To Do, Or Not To Do

A change of pace: an afternoon (UK time) post. Why? Because I have seen a few things in recent days I thought worth addressing here and I also chose just to surprise you at a new time. LOL!

So here we go:

[From Instagram.]

Okay, let me address each of those bullet points, one by one. First…

I was unaware they had ALL gone.

Regardless, I have chapter titles.


Every one of my books has a back cover (on the paper version) synopsis (which is basically identical to what is seen on Amazon or other web sellers’ sites).


I have never published one. I have thought about using one in my current manuscript – just placing locations for a reader to be able to easily see where action occurs, but then I backed away from the idea. However, I have not entirely ruled it out yet.

The issue is I do feel a map may be a “spoiler” of sortsin revealing where things will happen.

And it is not “1950” any longer. If an unfamiliar locale appears, all you need to do is Google the name and its location pops up. (That’s what I do.) There is no need to go hunting for a paper atlas any longer.


Again, no. I feel listing all of the characters meant to appear is another spoiler. Similarly sharing place names‘ (which is like sharing a map – see above) pronunciations may be too.

Also if you want to find out how to pronounce something, all you need to do nowadays – again – is go online into Google or YouTube. Chances are your phone is right next to you. SOMEONE will have provided a pronunciation somewhere, I am sure.


Not a bad idea if they need to be read in order.

I opted to go for chronological years for my first three novels.

My most recent two (with a third to follow shortly) MAY be read in order or MAY be read out of order, too.


The Kindle ebook reader has them mostly for clickable ease of finding where you left off.

[First page of the Tomorrow The Grace table of contents on Kindle. Photo by me, November 2, 2021.]

But I don’t see the point to a table of contents in a FICTION paper book. 

There, I hope I have answered those questions from my perspective.

* * *

Next: Oh, no, it is apparently THAT month again…

…and I still believe it is a bad idea to “target” 50,000 words in a month. And I have seen NOTHING in the last 12 months to change my opinion on that an iota.

I know I know I know it is only a “target.” However, we also know that is not how the universe functions when it comes to social media. Measuring oneself against others is the norm and if the basic unit of measurement for a “writing achievement” is a 30 day word count… wow, just wow.

Thus I find the entire premise of so-called “National Novel Writing Month,” known also as NaNoWriMo, being quite likely to set up new writers – alone in their rooms, staring at their PCs, and repeatedly checking social media hashtags like #nanowrimo2021 – to feel they have “failed” when they see those on social media posting (with uncountable numbers of writers almost surely lying about or at least seriously exaggerating) about their often daily “accomplishments.”

[Capture The Cause manuscript. Photo by me, November 2, 2021.]

Example above: those 157,000 words have taken me since essentially January 2020 to write – nearly two years now. Most of that I have written over and over and revised and rewritten and redone, etc. Sometimes it has taken me DAYS to write just a few hundred words.

Assuming, though, that I don’t matter, this might be instructive. The Great Gatsby has been pointed to by NaNoWriMo on their homepage as an example of what might be achieved this month. And when I saw that novel cited as a “yardstick” I could have fallen off my chair.

Gatsby was cited by NaNoWriMo because it is just about 50,000 words. However, what the NaNoWriMo people did NOT bother to point out is that it took F. Scott Fitzgerald – who had more than enough free time to write as it was his job; he was not in college or holding a non-authoring 8-6 job or two part-time jobs and/or raising three kids – from roughly April 1924 to February 1925 complete the full draft (a lot more than a month) of those “50,000” words. No historical source I have seen asserts he came even close to writing a good part of it in just 30 days.

“I wrote 3,000 words today! Yippee!”… tweets @HippyDippyAuthor100.

Uh, huh. And I would LOVE to read those 3,000 words written in that one day.

So once again this year, as I do every year, I urge writers NOT to participate in “NaNoNaNoNaNo…”

* * *

And lastly, while I am at it…

[From Twitter.]

…the ugliness of Twitter is actually ingrained in the platform. It is unavoidable. That above is a perfect expression of why I no longer can be bothered with Twitter.

As far as writers are concerned, Twitter occasionally gives an illusion of a community, when it is in fact a colossal waste of time going back and forth with people you don’t know about the likes of how – as a man – I should not as a man write a woman character… or how I should not write a … [oh, fill in the blank]… and on and on…

I have learned all that is relevant is what PAYING readers think. Some 90 percent of those readers of mine insofar as I know are women and they don’t seem to object to me writing women. I cannot be bothered spending my valuable time debating on Twitter – and particularly not with those who do NOT buy my books and in all likelihood will NEVER buy any of my books.

* * *

I’m done now. I got that all off my chest. Have a good. 🙂

3 Replies to “To Do, Or Not To Do”

      1. Very cool idea! One on my favorite historical writers–Susan Howatch–added maps to her books, and I found it really fired my imagination. Left me with a lifelong yearning to visit Cornwall. Someday . . . 😍

        Liked by 2 people

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