Indie Author Shout Out: No random blog post would be complete without a shout out about yet another wonderful indie author short story! "Her Older Man," by Lorraine Sears is now available at Amazon and Amazon UK. Usually 99 cents (US), free on occasion. A story very well worth reading!

Word of the week: agglomeration \ə-ˌglä-mə-ˈrā-shən\ - noun – (hear it!) - 1: the action or process of collecting in a mass; 2 : a heap or cluster of usually disparate elements – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Excuse Me, What?

Once upon a time, an innocent reader asked me: “Where do you get your story ideas from?”

Well, to be honest, I get them from my fingers.

No, really. Words pop out of my fingers and onto the screen like buttered popcorn pops fresh and delicious in a sizzling-hot pan of corn oil. And we all know what that's like — yummy!

So no, no structure, no thinking, no planning. (No planning for the popcorn, either.) It all just . . . happens. Kind of like when a unicorn appears on your porch, or a writhing bag of rodents spontaneously bursts into a spread of phosphorescent mushrooms along a forest floor.

Oh, I'm sure it has something to do with the huge agglomeration of things I've collected in my mind throughout the oh-so many years I've been alive, all . . . um, forty-two of them. You know, the neat-o stuff I've learned and salad-tossed in my old and fragile brains, melted and forgotten (stuff, not the brains), then suddenly remembered at the most inopportune times, like when I have neither a pencil nor a piece of paper, or when I do have a pencil but still no paper, or I have paper but no pencil and only a pen that has no ink. Or when I'm driving. Or working. Or sneezing.

Ha! Yeah, that's right. Go ahead, try writing something down when you're sneezing. I dare you.

So because ideas come popping out of my fingers to splatter a fun virtual linguistic mess onto my screen, I cringe at the mere thought of outlining.

No, no, no. Hear me out: Writing everything down in a planned, structured, stilted manner — detailing this and that, and that and this, designing plots and sub-plots and character sketches and scene-setting particulars beforehand — all takes away from the neon-bright spark of creativity, the wild and wacky impulse of discovery, the infuriating “Oh, what in the *&^%$ is this stupid character doing that for?!” moments that I, as a writer, thrive upon and live to experience. And I've seen more than a handful of these moments in my time as both a budding author and an “semi-old hand” at writing.

My favorite? First draft of “The Coalition Letters,” third book in my dark fantasy collection. A total “What the heck?!” moment.

Picture it: Mystical secondary character holds aloft certain mystical object to taunt non-mystical antagonist across expanse of severely dangerous liquid (to him and his piddly minions, that is) and yes, here I am, writing and writing and writing, words popping out of my fingers like popcorn, when . . . KERSPLASH!

Mystical secondary character nosedives into severely dangerous (to the antagonist) liquid. No explanation, no warning, and I never saw it coming; she just . . . plunged, apparently to see how insanely desperate her adversary was to steal the object she held in her possession.

Holy smokes!

So, for an insanely long period of time, I just sat there and stared at the screen, not knowing what to think, or why this particular character had done what she'd done, or where to take the story next.

I was stunned.

Oh, but I can hear you scoff: “Pfft. Yeah, yeah. You must have seen it coming, somehow, right? Characters don't just do things on their own; they aren't alive.”

No? Say that to any writer, and they'll look at you like you have two heads. Or like you've spontaneously burst into a bunch of phosphorescent mushrooms. Unicorn, anyone?

You see, our characters are alive — in our heads, of course — and when we give them free rein . . . KA-SPLOOSH! They burst forth, all glorious and beautiful, from that severely dangerous (to the writer) restrictive method called outlining, to declare in the most wonderfully grandiose voice: I WILL NOT BE OVERCOME! Mwahahahahahahaha!

* ahem *

. . . yeah, yeah, all right, a little overboard there. But you see my point, right?



* tosses writhing bag of rodents and dashes off *

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Oh yeah, and I almost forgot: My newest collection, "The Deeper the Lust, the Sweeter the Flesh: a small motley collection," is now available at Smashwords (mobi and epub) and Goodreads (pdf file).

Hey, it's FREE.


  1. However, if you are writing about,say, the history of Albania during the 1400's and how this relates to the current state of affairs in NATO, you would, in fact, want to write in a planned, stilted manner. If not, noted historians would call you a flibbertigibbet or worse.

    1. Hey! Quiet, you! :D Lol! (<-- Ha! So there.) I AM a flibbertigibbet or worse, you know. :D

  2. Now I'm going to have to figure out a way to master writing while caught up in an epic sneezing fit.

    1. Hahahaha! Yes. Yes, you will. And you'll have to let us know how you fare with it! :D