Randall’s Ramblings – 14 February 2016

First, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

Many thanks to those who’ve been reading along.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

Why I want to Write–What’s Led Me to This Stage in My Life

When I retired five years ago, a long-time friend and colleague suggest I try my hand writing a novel. He’d been a follower of my expository writing and it sounded like a good idea.  So, I began to explores ideas for a story.

I was clueless on how to go about this.  I had remembered reading that if you’re uncertain, write about something you know.  That’s easier said than done when you want to switch from expository to fictional writing.  The first thing I did was to create an outline–why? It was a familiar step for me to take.  I planned where I wanted to start and where I hoped to end.  Now, I knew there was a huge area between to create.

I’ve always been an avid reader of authors such as Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, and many others.  Putting my thinking cap on, I began to visualize some characters, locations, and dialogue.  What did I know about these components of a story? Absolutely nothing.  It showed.  After nearly 200 pages I came to the conclusion it would be better to put it aside for another day. 

That day came in June 2015.  I was searching the Internet but something totally unrelated and stumbled across a couple of writing sites where I could post my work for critique. An excellent idea, and thoroughly worth the effort. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying the journey.

My Work in Progress

I posted two chapters for ‘The Kurdish Connection’ this week to the subscription writing sites for critique.  Good feedback from various readers.  I’m now approaching the 100K-word mark as I head into the home stretch. 

I also spent time this week revising my outline, making appropriate changes to fine-tune how the story will end.  This method works well for me and I was able to trim another potential chapter while maintaining everything I want to include.  

Blog Posts I’d Like to Share

Each week I continue to skim through dozens of blogs, sometimes for enjoyment purposes only, and other times to help stimulate my creativity. Today, I’d like to share the following blogs with you. I use one to search for stimulating ideas while the other is great for inspirational thought.

Book Junkie Reviews – As the name implies, this blog provides a host of reviews on various books.  For me it’s a one-stop shop, where just reading reviews of other works gives me inspiration.

Double U – a collection of inspirational poems. There’s sure to be one you’ll enjoy.

Books I’m Reading

I finished reading ‘Dead Charming‘ by Ian Jackson. Here are my thoughts:

We begin with ordinary working people trying to better themselves. Along comes a charming man by the name of Joe Reed. But something sinister lurks beneath the surface.  The beginning of the story can be a bit distressing to some but it’s written to give the reader an inkling of Joe’s mindset.  Yes, there is torture, manipulation, and deceit. Throw in a rookie profiler and several police officers and we’re off to the races.  Is Joe as evil as he appears? If so, why? A great mix of good and evil, with twists thrown in to keep everyone off balance.  A very good read.

Writing Resources

This week I’d like to mention two addition books I’ll be using as I edit ‘The Kurdish Connection.’

Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense – Two important elements of any work of fiction.

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript – the title speaks for itself.


That’s all for this week’s edition of Randall’s Ramblings.  I hope you’ve found something of interest and will return again.  If you think a fellow writer might benefit, please pass the word along.  Likewise, if you think of anything to improve my ramblings, please let me know. Thank you for stopping by!







8 thoughts on “Randall’s Ramblings – 14 February 2016”

  1. Wonderful ramblings, Randall… I love that you have begun working on your book again and that you are taking the advice of those critic groups.. so many new writers fail to recognize the benefits of doing this. I’ve never been one to use a strict outline, but I do a brief jotting down of ideas as I work along and a list of characters, their traits, places, etc. so I don’t have to go back and read long chapters. Wonderful blogs to visit and thanks for the book review!

    1. Many thanks, Lori. In this week’s ramblings, I’ll be talking about how I use the outlines and perhaps about the benefits of the critic groups. Many thanks! Randy

  2. Another good post! I am curious as to the type of outline you used. I’ve never been much of an organized “outliner,” but as I move along the writing path, I’m finding that I should do more of a kind of outlining. If you could share your ideas, that would be of interest. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Hi Mark,
      Sure, I’ll be glad to share my ideas with you. There are some people who swear by an outline (I needed one with a lot of the expository writing I did) while others are pantsers (by the seat of their pants). Here’s my email address: rjkrzak.com. Send me an email with any specific questions you might have and I’ll respond back and give you some guidance. Regards, Randy

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