Thursday, June 4, 2015

Writing Process #3

Your Voice:

Finding your voice as a writer isn’t something you can be taught. True it comes from your desire to become the best writer you can be, but it also comes from your heart. When you find that voice you’ll know it. It will come to you out of blue and before you know it your voice, or Style, will become your own. When people pick up your work they’ll instantly know it as your work.

Your style will define you. It will become your mantle. Over the years you will tweak that style, but it will still be your own.

Don’t try and compare your writing style to that of another writer (or famous writer) your work should come from you… it should be how you see the world, or the world you have created. If you compare yourself to a famous writer like Hemingway, you’re doing two things. You’re perpetrating yourself as a charlatan and you’re demeaning yourself as a writer. When someone asks me to compare myself to another writer I can’t. I tell them, “I’m my own writer with my own voice.”

Of course you can draw influences from writers that you admire, I look up to William F. Nolan, his style and his stories are the reason I’m a writer today.

So fellow writers have you found your voice? If not it will come to you, give it time. Good luck and good writing.

Next: the reasons you should write.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Writing Process #2

Point of View:

Point of view is the angle of considering things, which shows us the opinion, or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation. (

It took me a long time to figure out Point of View (POV). In my earlier stuff I was all over the place. I guess you might call it an Omni present writing style, where every character in the chapter had a POV. Back in the day, writers could get away with that. DUNE by Frank Herbert is best known (and a master) for doing it. In modern writing a more direct POV, is considered the correct style. The thoughts, the like the dislikes are focused through one central voice per chapter, or with chapter breaks *** a second POV is permissible.
The number of POV’s is worth considering too. I’ve written stories where there are nine central characters. It made for a great epic tale, but most editors are looking for only a few voices in a story. (I think that’s where I’ll have trouble selling my latest work, but I’ll never know unless I try). This might be why first person stories, like the Dresden Files and the Jack Reacher books are so popular. I don’t write in first person. A writer friend of mine (who will remain nameless) said “first person POV is sloppy writing”. I don’t really agree with that. I prefer to write third person, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book from the view of one character (if only to improve on my art.)

Keeping in POV can be a daunting task. There are certain rules to writing what a character sees, feels, knows and understands, with the limited knowledge they have. Description through their eyes of what they see can be challenging. If it’s happening behind them and they can’t see it, how can you as a writer describe it? You can’t. Remember you have five senses use them all to describe what is going on around your character. What a character sees is important, but I like to write what the character smells and hears, they make a better point of reference. Smells and sounds bring back memories in a lot of people. As a writer it’s important to get into your readers head. If you mention an odor, like the smell after a summer rain storm, or coal burning in a winter fireplace your reader will be engaged. Sounds work the same way. Like the click-clack a train makes as you wait at a rail road crossing or what a steak sounds like when it first hits a hot grill. These are all things people can relate to and are waiting in your arsenal of writers tricks of the trade.

I’m not a master of POV, not yet, but after looking back at my first book I wrote sixteen years ago, I’m a hell of a lot better at it now. So keep at it writer friends, find more articles on the subject, watch Youtube videos, read some of the masters of literature and find your voice. Incidentally, that’s what my next blog post will focus on. Finding your voice

Now back to writing…


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Writing Process #1

My writing process:
Every writer has their own writing process. Some writers spend extensive time outlining, plotting, building characters, technology, how things work and why in their universe. Every writer writes different. So should you take my advise? YOU SHOULDN'T. But I thought it would be fun to blog about and it might give you some insight of how another writer works through his daily word count.

First of all, I'm not a professional writer, which means I don't write for a living, (I'm working on that). I'm a Chef by trade. Want me to show you knife skills, name the base sauces, teach you different cuts of meat than I'm someone you should listen to.

As for writing - this is just my advice, don't take this as written in stone. When I make big professional money, then yes, you should listen. (Let me state I'm not into writing to make big money. If I was I would have stopped a long time ago. I write because I love it. Its a tension release).


The first thing I come up with is a basic idea. Now I might allow that idea to fester and boil for a long time in my head. I might write down some ideas so I can remember certin things. But it might be along time before I create characters, worlds and how things work in my universe.

So when I do get to that point and I think I have the story ready to go, I fill that story with characters, bad people, good people, gay, straight, black, white, green (if I'm writing an alien tale or something that needs a green person).

Besides characters and world building I don't take time outlining. My first draft is my outline. Once I start editing and revising that first draft gets turned into my story.

I never start a story unless I have an idea of how the story ends. It might change by the end of the story, but basically I know what I'm writing toward. Remember if you have no idea how the story ends why write? You could find yourself in a story that never, never ends.

Remember editing is where the real writing begins. Your first draft is just getting that story out of your head. Don't be perfect, don't worry if you have puncuation in palce. Just get that story out.

So start building your idea and come back here to tell me about it.

Writing Process #2 will deal with POV   


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Read Chapter One of the Origin Expedition

As I work on finding an agent or publisher (both is what I really need) for the Origin Expedition, I'd like to present to you the first chapter of the book I spent more than a year working on. I hope you give it a read and leave some feed back if you wish. You can find the book via the link short stories & chapters, or by clicking here.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Origin Expedition

Taking the step out into the world of publishing can be overwhelming. After ten self published books I have taken the next step in my writing career. For the past year I have been working on a new project. Today I sent a query of that new book to an agent... Now I have no misgivings that I will have to shop this around a lot until someone decides to give it a chance. I'm prepared for that (I think) and committed.

I present for you now, the blurb for this new book entitled Origin Expedition (comments are welcome)

Nearly three-hundred years from now, at the decline of the human race, Earth is depleted of its natural resources. Humans, Earth’s inhabitants, have moved off the planet and into orbit aboard giant space platforms. People, over time, have been separated into four classes, the high born, low born, slaves and breeders. The lower classes subjugated into nothing more than servants for the wealthy while the breeders, considered cattle, are used in a centuries old breeding program, shrouded in lies. Earth has become a cesspool for slave labor and every day is a fight for survival. The high born, consisting of nine prominent families are driven by the acquisition of wealth. In each family’s effort to gain more, they have sent exploration ships into deep space, with teams of archeologists chartered to uncover the resources of long forgotten alien races. The wealthiest of the Nine, is the family Tannador. The Tannador’s obsession to lead the other families in assets, has led them to an obscure region of space, to planet Kepler 369. There, the exploration team discovers and reactivates a powerful ancient computer named Origin, unlocking a depository of information predating the creation of the universe. The archeologists, led by Professor Charles Long and the Lady Da’Mira Tannador, learn that some histories are best left undiscovered. In their attempt to unlock Origin’s secrets, they release a creature imprisoned 10,000 years ago for crimes against the whole of creation, his genocidal war, the catalyst for the destruction of every sentient being in the galaxy. The Origin Expedition is story of lies, love and lasting consequence. It is an adventure tale of those yearning to be free. A chronicle of the past, present and foreseeable future that rests in the hands of those determined to save humanity from itself and the galaxy’s greatest enemy.

The Origin Expedition Written by Charles F. Millhouse Approximately 129,000 words


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