WRITERS BLOCK: Even Hemingway got stuck sometimes. How he got UNSTUCK, (and how YOU can)


from A Moveable Feast


Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going…


“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”


So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.


…I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: The Movie Versus The Book

head shot
your humble host


It’s always interesting to see how a beloved book becomes a movie, and to observe what the movie makers decided to leave in or leave out.


(I recently did a 5-part series on things  I learned from JK Rowling. You can read it HERE)


For example, in the beginning of the book, Harry gets in trouble a lot because things just seem to happen when he’s around. Strange things like, oh, the glass wall that keeps the pythons contained at the zoo. It kind of disappears.


Or how he managed to somehow fly up onto the roof of the local public school when some bad kids were chasing him.


In the book, Harry doesn’t know that he is causing these things to happen. He is just as surprised as everyone else. In the movie, he seems pretty aware that he has caused something to happen when it does.


Probably the best way to describe the difference between the book and the movie is this:

In the movie version, it’s like your good friend read the book – and then enthusiastically told you the story.


you can almost hear the Harry Potter music, can’t you?

They loved it. They spend more than two hours telling you the whole story – as much as they could remember.


They don’t tell you every single detail, of course, and you wouldn’t expect them to. But they would emphasize the things they enjoyed a lot or things that stood out to them.


So a lot of the detail would get left behind, and other things would get shortened. In movies, they tend to do that, and to combine things.


I would say the movie follows the story pretty faithfully, really just leaving behind a lot of details that you might not need… (I’m sure some die hard fans of the book will disagree. In an interview, the director said he really wanted to please fans of the book, that he felt he needed to do that.)


The challenges Harry and his friends face at the end were more like Indiana Jones in the movie, whereas they were more like Alice In Wonderland in the book. There, the movie may have been better.


The overly bright colors in the movie make everything look weird. The scenes where they’re not overdone are much better.

Allison 2 will keep you guessing at every turn

Ya know, if you’re gonna complain about other people’s movies and books, you better be ready to write one that’s better. So I did.

$2.99 eBook or FREE with Kindle Unlimited http://geni.us/navigators Now available in paperback!

Also, attention all movie makers: CGI makes everything just looks like I’m watching a cartoon. A nice, really well drawn cartoon, but a cartoon. You can do better. So do better.


Was the movie was pretty true to the book? I would say yes. Things they left out and rearranged, they weren’t that big of a deal to have been left out and rearranged.

I mentioned Butterbeer was an acquired taste, right? When does that appear in the books?

Some of the stuff they left out was good, though… There, the book was better.


But if they left them all in, it would’ve been a five hour movie instead of two and a half hour movie. And two and a half hours was plenty.




Because millions and millions and millions of people thought so.


head shot
your humble host

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

5 Vital Tips For Starting Your Blockbuster Story

1. Most of the input we get about writing a story comes from people who are traditionally published, and traditionally published people are going to agents. Agents are effing lazy. So if you don’t hook the agent or publisher on page 1 paragraph 1, they don’t read much farther.

2. That’s… a lot of pressure for one paragraph.

3. On the other hand, the end customer is who we market to as independent authors. That means you have a much wider berth. 50 pages as opposed to one.

4. And that’s why it’s important to start your story quickly and hook your reader (I’m always gonna advocate that), but to remember it’s a rule that came from agents and publishers, not readers – so tell YOUR story.

5. Tell it well, but tell it the way YOU need to tell it.

Using StumbleUpon to Drive Traffic

So this happened


We had pretty good blog traffic every day, and then we did the StumbleUpon thing – posting our blog page on SU –

and then BOOM!


Now what?

(Those seemingly little numbers on the bar chart? They were BIG numbers yesterday. Still are. They just aren’t as big as the freaking rocket launch numbers from SU.)

Yeah, it’s a lot more traffic – but what does it mean? It hasn’t turned into blog followers yet. Or book sales. Yet.

It’s traffic, according to WordPress stats. So that’s good.

I’m kind of at a loss.

Exposure is good, so I’m not complaining, but what the heck does StumbleUpon do, and why do I want them doing it?

I learned about StumbleUpon from Allison’s blog post, and she learned about it from somebody else. Now you are learning about it from me. But what are we seeing with these numbers?