Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saying for Authors #114 - Michener

A Quote which Might (or Might Not) Inspire You to Write:

“I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.” - James Michener

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tip O'Day #339 - Strong Theme, Strong Words

Guest blogger Paul D. Marks wonders how to convey the evil of racism without employing racist language and situations.

My novel White Heat is an intense, highly charged mystery thriller that begins where the "Rodney King" riots leave off and is being released in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of those riots. But it might as well have been written today as the things it deals with are in today's news: the Trayvon Martin shooting by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, the shooting of Kendrec McDade by Pasadena police, as well as the shooting of several African-Americans in Oklahoma. One would have thought that things would have changed more in the last twenty years. But you know what they say, the more things change…

Los Angeles P.I. Duke Rogers finds himself in a racially charged situation. He inadvertently helps a client find an old "friend," Teddie Matson, an up and coming African-American actress. When the client's friend is murdered, Duke knows who did it. Guilt overwhelms him and he takes it upon himself to find the killer, his client. This leads him into South Central Los Angeles in April of 1992, just as the "Rodney King" riots ignite. While he tries to track down the killer, he must also deal with the racism of his partner, Jack, and from the dead woman's brother, Warren. He must also confront his own latent racism – even as he's in an interracial relationship with the murder victim's sister.

In real life we often don't know who we really are until we are tested. It could be in war or in everyday situations such as those depicted on the show "What Would You Do?" Do we do the right thing, or do we avoid getting involved? Are we willing to lay our lives on the line or do something but not go as far as putting our lives out there?

That's what I like to do with my characters. Put them in situations that test them. See if they measure up.

Duke's partner Jack talks like a racist, but when push comes to shove what will he do? Same with the dead victim's brother in the story, only he is black and Jack is white. Duke is in the middle, trying to do the right thing and fighting his own suspected demons.

In order to have a strong characters, I think you need to plunge them into situations that push them to their limits. This can often push readers to their own limits. As one reviewer said: "White Heat is a tough, tersely-written book featuring tough, complicated, and not always lovable characters who might push many readers to the very edge of their comfort zone. But it's honest and it's real, and it doesn't pander to its audience by providing pat or phony answers to the many complex issues it raises."

White Heat was a tough novel to write because it deals with uncomfortable, tough issues in an uncompromising, harsh way. I had reservations about using certain language in the book – i.e. racial epithets – and still worry that someone will misinterpret them. We live in a time when they are taking Huckleberry Finn off the school library shelves and when people get offended at the slightest excuse. As a writer I wanted to portray things realistically and honestly. So ultimately I came to the conclusion that I had to use harsh language and tough situations to tell the story. I think readers will see that when they read the book.

Check out his book here and his blog here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tip O'Day #338 - Can’t Take Criticism?

Dixon says: “There’s a word for folks who can’t handle constructive criticism.”

I realize there are critique groups, both local and online, that can be brutal. Groups where, if someone starts by saying, “Let me be perfectly honest…” you’d be smart to jump the sofa instead of running around it on your way to the door. Groups that enjoy taunting newbies. Groups that will kick you when you’re down. Groups where Don Rickles would feel right at home.

Thankfully, these are not the norm – and my critique group does not resemble them in the slightest. We put the emphasis on “here’s something you might try to eliminate that problem” instead of “well, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever read.” Which isn’t to say we sugarcoat the truth. We simply feel it’s not necessary to poke you with a sharp stick to get your attention.

However, some people cannot handle constructive criticism. Despite the fact they’ve been invited to check out a CRITIQUE GROUP, they never grasped the concept that people would be passing judgment on their precious little words. They’re not looking for input about what’s wrong. They want a pat on the back, and the assurance they’d already have book contracts if not for the jealousy and incompetence of editors and literary agents.

Sometimes you hear of a solitary fellow who sneaks off to a cave in the woods to write the Great American Novel, and produces an extraordinary work of genius. I’m not a believer. Since my kids have all grown up, I no longer pretend I believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, either. Sorry, but I believe the very best writing is – to some degree, at least – a collaborative effort. Sooner or later, even the most brilliant author needs to hear somebody say, “but what if…” Maybe you accept the suggestion and maybe you reject it, but your work is stronger for having considered it.

