New Venture

I’m currently writing a military sci-fi novel. That wasn’t what I planned for the month of December 2018. I envisioned working on the second book in my urban fantasy series Drawn, which is under contract with Falstaff Books. However, Falstaff has fallen behind in their publishing queue. The owner has told me he doesn’t know when book 1 will be released, but probably not before early Spring 2019. This turn of events doesn’t upset me, much. I know publishing is a tough business and the folks at Falstaff are working hard all the time. 

However, this downturn took the pressure off of me to complete Drawn 2, and freed me up to pursue another project. Following up on a contact I made at JordanCon last year, I decided to see if another publisher might be interested in my work. Although I’m not under contract, and they can still say no, they gave me the go ahead to write my current WIP, and I’m having a great time doing so. Hopefully they like it (read: buy it), and I’ll reveal all the details. 

— david j.

Targeted Nouning

Pssst, fellow author. Here’s a thing I’ve learned about writing. Strive to use precise nouns. It will improve your prose. Make certain those nouns fit not only the setting, but the motif and mood you’re trying to capture in a scene. What ever do I mean? Here’s an example:

Poor nouning: Theresa pulled a wad of clothes from the desk and dumped them on the coverlet.

The above is fine, but imprecise in a couple of loose ways. It fails to let me know what sort of clothes Theresa is digging out. It could hint at the time period and Theresa’s mood, but it doesn’t.

Better nouning: Theresa pulled a set of baby jumpers from the bureau, the hooded sort Mother preferred whenever she took Kevin for a stroll on Sundays, and flung them onto the duvet with an enraged little huff.   

This one’s better because the reader comes away knowing more about Theresa, her mood, her nationality (likely British), and maybe a little something about her relationship with her mother. Obviously, the main verb changed as well, from dumped to flung, so we can take a lesson here about better verbing too.

Apply better nouning to your every sentence and paragraph. It will strengthen your prose.


— david j.

New Digs

I’m sad ThirdScribe, a website dedicated to authors and readers, will be shutting down in February. That’s where I had my previous website hosted. It was a great place for authors. Unfortunately, too few discovered it in time to make the business model work, or so I gather.

That puts me here, constructing my own site. Well, not really. This is a WordPress site, which means it mostly builds itself. Sure, I could code my own site, but I have little enough time as is. I’d rather write books than code when I’m at home.

This new site will fill out in the coming days as I add content. I want to get my “What I’m Reading” and “What I’m Writing” pages back up and running. In the meantime, I’m working on the 5th draft of my novel Drawn. I’m deep in edits now and will be sending it back to Falstaff before 18FEB.

— david j.

Meat Hooks

This is the opening to my middle grade novel, Ambrosia: The Crown Maze.

On the day Derrick Jensen discovered chocolate was the secret to magic, he was hawking candy bars door to door with his little brother. Or, more precisely, he was sitting on a log in the shade between two neighborhood houses feeling sorry for himself.

Trying to grab a reader’s attention can be tough, especially if said reader is a kid. I’m hoping the above lines do the trick.