The Writing Life: reflections by a working writer. The Writing Life

Reflections of a working writer, a university screenwriting professor, and the editor of Oregon Literary Review.

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Online Free Book Catalog (classics, world lit, etc.)

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A free online guide to 2000+ lit mags and publishers.

Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing and Tinseltown Too
Extraordinary free info useful to writers when marketing.

Preditors & Editors
A guide to publishers and publishing services for serious writers, including info on scam agents.

Free screenwriting software
Cinergy, a script editor, free from Mindstar Productions. Easily write your screenplay in correct format.

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Some important reading for serious students.

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Short guide to correct screenwriting format and writing style.

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Charles Deemer

Oregon Literary Review

MFA, Playwriting, University of Oregon

Writing faculty, Portland State University (part-time)

Retired playwright and screenwriter.
Active novelist, librettist and teacher.

Email: cdeemer(at)yahoo(dot)com

The eagle flies!


Literary archive

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Electronic screenwriting tutorial



Finalist, Oregon Book Award

Practical Screenwriting

Love At Ground Zero


More books.

Blogs by (mostly) creative writers:

"Can We Talk About Me For A Change?"
Playwright Debra Neff Nathans

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, a weblog for writers (resources)

Silliman's Blog
Ron Silliman, contemporary poetry and poetics

Maud Newton
literary links, amusements, politics, rants

Darren Barefoot
Technical and creative writing, theatre, Dublin

Rob's Writing Pains
Journey of a struggling writer.

Mad, Mad World
Cara Swann, fiction writer, journalist, "reflections on humanity, random news & my life."

Random musings on a writer's life and times.

Barbara Flaska's compilation of the best online articles about music and culture.

Write Of Way
Samantha Blackmon's written musings on writing (composition and rhetoric).

Alexander b. Craghead: blog
Writing, photography, and watercolors.

Rodney's Painted Pen
Rodney Bohen's daily commentary "on the wondrous two legged beast we fondly refer to as mankind." His pen runneth over.

Frustrated Writer
This one named Nicole.

scribble, scribble, scribble
Journalist Dale Keiger teaches nonfiction scribbling to undergraduate and graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

The Unofficial Dave Barry Blog
The very one.

The Hive
The official blog of science fiction / horror author Terence West.

William Gibson Blog
Famed author of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay.

The Word Foundry
Joe Clifford Faust's "blog of a working writer: tracking writing projects, musings on the creative process, occasional side trips into music, media, politics, religion, etc."

A Writer's Diary
By Cynthia Harrison, who has the good sense to quote Virginia Woolf: "The truth is that writing is the profound pleasure and being read the superficial."

Bow. James Bow.
The journal of James Bow and his writing.

Michael Montoure's weblog about writing, primarily horror and speculative fiction.

By David Henry, "a poet's weblog from Aberdeen, Scotland."

Modem Noise
By Adrian Bedford, a "fledgling Pro SF Writer, living in Perth, Australia."

"A wry writerly blog named in honour of a minor character in a minor Shirley Temple film."

Real Writers Bounce
Holly Lisle's blog, "a novelist's roadmap through the art and ordeal of finding the damned words."

2020 Hindsight
By Susan.

downWrite creative
Phil Houtz's notes on the writing life.

Vivid: pieces from a writer's notebook
Blog of Canadian poet Erin Noteboom.

The Literary Saloon
The literary weblog at the complete review.

Rabbit Blog
The rabbit writes on popular culture.

This Girl's Calendar
Momoka writes short stories.

Twists & Turns
Musings by writer Michael Gates.

Plays and Musicals -- A Writer's Introspective
A blog by John D. Nugent - Composer, Playwright, and Artistic Director of the Johnson City Independent Theatre Company

The American Sentimentalist
"Never has any people endured its own tragedy with so little sense of the tragic." Essays by Mark W. Anderson.

Screenwriting By Blog
David C. Daniel writes a screenplay online. "I've decided to publish the process as a way to push myself through it. From concept to completion, it'll be here."
Official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

Crafty Screenwriting
Maunderings of Alex Epstein, tv scribe, about life, politics, and the tv show I'm co-creating.

Letters From The Home Front
The life of a writer, 21, home schooled, rural living.

Venal Scene
The blog of bite-sized plays inspired by the news (by Dan Trujillo).

'Plaint of the Playwright
Rob Matsushita, a playwright from Wisconsin, "whines a lot."

