planned to make progress on my new mystery series. The first book in the series — my fifth novel — is a bit more complicated than previous projects, so the going has been slow. As always happens when I have a plan, fate intervened. The long-awaited and much dreaded first round of edits for Whippersnapper appeared in my inbox on Friday. I don’t usually dread edits, but this time, I was worried about how much work would be involved. Because they are “structural” and focus on the story, first round edits can be difficult. Changing a …

Apr 06, 2015
By Michael Rupured

My Big News

Attending the Dreamspinner Press conference for authors in Orlando a month ago was an awesome experience. The highlight was talking with the owner and the editor in chief about my writing career. In fact, I’d call those conversations life-changing. Regular visitors to my blog know I’ve been disappointed by abysmal sales for my last two novels. It’s not the money. I write to be read. Knowing nobody would read another historical novel took the wind out of my sails. Dreamspinner Press (and MLR) cater to romance readers. As any fan of romance whose read my books will tell you, I don’t write romance. I’m grateful to both publishers for taking a chance on my stories, but have often felt like a fish out …

Mar 16, 2015
By Michael Rupured

About Whippersnapper

Figuring out who I am as a writer has been an ongoing process. Rather than selling out, trying to write a different kind of story has freed me from self-imposed constraints. The result is a story far more “me” than any of my previous novels have been. Opinions about which is the best story vary, but technically speaking, each of my novels has been better than the one before. Whippersnapper is the best yet, and more fun than a barrel of monkeys. If people enjoy the reading half as much as I’ve enjoyed the writing, I might just have a hit on my hands. As always, the story is told from multiple points of view. This time, all three characters …

Mar 09, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Finding Myself in My WIP

A bit of me goes into everything I write, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Reading my novels gives you some idea of who I am and how I see the world. Mental health professionals who read all three probably see enough to offer a diagnosis. Since penning my first novel, I’ve struggled to figure out who I am as a writer. For no good reason, I thought me the writer was somehow different from who I am as a person. Whippersnapper has shown me they are one and the same, and in the process, freed me from self-imposed constraints. It’s more “me” than any of my previous books have been. People say I’m funny. Telling humorous stories is a family tradition and as essential to who I am as big feet …

Feb 23, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Selling Out?

Should authors write for the market? Is catering to what readers want selling out, or a smart business decision? Opposing camps are more deeply entrenched than Republicans and Democrats. The conflict stems largely (but not entirely) from differences in opinion about whether writing is a business or a craft. Initially, I sided with the craft faction. I’m an artist, dammit! Never mind what is or isn’t popular — I’ll write what I want to write and let the chips fall where they will. Writing historical gay fiction floats my boat. My writing demon is appeased, and showing how life has changed over time for the GLBT community taps into the educator in me. Lack of interest in this type of story, however, starves my inner attention whore. If …

Feb 16, 2015
By Michael Rupured

An Historical Disappointment

Based on absolutely nothing, I expected each of my novels to sell at least a few more copies than the one before. That hasn’t been the case. Despite my disappointment at the time about the lack of digits on my first royalty checks, Until Thanksgiving has done well — much better than After Christmas Eve and Happy Independence Day, combined. Money isn’t the issue. My bills get paid whether my books sell or not. I’m not asking for sympathy or trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone who hasn’t bought my books. The focus of this post is the impact of my unrealistic expectations on my ability to write and, to some extent, my ignorance about the industry. If you ask me, …

Feb 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Pantsing Magic

Plotters plan out everything about a story ahead of time. Pantsers make up the story as they go along. My writing process has been different for each of my novels, but I fall squarely on the pantsing side of the continuum. I drift toward plotting now and then, but no matter how hard I try, my books never turn out as planned. I shouldn’t be surprised. Something always knocks my plans for the future off course. Shit happens. Unexpected opportunities arise. Nothing in my life has ever turned out the way I thought it would. Why should my novels be any different? Writing my first novel was like driving for the first time with no idea where I was going. Operating the vehicle was a challenge. …

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