Returning to our fellow writers who can’t stand to hear constructive criticism, we don’t need to ask them to leave our critique group. They drift away after a few sessions, looking elsewhere for that elusive pat on the back. I feel bad for them because it's unlikely their craft will improve much beyond its current state.

There’s a word for these people – they are called unpublished.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tip O'Day #337 - Beating the Indie Drum

Guest blogger Chris Mawbey on small successes.

A friend recently asked me if I would ever become a successful writer. I thought about defending myself by reminding her of my previously published work. Instead, I took her question on the chin and asked her how she defined success.

Her definition basically involved being called J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, or (in my friend’s words) the person who wrote Twilight.

When I mentioned Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath and Stephen Leather her face went blank. Encouraged, I went on a gentle offensive evangelizing about what success can really mean for the Indie Author. In my opinion, success happens when -

Someone (you don’t know) downloads your e-book;
Someone (you don’t know) takes the time and trouble to visit your blog and leave a comment saying how much they enjoy your writing;
Someone (you don’t know), who has more followers than people they are following, follows you on Twitter.

The common theme here is ‘someone (you don’t know)’ - the reaching out and connecting with potential readers. Though these are small successes, they are also the bricks of the foundation we can build on to reach for bigger and better things. Without this foundation we will always struggle to grow our readership.

Success, however small, should always be celebrated; after all it can be a long time in coming.

Keep writing – stay determined – and enjoy the journey.

Thanks to Dixon for inviting me to share my thoughts with you, and thanks to you, reader, for giving me your time.

Learn more about this writer at Chris’ blog.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saying for Authors #113 - Nabokov

A Quote which Might (or Might Not) Inspire You to Write:

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” - Vladimir Nabokov

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tip O'Day #336 - Plot Problems in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Guest blogger Zvi Zaks muses on the Star Wars series.

The first Star Wars, Episode Four, presents magnificent epitomes of good (Obi Wan) and evil (Darth Vader). Luke, at first somewhat bratty, becomes a strong protagonist. It's a clean, well structured story.

In Episode Five, the neatness unravels. Vader is not ultimate evil (the Emperor is), and Luke endangers everyone by abandoning his training. Still, the story moves smoothly to that famous kicker, "Luke, I am your father."

Episode Six reveals Vader has unsuspected goodness, and Obi Wan shows himself a weasel when he says 'in a sense' Vader killed Luke's father. It's a little confusing, but we're more or less satisfied at the end. Stories of pure good and evil are less interesting that those with more ambivalent characters, but the latter need more skill in construction. Vader as Luke's father just does not fit with the original film. Lucas tried too hard for the poignant. Since that idea arose after the first film was 'in the can,’ the story suffered.

In Episode One, everything changes. How can cute, wise, brave little Anikin be a villain? Moreover, Jedis Qui-Gon and the young Obi Wan, unlike wise Alec Guinness, are insensitive jerks. Who are the good guys here?

Later, Obi Wan becomes obnoxiously overbearing. Inexplicably, Padme falls in love with and marries Anakin, an impetuous teen at least ten years younger. In Episode two, we see droids under the evil Dookus and clones, precursors of the imperial storm troopers. It's confusing. Who should we root for?

In a plausible seduction, Anikin succumbs to the dark side. The mind-controlled clones betray the Jedi. Yoda goes into exile on Degaba (in a scene that, sadly, didn't make the final cut.) Babies Leia and Luke are placed with good families, CP3O has his memory wiped to conform with later episodes, and we're ready to watch Episode 4 - A New Hope once again.

Scientific absurdities abound (e.g., using 'parsec' as a unit of time, driving a submarine through a planet's core, and a robot, Grievous, with a hunched back and cough). Most are minor. Much more serious is the failure of the Jedis to rescue Anakin's mother from slavery. Her death is necessary to show Anakin's progression to the Dark Side, but it's unrealistic. A trained Jedi might not need emotional attachments, but Anakin is still a child.