I Pity Da Fool!
Glenn's adventures in screenwriting.

Time In Tel-Aviv
Hebrew modern literature at its best, by Corinna Hasofferett.

Big Window
Robin Reagler's poetry blog.

John Baker's Blog
Author of the Sam Turner and Stone Lewis novels.

The Writing Life With Dorothy Thompson
What goes on during a writer's busy day?

The Rebel Housewife
Not just a housewife!

Barry's Personal Blog
A running commentary on writing and the writing life.

Bonnie Blog
Maintained by Bonnie Burton of

Writer's Blog.
By easywriter. "From the walls of caves to cyberspace."

Flogging the Quill
Pursuing the art and craft of compelling storytelling, by an editor, Ray Rhamey.

Man Bytes Hollywood
Sharing tools, strategies and resources for the screenwriter's journey.

Mad for the smell of paper
A writing journal.

The Writing Life
A blog by Katey Schultz.

It Beats Working 9-5
A screenwriting blog by a young Canadian screenwriter.

Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God
Writer & Artist, Dee Rimbaud reflects upon politics, religion, art, poetry, the meaning of life, the nature of God and why toast always lands butter side down on carpets.

Robert Peake
Heart and Mind, Fully Engage ... a poet's website.

Sidestepping Real
By Ren Powell, poet, children’s writer, essayist and editor.

Suggest a writer's blog

plagiarism blog

The Writing Life...
"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."
J.D. Salinger

"All my best friends are writers and are dead."
A friend over beer, Berkeley, winter, 1959

"And it came to pass that all the stars in the firmament had ceased to shine. But how was anyone to know?"
The Half-Life Conspiracy

After October 31, 2006,
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The Writing Life II

(Posts archived here are from 01/10/03 - 10/31/06)

Thursday, May 12, 2005  
Full plate
My summer plate is really full, what with a second mystery novel to write now. But it's important to do obviously, so if some more "serious" work gets delayed, that's the breaks. But I think I can do most of what I have set out to do. I don't need to finish the road novel, that's what I can push back a tad. Before summer, though, I need to get two monkeys off my back, act two of the musical and the overdue book review (of four books).

Mike Hollister, who is writing a fiction trilogy about Hollywood, the first novel of which I praised here, the second due out in a few weeks, is going to send me excerpts from the final novel for the review. I admire his work and am really looking forward to this. (I solicited it.)

Going to read a bit in Melville before going to school today. We're in the marketing part of my screenwriting class, so I can share some of my adventures with them, including the new signing with the agent. Although the screenwriting and fiction marketing worlds have many differences, they share some things, too. Agents are more essential for a beginning novelist than for a beginning screenwriter, for example.

This weekend I am going to see if I can 1. finish the book review and 2. draft act two of the musical. If I could accomplish those two things, great relief would result. These are the only projects bugging me right now. All the rest is great fun.

I fiddled around with a structure for the new mystery in Storyspace this morning. It's like using a story board. I have a basic concept but no plot, which is what I started developing. In the first one, the "villain" changed three times while I was writing it! I give myself lots of rope, letting things change along the way. Still, the draft of the novel of very close, more than is usual for me.

Such a wide variety of opinion from the agents who saw this! One loved the story but disliked the hero. One liked the hero but disliked the story. Some really didn't say anything specific in their rejections. So you get five rejections in a row ... and then #6 calls you past midnight his time, all full of enthusiasm and ready to roll with it. You can't figure any of this out, you'd go crazy. What writers need to learn is not to get discouraged by bad news but also not to believe your press clippings when they are good. Just keep doing your work. Let all the rest take care of itself. You have to "do it," that is, you have to market in order to have what opportunities may come your way, but you can't take it too seriously, it seems to me, or you'd go crazy. You can't figure any of this out. Why does one agent like the hero but not the story and the other the other way around? Who the hell knows? But the point is, Who the hell cares? They're just folks with opinions, presumably dictated with a clear sense of what they think they can sell. They don't make any money unless they sell your work. So they have to believe they can do it to take you on, it seems to me. (Disregarding the scam agents here, who want upfront money from you to support them and have no marketing skills at all.) Spieler, the agency, is a tad high brow by the list of books they've sold, a lot of high brow nonfiction in science, for example, and I very much like that in them. I'm a high brow guy ha ha.

The contract for the mystery, however, in no way has dampened my enthusiasm for starting the review. My heart of hearts is still there.

5/12/2005 11:42:00 AM | 0 comments

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