David A. Schwinghammer
· Soldier's Gap
· Mengele's Double, Chapter 9
· Seminary Boy, a memoir
· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine
· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8
· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight
· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight
· Bereavement Blues
· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7
· Another Planet, book review
· The Three Stooges, book review
· The God Particle
· Empire of Sin, book review
· Science at the Edge, book review
· Obama, a Modern Caesar?
· Americans Need to Pull Together
· Voices of the French Revolution, book review
· Great American Scandals
· Odd Man Out, book review
· Widow's Peak
· Alumni Game
· Girls Who Wear Glasses
· The Do Drop Inn
· Ode to Neve Campbell
· Jacks or Better 101
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David A. Schwinghammer
Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel
10/20/2009 8:08:43 AM
A novelist answers questions about his work.
Q. How did you start?
A. I was an English teacher. Just about every English teacher wants to write a novel. I thought I could write during the summer and at night. Yeah, right. I also like to read. A beginning writer should pick out a writer he/she likes and try to imitate that person. Mine was Joseph Heller, author of CATCH-22.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
A. Lots of them come from the daily newsaper. I'm always cutting out clippings. There's also some personal stuff going on, as was the case with my first published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP. I'm always a character in my novels.
Q. How many novels have you written?
A. It depends how many you count. I wrote a couple of practice novels that I can't really take seriously. I have published one, SOLDIER'S GAP, a sort of humorous mystery. Excerpts from MENGELE'S DOUBLE; HONEST THIEF, TENDER MURDERER, FISHER OF MEN, and STRANGERS ARE FROM ZEUS are posted on authorsden. I am currently working on finishing STRANGERS ARE FROM ZEUS. I have a decent first draft, but it may be too preachy.
Q. What is the worst thing about being a novelist?
A. Definitely rejection. Judging by the responses sometimes, it seems they don't even read the manuscript, even when they ask to see it.
Q. What's the best thing?
A. You get to play God, make up your own people. The more you work at a character the more real he or she becomes. I also like reviews, even the bad ones. They all tell you something about your writing, something to work on.
Q. What advice would you give a beginning writer?
A. Write every day, no matter how bad you feel or how uninspired. Sometimes warm-ups help (See other blogs) to inspire. Keep plugging away. There are some pretty terrible writers out there who make millions. Also, go for a walk before you start writing and carry a tape recorder with you. You will be surprised how rapid fire your ideas will come. You will barely be able to speak them into the recorder before another one hits you. Just keep talking and make sure your batteries are good.
Q. What do you think about self-published novels?
A. It's a good way to go through the process. They give you an editor of sorts and there's some give and take. We had a little spat about the cover of SOLDIER'S GAP. I was surprised about how easy it was to spot mistakes when I got the galleys, easier than doing it on the computer. I found over forty mistakes and I had sent it to about a half dozen critique partners, plus I was used to finding mistakes from all those years correcting compositions.
Q. Do you have a favorite author?
A. Probably Lawrence Block. It used to be Ed McBain but he's gone to meet his maker. There are some 87th Precinct novels I haven't read, but I don't recognize the titles of the ones I've read. There are about fifty of them.
Q. Do you read any women?
A. Of course. I like Joyce Carol Oates and Flannery O'Conner is just amazing. I'm reading a novel written by a woman right now. It's entitled BLAME by Michelle Huneven. It's about this drunken history professor who runs over these two Jehoval Witnesses with her car and spends two years in jail. It reminds me of Stuart O'Nan.
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Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
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The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
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Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
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The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011
Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
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National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
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Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
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Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
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More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009
Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009