Lucas has created a messiah (virgin birth, no less) who falls into evil and needs redemption himself instead of redeeming others. The idea is lofty, but the execution lacks finesse. At the end, there is no point. Anakin-Vader, the saga's main character, is neither hero nor anti-hero. One is tempted to ask - why bother?

I bother. I love Star Wars. The spectacular eye-candy, inspiring music, and enough shturm und drang to delight a meteorologist sucks me in time after time. And watching it while exercising makes my workouts much easier. It's a lot of fun.

But it's nothing to take seriously.

Learn more about this author at his Amazon page.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tip O'Day #335 - Writers are Readers, Too

Guest blogger Ann Swann on what she looks for in a book.

First, I have my favorites like Stephen and Tabitha King, John Grisham, and Anne Tyler. Then there's my daughter, Sara Barnard. She's a new, soon-to-be-published Romance author, and I'm always reading her latest.

I also have my online author friends. I've got about sixteen of their books on my Kindle right now. I'm constantly downloading to my Kindle. Biographies are one of my weaknesses. Then there are my fellow Cool Well Authors. I'm such a nosy-Nancy. I want to read everything they write, but that doesn't leave me any time for my own work.

Finally, I am a real sucker for a colorful cover. I recently saw a Young Adult book, After the Snow Falls, and the beautiful snowy-blue cover caught my eye right away. The same way with the Twilight books, that red on black was really eye-catching. A book from a few years ago, The Body Finder, had a gorgeous cover. Of course the blurb is important, too. But that's a whole other topic!

Ann Swann is author of The Phantom Pilot, book one of The Phantom Series (The next book, The Phantom Student, will be out in October.) Learn more here or on this link to the book trailer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tip O'Day #334 - The Drive for Perfection

Guest blogger Kenneth Weene asks, “Do I really want to edit it again?”

I’m sure it will be done soon. I mean it has already taken a year and a half. The book is titled The Stylite. It is in many ways my best work. The language is poetic. The characters reach the heart. The plot is unexpected. The imagery and use of metaphor are excellent. At least that’s what Jake, my editor, tells me. He absolutely loves the book. So do I.

There is no question that my writing is good. Reviewers tell me that it is. My writing group compliments it. Word is getting out and people are buying.

Even better, my work keeps improving. I take great pleasure in that improvement. As powerful as Memoirs From the Asylum may be, I must admit that Tales From the Dew Drop Inne is a better-crafted book. The shorter pieces I have written since I finished Tales are even better. And The Stylite may even be as good as Jake says. I want it to be.

Therein lies the problem—the drive for excellence, the hope for perfection. I keep worrying at this manuscript like a dog who can’t give up a bone. I just keep gnawing. This must be the fourth time through since I came home last October. I had taken three weeks at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow to finish the book. It had been a delightful time, writing to my heart’s content. And Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a lovely town, a place that encourages artistic effort. And, yes, I had come home manuscript in hand.

Since then, I have read that manuscript three times, read parts of it with others, read it with Jake and listened to his suggestions. Over and again I’ve worked each sentence, each word. Hopefully this, the fourth time, is the last challenge. I want to make the science fiction sections of the book work with the evocative literary fiction, which is the novel proper. I want the two to fit snugly together. I have to make sure that the sci-fi novel, which is excerpted within the larger story, works for the reader while being written in a clearly different narrative voice. I demand of myself a seamless whole.

This last task is underway; it will soon be done.

But then what? Will I start over? Do I really want to edit it again? When is enough? That is a question that good writers must ask of themselves. If Jake hadn’t told me how good this book is, if I hadn’t found myself reading and rereading portions just reveling in the words, I probably would have made an end already. But maybe I’ll take another run through. Just a quick one, just a little tweaking.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tip O'Day #333 - Dixon's Compost Pile

I started a compost pile in my desk after I’d been in Toastmasters a year or two.

