Tag: writing a novel

Feb 06, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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Back in the Saddle

Good news for anyone who has missed my blog. I’m back! Four months without having to write a post every week was good for my soul.  Time off helped me gain some perspective. Becoming a published author remains the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Five years into the gig, however, the new has worn off. Between writing and the day job, I tend to work all the time, but fame and fortune have eluded me. Poor, pitiful, me… To say nobody reads my stories is untrue and unfair. My books may not fly off the shelf, but they do sell. In fact, any of them have been read by far more people than have read all my academic and professional papers, combined. …

Jan 04, 2016
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on In with the New

In with the New

Last week’s post was (hopefully) the final resting place for some of the baggage I lugged around last year. There’s more, but the load is much lighter than was the case thirty years ago. For this first post of 2016, rather than resolutions, I want to share my priorities for the year. Stay in the moment. Whatever’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, with my email, or with any of the apps on my phone can wait. I need to give my full attention to whatever I’m doing, whether watching television, working on blog posts, or adding to my work in progress. Worrying about what’s yet to come or things that have already happened is also a time-waster. Just stop! Take care of business. I keep …

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 …

Feb 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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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. …

Sep 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Novels are an author’s bread and butter. Yet, for most of this year, I’ve made little to no progress on a trilogy based loosely on certain events from my life. Other commitments have been part of the problem, but the bigger issue has been my inability to separate fact from fiction. Writing pure fiction is a process of adding to a blank slate to define characters, set the scene, and advance the plot. Inspiration may come from many sources, but the events and characters are made up. Add more details, throw in plot twists, rearrange a few things, perhaps cut a bit here and there, and voila, a novel. Basing a story on something that really happened, whether an historical event like the Stonewall Uprising …

Sep 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured
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Ready for Some Strange

Coming up with an idea for my next novel has never been a problem. By the time I finished writing Until Thanksgiving, most of After Christmas Eve had already come together in my head. Once I started writing that story, I knew several of the characters would turn up at the Stonewall Riots for Happy Independence Day. I’ve got ideas for lots more Holiday Tales, but right now, I want to try something different. I love Philip Potter and his friends. But after writing the third novel in the series, I’m ready for some strange. My first thought was a trilogy loosely based on the memoir that prompted me in 2010 to join the Athens Writers Workshop. The memoir, in its current …

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 …

Dec 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Joining a Writers Group

The start of another year is like Christmas for the resolution industry. The gym will be crowded and meetings at Weight Watchers will be standing room only. January is also when we see a big influx of new members in our local writers group. Seems there are lots of aspiring writers out there. Some have maybe only thought about writing a book. Others have finished works that keep getting rejected. They want to know if I did something they didn’t do that made a difference. That’s not what they say, of course, but that’s what they really want to know. Quite a few successful writers–far more knowledgable and experienced than I–have written books about how to write a novel and/or …

Nov 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Devil is in the Details

The Devil is in the Details

Over the weekend, I finally finished writing After Christmas Eve. Finding time to write had been the biggest obstacle–never mind that I had loose ends all over the place and no earthly idea how to tie them all together. I had time to write this weekend and along the way, figured out how to end the book. Hallelujah! I sent the draft to my beta readers for general feedback, two technical consultants to look at specific things, and some of the folks in my writers group. At this point, I just needed to know if everything makes sense and fits the characters. And with my technical consultants, I want to make sure details about guns and explosives are correct, as well …

Nov 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

How to Write a Novel

If you ask me, there are two basic ways to write a novel. You can either make it up as you go along–a style known as pantsing, as in flying by the seat of one’s pants. Or you can plan the story out from start to finish and then start writing. No doubt there are endless permutations and combinations of these two approaches. The essential difference is you either make it up as you go along or plan it out ahead of time. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Seems maybe I was half right. I’ve done it both ways, pantsing my way through Until Thanksgiving and outlining my second novel. Having just about finished After Christmas Eve, I’ve been …