DL Fowler's Blog

In Memoriam: Hank Searls 

Posted in Favorite Books, Hank Searls, Inspiration, Intimacy, Show Don't Tell, Sounding by DLFowler on May 14, 2017

I recently learned that one of my favorite authors, Hank Searls, passed away at 94 years old, on February 17, 2017. He was a gifted and prolific writer. You might recall Jaws 2.

I had the privilege of meeting Hank several years ago, and we spent a good hour or more talking about writing.  One of my all-time favorite novels is Sounding, Hank’s story about an aging sperm whale. It has been called the best whale novel since Moby Dick.

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Character in Characters

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those words define what we mean by character. They are words that remind us of  the difference between a leader and a con-man. For writers like me, these words are a guide to crafting characters who inspire readers through stories. Characters with character are more important today, than ever before.

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What’s Your Story About?

We are going to be asked, “What is your story about?” There is a three-part answer to that anxiety-inducing question. The short answer is the story’s theme. Another reply is to outline the moral dilemma—a choice between opposing principles that lies at the heart of the Lead’s psychological journey. We can also describe the physical journey that our Lead character pursues. All three answers help focus our writing.

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Political Theater

A recent news item reminded me of an ominous episode of political theater that took place some 153 years and twelve days ago. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not my intent in this post to compare or contrast the two occasions, or the people involved. I’ll leave that to you.

By the way, the event I recalled isn’t the one that happened on April 14, 1865. My mind is too complex to travel somewhere that easy.

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Is This Part of the New Publishing Paradigm?

Posted in Lincoln Raw, My Books, Writing by DLFowler on May 24, 2012

So publishers don’t do advances, editing, or book promotion (unless you can sell anything you print your name on.) What are you to do, if you’re a writer? Options seem to be: don’t quit your day job or starve while you’re creating your opus. Or is there a third option? Hint: there are always more than two options.

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Something New

Posted in Lincoln, Lincoln's Psychology, My Books, Uncategorized, Writing by DLFowler on May 19, 2012

Okay, so I’ve been quiet for a while. It happens. But I have a good excuse. It’s called Lincoln Raw – inside the legend. If you want to know whether it’s worth not hearing from me for a bit, try out the sample chapter on my website.

Lincoln Raw is an attempt to get intimate with the most pivotal president in our country’s history. To delve into the early life traumas that forged his emotions, and how his complex personality helped create the America we live in today.

It’s not a biography, it’s a story told by him in first person. I try hard to capture his storyteller’s voice throughout. And I interlace his early life experiences with decisions he made as an adult, to connect probable cause with potential effect.

Lincoln Raw is a work in progress. I’ll try to be more diligent about posting here. Especially now that I found the secret formula that lets me type new posts on my iPad.

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SYWS – You Have the Right …

Posted in Inside a Writer's Head, SYWS, Writing by DLFowler on November 27, 2011

In America we have rights. We have the right to express ourselves freely. And we have the right to remain silent. I guess there’s a time and place for everything, because rights have consequences. So, if you can’t bear the consequences, don’t exercise the right.

I just read a great story in a lousy book. The story kept me wanting to know what happens next. The writing screamed, I don’t care if you can’t decipher the story. Okay, but if that’s the way you feel, then I have the right to think you should tell your stories around a campfire, but not in a book. In fact, I look forward to an invite to your next camp out. I just don’t want to buy your next book – unless you give it to a competent editor first.

With the flood of poorly edited books these days, maybe every book should include the editor’s name and email address. That would be an appropriate exercise of free speech.

Do you have thoughts on rights and responsibilities? Chime in with a comment.

SYWS – I’m Not a Genius, I’m More Curious

Posted in Inside a Writer's Head, Psychology, SYWS by DLFowler on September 25, 2011

I don’t know if it drives you up a wall to hear someone say, “Well … I wish I was that smart.” Or how about, “Gee … my little brain can just handle so much.”  OK, let me translate that – but first here’s a fact: We humans don’t use 20% of our brains, so if someone seems to be twice as smart, you only have to use 40% of your brain to catch up!

Now the translation: “Thinking make me tired.” 

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(Part 2) How writing is like practicing Jungian psychology … or …

Posted in Carl Jung, Characters, Inside a Writer's Head, Psychology, Ripples, Writing by DLFowler on September 7, 2011

It’s not writer’s block. Two characters are arguing in my head and I’m waiting for them to finish.

There are three characters in the scene, only two are arguing.  (more…)

How writing is like practicing Jungian psychology … or …

Posted in Carl Jung, Characters, Inside a Writer's Head, Psychology, Writing by DLFowler on September 7, 2011

It’s not writer’s block. Two characters are arguing in my head and I’m waiting for them to finish.   (more…)