After giving speeches about my kids, neighborhood projects, sportsmanship, and the world’s moral decay, I was running out of topics. There was a fuzzy idea banging around in my head that parents should butt out of youth sports and other activities – something about letting kids be kids, and not putting so much pressure on them. I started clipping out newspaper and magazine articles of dads punching coaches, coaches punching umpires, and kids suffering from repetitive motion injuries. I’d toss them into a file folder in my desk and forget about them for awhile.

Since I had a folder for putting things in, I started writing down anecdotes of goofy things my kids did. Into the folder they went. I found a couple stories about bullying, the writers guidelines for Toastmasters magazine, and an online article about the different leadership styles of men and women. Into the folder. An article in Writers Digest about writing essays seemed to resonate with the topic of speech writing. Into the folder. A poem from a magazine, notes about a bizarre incident when a homeless guy confronted me in the public library (he said the FBI was rounding up redheads), and a Yahoo! Sports story about softball players selflessly helping an injured opponent score the game-winning home run. Into the folder.

Every few months, I pull out my folder and shake it out onto the floor. Then I get down on my hands and knees. Since I collect scraps about topics I’m interested in, it’s not surprising that I’ll often find three or four items that create the spine for a speech, magazine article, or short story. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s a start.

The rest of the note cards, clippings and online articles go back into the folder. New fodder will join them from time to time, and the pile will compost away until I’m ready to dig in once more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tip O'Day #332 - Are There Any New Ideas?

Guest blogger Ben Drake on a writer’s influences.

My first memory of the original “Star Wars” trilogy was the ending of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Then the waiting in line to get tickets for “Return of the Jedi” and watching that film in the movie theatre. Little did I know how much that movie would influence my life.

When I was in my twenties, a friend of mine gave me the book called Sidharthra by Hermen Hess. Reading this great book, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between the struggles of Sidharthra, and the challenges a Jedi must face, plus the rewards that accompany them. That got me wondering whether this book had a strong influence on George Lucas’ creation of “Star Wars,” specifically the concept of the force.

How much impact do the books we read, and the shows we watch, and the tunes we hear have on what we write? Is there even a chance of an original thought left for writers to write about?

Dixon says – I’ve heard it said there are only two stories: (1) someone goes on a journey, and (2) a stranger comes to town.
That’s a joke, of course, but still…
It’s hard to think of a story, or theme, or plot twist that hasn’t already been none to death. In the end, though, what’s important isn’t the subject matter, but rather your approach and execution. Sure, “West Side Story” was inspired by “Romeo and Juliet,” but didn’t the 1960s film feel every bit as fresh and energetic as the original must have seemed to Londoners at the Globe so many years ago?
When we read a children’s book about the Three Little Pigs – except it’s told from the point of view of the Big Bad Wolf – we recognize it’s not an original story, but we still chuckle at the creativity of the author and the unexpected approach. In fact, I've found it can be an interesting exercise to take a well-worn story and try to "stand it on its head" so it becomes a new and fresh concept.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saying for Authors #112 - Renard

A Quote which Might (or Might Not) Inspire You to Write:

“The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.” - Jules Renard

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tip O'Day #331 - Gratify Me!

Guest blogger Hugh Ashton on 99 cent e-books.

A phrase which has been swimming into my mind over the past few weeks has been "instant gratification," both in connection with those producing books, and those reading them.

For those who produce books, the process has never been easier. Sit down in front of a keyboard, hammer out 2,000 words or even less, upload it to a Web site and "I have a book out! Hey! I'm a published author!" This entitles you to put "Author" before or after your name in your Facebook profile. Of course, this isn't true of all self-published or independently published authors, but there are still enough instant authors out there to tarnish the reputation of independent books as a genre (and at times e-books in general).

In my opinion, books should demand a little effort to produce. After all, we don't automatically assume that because we can hold a knife and slice up a roast turkey, we are then qualified to perform brain surgery. Or because we can ride a bicycle, we can take part as a competitor in the Tour de France. These things take some extra effort, not to mention skills that have to be honed over several years. Why should writing a book be different? I am glad to see that in large parts of the Indie community, there is a growing recognition of the need for quality.

