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Showing posts from December, 2011
New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year when we start thinking about the New Year and making those pesky resolutions. Most of them go unfulfilled. The goal of losing weight vanishes and a gym membership is wasted. Maybe a vow to go back to school or to save more money--June comes and you realize that you didn't make it.

I remember one New Year's resolution of mine that happened almost by accident. One New Year's Day I was sitting at my computer, Word on the screen and staring at that horrid blank page, trying to come up with a story. I had the character, John Logan, former spy, and nothing else. I'd tried numersous times to come up with a plot, something, anything to build that first novel on, and after a couple of years of work, had nothing to show for it.

Enter my daughter.

She came in and saw me at the computer and in her unique way asked me a question. "Are you still trying to write that stupid novel?"

I confessed that I was and that I was getti…
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Just finished a fascinating book by Edward Girardet entitled Killing the Cranes: A Reporter's Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan.

When the author first came to Afghanistan, he was a young reporter out to make a name for himself. There were rumors that the Soviets might be invading so Girardet stayed around. After covering the Soviet war and pull out, he then covered the lesser known civil war between Communist and anti-communist forces for control of the country. In the book he offers the reader a perspective on Afghanistan that is lost to most Americans and never understood by politicians.

For example: while other countries have attempted to invade this nation and impose their own vision of a national government, Girardet points out that Afghans, for the most part, don't care about a national government. They are loyal to their tribe and the last strong ruler of Afghanistan held only a limp grip on the nation as a whole.

He speaks of the amazing hospitality of t…
I've been away from the writing corner for nearly two weeks. My mom suffered a heart attack (she's fine now) but it took me out of town to run to her side. Now I'm back with the weekend ahead of me and I have to get back to my novel in progress.

Wow, is it hard. The characters--even the concept of the plot--seems so distant and stale. Faded like an old photograph and now I have to get back into the trenches and pick up where I left off two weeks ago.

Many a promising novel has been left on the scrap heap of unfinished works because of this. Lawrence Block has admitted there are many novels that he's never finished simply because he's realized somewhere through the process that he shouldn't have even started them in the first place.

So what am I going to do?

I'm going to get back into that world, maybe see what I've written so far and do some editing. That kind of eases me back into the writing process and slips me undetected into the plot so that I can pick…
Commiting Murder
A lot of times when you’re a writer, you have to commit murder.
I’m not just talking about your characters. I’m talking about your writing.
There is an adage in the profession, supposedly said by a writer: “Kill your darlings.”

You see there will come a time in your writing when you will write a scene that is, in your opinion, the best thing you’ve ever written. The images will leap off the page and the prose will flow perfectly and you will sit back and read it again and again and think, wow!

That’s happened to me before. You write something and, oh, perhaps it was just one of those times when you were really “on.” Everything in the universe came together at that moment and you created the best writing of your life.

Sometimes you have to kill it.

If the scene doesn’t add to your story, if the chapter you just finished, slows the pace down or contributes zip to the plot, you have to get rid of it. Cut it, edit it. Kill it.

God, it’s a tough decision. To sit there, reading som…
I remember the moment like it was yesterday.

I’d ordered the book after stumbling across the sequel in my college library. The sequel was titled THE MIKO and I loved it, but I found that there was a first book, THE NINJA, and I knew I had to read it. So I ordered it from a local bookstore and it arrived. I opened it and the first line stared back at me.

In darkness there is death.

I remember reading the book and when I was done, I spent days thinking about what I’d read. Martial arts, sex, a murder mystery–everything that captivated a geeky college kid. I searched for more titles by the author and came across BLACK HEART. A different protagonist but still deadly and some of the best scenes of unarmed combat that I had ever read sent me into fits of sheer amazement. But it had started with that one sentence.

In darkness there is death.

I began to think a lot. This character had been in my head. Orphaned at six, raised in Japan by his uncle, taught the ways of the Japanese. Special Forces tr…
Welcome!

This is the start of a new blog where I will attempt to chronicle my life as a husband, father, employee, all within the context of being a writer. Through this you will get to share my ups and downs, frustrations, joys, and sorrows of being a published indie (independent) author.

I am the author of Survivor's Affair and The Affairs of Men both featuring former spy turned PI John Logan. A third Logan thriller, The Sheltering Tree is due out in 2012. For more details you can catch my author website at www.wix.com/richardn45/rick-nichols

I hope you join me for the ride.