Notes To The Author As A Young Man: How You Can Write A Novel In Three And A Half Months, And Still Have A Life.

I begin working on the final chapter of ONE LAST FLIGHT tomorrow (that’s Chapter 18 for those of you who have been following its serialization here). I started it in September of last year, which is a long time to reach its present 52K words. No more ‘by the seat of my pants’ writing for me. I’m hoping the advice offered here and elsewhere about pre-plotting and planning will yield me a more robust word count per day.

Give it a read and see what you think.

G. Scott Huggins

There are many things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self about life, love, writing, and many more things. I’m going to start with this one, in the hope it may be useful to my readers. Just a year ago, I would have said that writing a novel this quickly would have been impossible for anyone but a professional, probably-childless, full-time writer. Here are the lessons I learned that made this possible. I would like to especially credit Steven Barnes and his Lifewriting philosophy for teaching me many of these things. There’s a lot more over on his Facebook group dedicated to this, some of which I have not yet put into practice, but it’s well worth checking out. I’ll designate the points I learned from him with an (L).

1) Have A Clearly Defined Motivation (L): In this case, my motivation was two-fold: 1) I…

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The Antitheist’s Nightmare

A Wonderful Short Story For Your Amusement, Courtesy Of G. Scott Huggins…

G. Scott Huggins

For Sunday, another column I wrote for SciPhi Journal, with apologies to Bertrand Russell

The eminent antitheist and essayist Dr. Brussels dreamed that he died and found himself, against all expectation, at a pair of immense gates that shone like great pearls. He was shocked and rather apprehensive as he was met by a being that looked astonishingly human, like a king, with wings twice as long as he was tall.

“I see that I must be ill and hallucinating, or having an end-of-life experience,” he said. “For nothing else could explain the anthropomorphic delusion I am currently suffering.”

“You are not ill, but you are having an ‘end-of-life experience,’ said the being. “It is called Heaven.”

“Heaven could hardly exist,” Brussels replied, “And if it did, it certainly would not look at all like a mere Human conception.”

The being smiled. “Heaven can look as It pleases, though Its…

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Casablanca: What a Damn Near Perfect Movie Can Teach About Writing

Great writing advice from quite possibly the greatest movie ever made!

I say ‘quite possibly’ because I can never decide between Casablanca and It’s A Wonderful Life. Yes, I know they are both decades-old black and whites, but what do you expect from an old fart like me?

Amatopia

My wife and I watched the 1942 classic Casablancaa few nights ago. It had been over a dozen years since I had seen it, and it was the first time for my wife. All I have to say is that the movie is classic for a reason, and that it gets better with each viewing.

And what struck me were the lessons this movie provides about novel writing. Sure, it’s a different art than screenwriting, but several techniques translate very well across the mediums. Here are the ones that struck me.

I won’t give away the plot here, since this isn’t a movie review per se, and because I want you to watch it in a pristine, unspoiled state. But there may be mild spoilers, so don’t get mad at me if you keep reading!

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Why it’s Totally Okay if You Haven’t Read My Books (and Why it’s Almost Always Okay to Not Read Someone’s Book)

A healthy attitude for writers to emulate!

The Z-Axis

Sometimes when I run into acquaintances or old friends, people I’ve stayed in touch with via social media, one of the first things I hear is “I’m sorry I haven’t read your books yet!”

My response is usually something like, “Why are you sorry? It’s not your job to read my books.”

I’m constantly surprised by how sorry-not-sorry people are, though. They’re very sorry they haven’t read my books, they assure me, but when I assuage their fears, they’re wildly relieved. It’s not, “Good, I’ve bought myself some time.” It’s, “Thank goodness, now I don’t have to read it at all.”

Not only do they no longer have to feel guilty about not having read my books yet, they also are immediately unburdened of the responsibility to read my books in the future. It turns out, not only have they not read my books, they were not really ever…

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