Shifting Paradigms

Approaching Life, Five Subjects At A Time


June 2016

That Time When Something Clicks

In a previous post, I have discussed the writing advice that Neil Gaiman gives on a regular and extremely straightforward basis.  I have to confess that I have only briefly read one of his works, but I have been absolutely smitten by his interviews.  So when I heard that he was releasing a book (“The View from the Cheap Seats“) that contains a selected number of his speeches, lectures, and other non-fiction (which was two days before it was to be released), I went ahead and pre-ordered it.  I am about 70-ish pages in and it is really a great read.

So far, he has been discussing a lot of his mentality when he wrote certain stories.  In particular there is a great article he wrote for the release of “American Gods” in which he remembers something that the author, Gene Wolfe, told him:

“You never learn how to write a novel, you just learn how to write the novel that you’re writing.”


For someone, like myself, who has always understood that you learn the basics of a particular skill to the point of mastery and then you gain specialization by further practice of concepts within that skill…this completely melted my mind.

I have always felt that I lack the basic concepts and such of novel writing, but now I am starting to question the questioning of myself.  And the idea makes complete sense to my brain.  And it really helps me understand why certain stories seem to need to be told differently and that there is no strict one way to write a story.  After a while, I would imagine, that the experience of having written a multitude of different stories would give an author a lot of different tools to make writing a story “easier” to write, especially if it is in the same series of books.

I wanted to share that with all of you, as it really got my brain into a much better place for writing and will definitely help me to focus a bit better on whichever story I am writing and have a better sense of how to practice my writing.


SEE YOU LATER!!!!!!!!!


Bleh…Back Pain

I had a golf lesson almost 2 weeks ago that was really good and I spent an extra hour or so at the range, since it’s free with the lesson, to really make sure the feeling I was working on would get further worked into how my body feels it and how my brain perceives it.  The only issue was when I tried to get out of the truck after the 90 minute ride back.  I almost doubled over in pain, literally, cause I couldn’t stand up without really bad pain in my back.  I figured it was just over exertion and that I probably should have dialed it back a bit, seeing as how I’m not in the best of shape.  I was right about the over exertion, and it’s taken me 10+ days to get past it.  Hoping that things go well for the next couple of days, so I can get out and work on my short game in the coming week.  I’ve picked out, with the help of my coach, a swing that I feel I can emulate (Gary Woodland), and a methodology to go about working on my short game.  So I’ll work with that and go from there.

On the writing front, things are going well.  Still working on nailing down the way I want to revise my story.  I think I was talking about how I sent in my prologue to the editor, and she sent back her thoughts.  I’m working on putting that into the entire book, which I have been doing in the way of overhauling my outline and doing some mental scene work.  My mental scene work is comprised of daily mental exercises about how I would write a particular scene.  I’m trying to, first, mentally change the way I approach scene-making so then I can just naturally go and do it without having to then do another total revision.  I feel like if I can just concentrate more on the action at hand, while incorporating the elements of plot at the story level, as well as the different character levels, I should have a pretty good thing going.  I’m really hoping to have this first revision in place for the cruise in September.  Really, I would like to have it done before the end of August so I can take a 2 week break and then head to the Writing Retreat with revision in hand.

Make sure to take care of your spine…

See you later!!!!


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