The instant gratification applies to readers as well as it does to writers. The tendency to turn a book into a $0.99 download (or even free) may be good for Amazon, but is bad for writers, bad for readers, and bad for books. Why bad for writers? Because if $0.99 becomes the standard, it become more difficult to sell a good book for more money (and it actually costs money to produce a book - let alone the time it takes to write it, there's editing, cover art, and promotion costs).

p>Readers have little patience if they have paid little or no money for the book, and will expect to be entertained in the first few pages, or else it's simply a matter of ... flick ... change the channel and go to a new book. If the book is slightly more expensive, and is therefore not so much of an impulse buy, there's more incentive to carry on. The gratification from reading the book must be there, of course, but it doesn't have to be instant.

Rather than gratification, we should be using the word "imagination" in conjunction with books - reading a work of fiction should be an exercise in imagination. It's the difference between climbing a mountain and taking a helicopter to the summit. At the end of the day, the reader will feel more rewarded by using the brain than being spoon-fed. You, the author, will have written a better book for which you feel justified in asking more than $0.99.

Check out Hugh’s blog and writing here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tip O'Day #330 - How Readers Pick What to Read, Part 4

I asked some writer/reader friends on FB what factors help them choose a book to read, and their answers have been appearing this week.

Ramona DeFelice Long - I have favorite authors I like to support, but the blurb and first page are deciding factors for me. Even if I love the blurb and am interested, the first page needs to be a winner if I'm going to lay down cash.

Ellie Mack - First genre; second title, then blurb. Author reputation does play a part if it's one of the authors I've read and like their work. I will buy books of my favorite authors - even if they are stinkers.

Dixon Rice – I used to mostly read favorite authors. Liked James Michener until his books seemed to be written by a committee of grad students. Loved John Grisham until the sloppily written The Chamber. What happened to the hit man subplot, which vanished two-thirds through? Admired Tom Clancy until he got so big he wouldn’t let anyone edit him, and now most of his books beg to shed a couple hundred pages. So I read reviews, listen to recommendations, and take a chance on online friends when I see them helping others within the writing community.

Thanks for your help, folks, and all the good insights. Let's do this again sometime.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tip O'Day #329 - How Readers Pick What to Read, Part 3

I asked some writer/reader friends on FB what factors help them choose a book to read, and their answers appear this week.

Malika Gandhi - I go by the cover, as well as what is written on the blurb. The cover tells a lot about the book itself. It should be appealing and inviting at the same time. This is vital but a cover must complement the blurb. Writing a blurb is hard and to get it right is even harder. You have to go through many revisions before the final piece. Recently, I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s a brilliant book in itself; the blurb is fantastic but so is the cover which nicely ties together the whole package.

Keith Gouveia - I read a random selection of pages. If they grab me, I take it home.

Judith Anne Horner - I have favorite authors. I also read reviews on various websites. If I think the book is one I would like to read, I either download it to my Nook or reserve it at the library.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tip ODay #328 - How Readers Pick What To Read, Part 2

I asked some writer/reader friends on FB what factors help them choose a book to read, and their answers appear this week.

Elicia Stoops Clegg - The first page.

Jonnie Comet - Usually, the blurb. I like to read the synopsis and see the premise of the plot and what the characters will be like. I'm not that visual and visual images don't usually sell me without intriguing text. I also don't pay attention to reviews-- maybe because as a thinking individual I consider my opinion as valid and valuable as those people's, maybe more so.

Nick du Plessis - With nonfiction, I select based on topic and sometimes based on recommendation. With fiction, I choose based on personal recommendations and books by authors I have previously read.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tip O'Day #327 - How Readers Pick What to Read, Part 1

I asked some writer/reader friends on FB what factors help them choose a book to read, and their answers appear this week.

Claire Atherton - I have favourite authors but although I pick up their books, like any other book it is the blurb that pulls me in and peaks my interest. If it excites my reading senses, then I am sure to get it. For someone who I haven't read before, it’s the front cover and lettering that will draw me in first, and then the blurb.

Randy Bekkedahl - Tips from friends. I have such a wide reading group of friends, I get lots of recommendations.

