Getting Started

I have always loved a good story, whether it was my cousin Gamble telling about a sorry guy with a 3-legged dog that he called ‘flat tire’ or my friend Maher reciting the Reincarnation of O’Rourke in perfect Irish brogue.  Wonderful stories both.  Maybe that was why I loved Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  Talk about some good stories!  Apparently, we’ve always been at it … Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, Boccaccio, hundreds of troubadours and the itinerant bluesmen whose music I play.

I started writing without thoughts of a novel.  Maybe just some sketches, some literary stretching exercises.  My first lesson:  you can’t write fiction without characters, and you can’t just conjure up characters and then stop writing about them.  They take over the story.  You get drawn in.  What will she do next?  He wouldn’t put up with THAT, would he?  So here I am, 126,000 words of original draft later, 10,000 cut in rewrite, learning slowly about the real-world aspects of writing, which is a business, after all.

So, why a blog?

In short, H-E-L-P!  I’d like to share ideas with other writers, and get some help from readers.  I’m starting my second novel, and there are plenty of places I’d like your reaction, to both plot and character.  Follow the blog and leave a reply when you see something that demands a comment.  I’ll be back to you soon.

7 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. John: I’m pleased to be made aware of your blog. Is the pictured crossroads the one where Robert Johnson met the Devil?

    Steve

    • Steve,
      Thanks for the note. Very observant about the header. The picture is of a crossroad near the Leatherman plantation, where Charley Patton and Son House played and a place where Robert Johnson surely went. The legend is that Robert traded his soul to the devil at ‘a crossroad’ to learn to play guitar better than anyone else. If Robert did go to a crossroad, this one is more likely than several other places that have claimed the title. Clarksdale MS has a big sign at the crossorad of Highways 61 and 49, but that wouldn’t have been the right place. There was never any discussion of that crossroad idea while Robert was alive, but Son House referred to it obliquely after Robert’s death. That, combined with Robert’s ‘Crossroad Blues’, combined with the African tradition that a crossroad is a magical place probably built the legend.

      Best,

      John

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