New Weekly Feature: Ask Dan Anything!

dan
your humble host
I’m not sure that exclamation mark in the title was necessary, but I’m VERY excited about this new segment.

Ask Dan Anything!

Yeah, the exclamation mark kinda works. For now, while it’s new. I may drop it after a few weeks.

Anyway, here’s the deal:

Each week we’ll take five, maybe ten, of YOUR writerly questions and set about answering them for you. When this post appears, get your questions in QUICKLY via the “comments” section below.

Simple enough, right?

Well, maybe.

See, a lot of you don’t know what you don’t know, and some of you know things others don’t; so the idea is for you – and I mean YOU – to just ASK the questions you have and let’s get the ball rolling. I’ll opine; maybe some others chime in with their thoughts, and hopefully YOU will get several good solutions to choose from.

Or something like that.

  • Wanna know how to create a “page turner” story?

  • Wanna know why you need to build an author platform?

  • Wanna know what dialogue tags are, and why you don’t want them in your story?

  • Wanna know how to get more Twitter followers?

And it doesn’t have to be directly writing related. Sometimes you need to get in the writing mood by NOT doing writer stuff. Maybe you wanna know about doing author events, but maybe you wanna know about public speaking, or… I don’t know; the London train system. (I had some trouble there, if you’ll recall.)

Or why so much of Europe requires you to pay to pee.

 

But I don’t want to suggest ideas TO you, I wanna know what’s on YOUR mind.

What are YOU struggling with?

So ask.

Ask me anything.

We have lots of smart people here; if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does. Or I’ll make something up.

Go ahead, you know you want to.

ASK ME ANYTHING!

Post your questions in the comment section below. I’ll answer the first five, maybe the first ten – so don’t goof off. Post your question NOW!

.

danDan 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!

Also available in paperback and audio book.

 

23 thoughts on “New Weekly Feature: Ask Dan Anything!

  1. Dan, do you set aside specific times to write your books? Because, unless you have more hours in your day than me, or just never sleep, I don’t know how you fit it all in!
    Juliet, the book writing procrastinator

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m pretty efficient when I want to be.

      Right now, I don’t want to be. Editing sucks and I’m looking at every excuse to not do it, but I have a funny feeling it’ll get done in July whether I want to or not…

      To answer your question, when I am steeped in a story, I can’t wait to get at it. every morning is Christmas morning. I get up at four or five in the morning and write for a few hours before anybody wakes up. I will find time during the day to jot down notes about ideas or scenes that I have coming up, and I will often dictate talk to-text messages-to myself into my phone notepad about those scenes and then email it to my home computer so I have it captured.

      There are lots of ways to create additional time to write, too. I blogged about this a while back. If you search “find time to write” in the search box, it’ll probably pop up. More good tips are there.

      I look at it this way: if you can find a way to create an additional 1 to 2 hours every single day, that’s potentially 10 more during the week and 40 in a month. That’s a lot.

      Ultimately, you have to take care of your writing as though it were your primary job, and by that I mean you wouldn’t show up late for your job and you wouldn’t blow it off, so don’t do that to your writing. Budget for it, scheduled it in, and then don’t do silly things like email and Facebook and Twitter when it’s writing time.

      If you get caught up on Facebook but don’t get your writing done, do you feel good about that?

      Whereas, if you get your writing done and don’t get caught up in Facebook, does anybody even notice? These days you could check social media throughout the day, even at a stoplight, so there’s really no excuse to do that instead of your writing.

      When I’m in the middle of a story I put all that stuff to the back burner. The far back burner. Friends will talk to me around lunchtime and say, “Oh, I guess you’re writing! I haven’t heard from you all day!”

      Darn straight!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Nobody does it, that’s how you know it works.

          Look, you might not control your day too much – kids, boss, school – but you probably DO control when it starts. Get up at 4am and sit down at the computer with a bunch of stuff you emailed yourself the day before, you’ll be raring to go. How bad do you want it, you know? I want it bad enough to get up at 4am.

          Liked by 2 people

    • That’s an easy one.

      Don’t consider yourself aspiring, maybe consider yourself not published yet.

      Hemingway’s works were still amazing the day BEFORE he published them, right? Or a week before, or a month or a year? Sure they were.

      By the same token, you could be brilliant, you just haven’t shown it to the world yet. At least not in volume.

      So my advice would be to have confidence. Believe that what you’re doing is good stuff. Probably because it is. Most people don’t sit down to write shit, they just don’t necessarily know how to sift out the good stuff from the bad stuff – and that’s all relative anyway. Then, once told, you have to be strong enough to act and not crumble under the information. Certain classic books are almost unreadable these days, like a lot of Shakespeare, but they were good at the time (and obviously it’s stood the test of time.)

      I’m not quite sure how you get confidence except to write something without fear.

      Put your heart and soul into it. I don’t mean make sure you have the commas in the right places, I mean go to that place inside of you that is completely and uniquely yours and might be super painful or super joyous and put that emotion on the page – and then go back and edit it so that somebody who doesn’t know anything about the circumstance can get to that point by the words you use, leading them by the hand from point a to point B to point C until they are in that desperate pit of hell or the pinnacle of joy or laughing their butts off work crying miserably, where ever you choose to take them.

      That takes guts. Most people pull back the reins because they’re afraid their mom is going to read it or someone will laugh at them. Because of that they hold back and don’t deliver what they’re capable of. Others drone on and on in a meaningless scene because they don’t know how to bridge the gap between good scenes and then because they spent a lot of time writing it they don’t want to take it out.

      The fact is, a lot of what we write gets taken out. I did some blog posts showing huge, HUGE sections of story coming out of Angel, but it needed to happen – and I was lucky to have writer friends who were honest enough with me to tell me that.

      And that’s probably the next thing, which is developing a network of other writers you can bounce your stories off of and taking their input (probably through a mentor or a critique group) to tighten it up so it delivers what you’re trying to deliver.

      Nobody’s born with it. If Hemingway and Stephen King and J. K. Rowling and James Patterson can learn to do it, you can.

      And you started. You asked for direction right here.

      A few hundred people may read this post and want to know what you asked – but won’t be brave enough to ask. You did. Let that be one of many brave writing things you do. Brave gets easier with repetition.

      Thanks for the question!

      Liked by 2 people

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