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Tom Flanders's Blog

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Can I hold a grudge or what? My new novella-in-progress has the best bad guy I have ever written. The levels of his cruelty and manipulation have continually surprised me. Till today that is. Today I realized that this guy is an exaggerated amalgam of two teachers from my youth. They both...
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I'm working on prepping my novella, BROKE DOWN ON THE ROAD TO GLORY, for publication. Much fun. Compiling all the chapters into a single file. Setting all the margins and borders and stuff. Converting a pile of words I've written into a "book." The dreams made real. Now I just have...
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My first self-published book, a collection of short stories rapidly assembled to serve as a present for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, sold a whopping 36 copies. I consider that a success. Now I'm preparing to self publish my new novella, BROKE DOWN ON THE ROAD TO GLORY. How will I measure...
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"Why do you write?" asked character one. "To impress people." answered character two. That little interchange is from THE CASE OF THE GILDED FLY by Edmund Crispin. I'm embarrassed to admit that I could be character two. Much of what I've written over the last few years has...
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In a rare excursion from my shell of introversion, I built a web site to promote my latest novella BROKE DOWN ON THE ROAD TO GLORY, which is still in search of an agent and/or publisher. It's odd, for me at least, to be hyping something that isn't for sale yet. Heck, the car companies do it all...
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"Your files have been published." A simple sentence. A passive sentence. The kind of sentence I email to my fellow employees dozens of times a day. An exclamation of boredom. A cry for help. Save me from the abyss! Do they hear my plea? They do not. Unless there is some hidden meaning...
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Tonight I killed one of my characters. It was weird because up until tonight I didn't know that there would be a murder in this book. I knew it was a psychological thriller, but didn't know the stakes would be raised that high. On the bright side, she wasn't that great a character in the...
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Today I was cleaning up the writing folder on my had drive, moving bunches of old stuff to subfolders like, "needs work", "bits and pieces" and of course, "pretentious garbage." In the midst of all this I came upon a rather large file I had completely forgotten about....
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My characters have much more interesting lives than my own. Every day for them is an adventure. Oh sure, occasionally they're murdered or dismembered, but they will never die of boredom or suffer the unending horror of having a day job. Many of them have cool cars and nice houses and get to have...
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Many people give me advice. Mostly I ignore them. I'm an I-know-what's-best-for-me DIY kind of guy. You either know someone like that or you are someone like that. However some advice just can't be ignored, no matter how painful it might be. I've been working on a novel for over a year now. It...
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My inner critic won't speak to me. He sits on my desk with his head in his lap, weeping. The Skull of the Muse keeps telling him jokes, but he won't laugh. The glass rabbit, who I think represents my feminine side, keeps telling me in German that I need to feed the critic. She says that he will...
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Ah the days of bliss, happily pounding out drek with no responsibility to the readers that did not exist. The resulting stories would be so bad that it would be immediately obvious what was wrong and what must be done to fix it. Then I started getting better and everything went wrong. Now when...
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Maybe it's the puritan upbringing, but I've come to realize that I feel guilty about spending time writing. I feel like I should be doing something practical and productive like cleaning the back room or repairing the deck or feeding the homeless. I know this is just my inner critic trying to...
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Just decorated my desk with the dream lizard, Kokopelli, the Skull of the Muse and the inner critic fetish. Now I can write.
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An odd problem. I've been working heavily on my novel lately both at my keyboard and in my head during any spare moment. The problem is that I am so ensnared in writer mode that I can't carry on a normal conversation anymore. I am constantly pausing to think about the best way to phrase EVERYTHING...
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