Franz S. McLaren's Blog

December 24, 2014

A few weeks ago I wrote about how valuable the Holiday Season is for gathering and storing impressions and emotions. Since then, I received several flattering comments and (blush, blush) a bit of praise. So, like the emotional Pavlovian praise hound I am, I searched my brain for other aspects of the season that can […]


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Published on December 24, 2014 02:00

December 17, 2014

I read an article this weekend that said we should strive to remove ten percent from our first draft in the initial edit. The article did not explain why ten percent. I’m guessing the idea was to get writers to carve at least that much fat from their story, but still it gave me a […]


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Published on December 17, 2014 02:00 • 1 view

December 10, 2014

For a writer, the period between the defrosting promise of a Thanksgiving turkey and the final play of the Rose Bowl game is a treasure trove. This is the time when people’s emotions are close to the surface and the world is in a giving mood. What once was a pagan festival of winter has […]


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Published on December 10, 2014 02:00 • 2 views

December 3, 2014

Writing is a glamorous profession. I watch TV. I know every writer is famous. Every Maitre D knows all writers by sight and instantly locates a table up front even when the writer has no reservation and the restaurant is full to capacity. Or maybe not. The reality is, unless you have a book on […]


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Published on December 03, 2014 15:22 • 1 view

November 26, 2014

I have been writing fiction for as long as I can remember. In first grade, I had to write (copy from the blackboard) my weekly newspaper to take home to my parents. I quickly found that the backside of the paper was lined exactly the same as the front and yet never used by the […]


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Published on November 26, 2014 02:00 • 1 view

November 19, 2014

I started writing long before I discovered books without pictures can be fun to read also. I did not know then the reasons I wrote (I still do not know all of them), but I knew even then I liked telling myself stories I had not heard before.   For several years, I wrote stories […]


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Published on November 19, 2014 02:00 • 2 views

November 12, 2014

Before I attempted my first novel, I read dozens of books on the proper way to go about the task (this was in the days before blogs). Unfortunately, I was too naive to separate useful from dubious advice. One of the highly touted books said a novelist should strive to complete a chapter a day. […]


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Published on November 12, 2014 02:00 • 1 view

November 5, 2014

What is the hardest part of writing? I suspect every writer has their own personal answer. From my perspective, the hardest part of writing is putting butt in seat for the express purpose of developing a story. I sit at a desk sixty hours a week and commute fifteen hours a week for my day […]


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Published on November 05, 2014 02:00 • 3 views

October 8, 2014

Since the day I first allowed anyone outside of my family to read any of my stories, I have been asked, “where do you get your ideas?” I think every writer has been asked versions of this questions more times than they care to count. I used to amuse myself by thinking of the wildest […]


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Published on October 08, 2014 17:45 • 2 views

October 1, 2014

So, how does a writer know when it is time to stop tinkering with a story and publish? There are probably as many answers to that question as there are writers.   Many writers say it is when it has been professionally edited. I was lucky. My books sold well in spite of poor editing. […]


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Published on October 01, 2014 11:42 • 2 views