B. Chris Bell - Authors. I've always read anthologies to find them. If I like what I see, I’ll read one of their books. Guess I'm not real trendy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tip O'Day #326 - Know Your Voice

Guest blogger Helen Hanson asks, “Who writes like me?”

I slow danced with an agent for almost a year before I indie-pubbed my first novel, 3 Lies. Pitching a book to an agent requires a thoughtful analysis of the book’s marketability. Better still, he wanted a comparison between my writing and that of someone famous. Yikes! Not even out of the nest and I have to fly with the raptors. I write thrillers so these rare birds never form flocks.

John le CarrĂ©? I’ve read nearly all of his books, but he’s a strict spy master. I’m not.

John Grisham? His earlier works held some humor which I employ. But all his books involve a court case. Only one of mine does so far.

Tom Clancy? I want to know the type of weapon the assassin fired. I don’t want to know how to field strip the rifle. Pssst. Don’t tell anyone. I prefer the movies made from his novels.

Ultimately, the tenor of my prose isn’t suggestive of anyone famous. It’s my pain, failure, and triumph permeating the pages of my novels. Each of us writes from air space that no bird can share. People I’ve loved, cultures I’ve enjoyed, strangers I’ve engaged–these are the moments which color the ink from my pen. My favorite authors undoubtedly left traces of their DNA in my consciousness, but the words coming out are strictly my own. And I’m good with that. Even if I never soar with the eagles.

It’s my voice. Loud. Deep. Routinely off-key. But uniquely mine by which to die or fly.

Lean more about Helen at her website or check out her novel 3 Lies here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tip O'Day #325 - Don't Give Up!

Guest blogger Brian Lott on why he kept plugging away.

I first coined the phrase Shape Shifters during a rather boozy garden party with friends and fellow writers in western Hungary during the late 1990’s. At the time I was working on a book that had a good hook and grab, but lacked a defined title. My friends asked why I was laughing and I told them that the best lines I ever wrote just popped into my head. Curious, they asked me to tell them about it.

"You bastard, you would have me die as an animal, rather than a man." Jesus screamed and pulled against the stakes holding him to the cross. "All because we slept with the same whore."

They looked a bit shocked, curious, and very supportive. Encouraged, I went back to work the next day, and a year later my labor of love was delivered into the world. Then came the hard part…selling the damn thing. After a few months, I was given a contract by a middleweight agent, and was shocked after an additional few months when the contract was stopped due to changes in the industry. Many years passed, along with a couple of other contract disputes, and I was still plugging away with no real end in sight. More than one person questioned my insane dedication. Why didn’t I give up?

Because I wrote the book for myself, and simply because I had a story to tell. Nothing more, nothing less. More to the point, I believed in myself. The years rolled by in a stream of seemingly endless nights as I sent submissions to blurred names on a screen. Then finally I got the mail that that offered the coveted contract.

If you have the talent, you will know soon enough. Everything else is faith and dedication.

Here’s the Amazon link to Shape Shifters. You can also find Brian creeping around as Shape Shifters on Facebook, and at his website.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tip O'Day #324 - Self Publish?

Guest blogger Ben Drake wonders if self-publishing is delusional.

So I have been told. Some people believe that if your story isn’t good enough for a proper publisher then it should not be a book. I might agree, if the publishing system was a bit more fair, but I feel many stories are not taken on because the publishing firm can only take a few out of tens of thousands.

Luck isn’t the most dominant factor, but it has to play some part. Outside the quality of the story, I believe that there are other factors that help decide its fate as well. I would never suggest any back door deals go on. Can you imagine the pressure to produce that publishing firms are under? In my opinion, the reason publishers don’t like to take on self-published novels is because they have already been released to the public. That equals loss of sales.

But how is the author of a good story that is not taken on by a publisher supposed to find readers? I have read many self-published novels by different authors. I believe some of these are better than a lot of the crap that is in the book store. It makes me mad, I might even say resentful. Self publishing would seem to be the way to go if you have tried publishers, had no luck, and still want to be heard. In some cases, it may be your only option.

If you are a true writer then you will always write.