Russell J.T. Dyer

Writer & Editor

the works and musings of a writer in new orleans and milan, italy • Updated: Jun 07, 2017 - 6:02PM • hits: 1 for site today; 1 for page this week

Thoughts on Writing

Since this site is dedicated to my work as a fiction writer, my web log entries here are related to my observations and thoughts about writing. In these pages, I discuss what I have learned as a professional writer, as well as things that I am discovering about writing fiction. This will include my experiences in publishing my works.

Why Some Novelists Write Novels

Novelists write novels for a few reasons. One is to be understood and heard.

Community Observer Roles

Within a community, each person has a role. There are teachers, carpenters, policemen, and many other roles. In this musing, I consider two roles in particular that I find interesting: an external and an internal observer.

On Becoming a Graham Greene

By pushing myself emotionally, continuing to read Graham Greene’s novels and writing reviews of them, I have made great progress in my fiction writing. I know I’m flattering myself, but I feel as though I’m become a Graham Greene. I think I can say this because he wasn’t an artist: he was just a good writer. Shakespeare was an artist. Greene just did a good job and that’s achievable. That’s the trail I seem to be following in my personal growth and with my writing skills.

Evaluating Not-Dead Authors

Almost all of the novels that I’ve read were written by authors who are dead. In college when I majored in English, older classical novels were assigned and I’ve read more on my own since. Only in the past year have I begun to read more modern works. However, I’ve not read many contemporary novels, novels involving current settings and circumstances. Now I’ve begun reviewing newly published novels. This is difficult for me. I don’t know how to review them or what I should say about them.

I'm Not Creative

I've wondered lately if I am creative or if I merely have a creative sense. This is particularly important to me if I want to make my way as a creative writer. When I say creative sense, I mean that I can sense that which is creative--spot a good artistic idea when I see one--as opposed to coming up with a good artistic idea of my own. And if that's all I have to offer and of which I'm capable, then maybe I should be a literary critic and a professor, and not a writer of fiction. It's a difficult thing to consider about oneself: am I not creative, will I never be a great writer, and am I only good at analyzing and commenting on the writings of others?

Writing about Myself

There's a Zen tenet that says, One cannot observe and participate at the same time. I've given this tenet much thought over the past twenty years since I first heard it. I can say much about it and what I learned. However, I'm now starting to apply it to my understanding of writing.

Greene Beginnings

It’s not a problem for me to start to write a story—I don’t suffer from writer’s block, ever. I can always think of something to say and, thereby, to write. When I want to write a story, I usually start with a thought, a profound phrase that sums up a feeling. The phrase helps me to distinguish it. Then I consider how a person, a character might flow from that moment. I come up with just general ideas, bullet points in a vague timeline. When I feel I’m ready, I begin writing.

Writing a Playpen

I've noticed in the stories that I write that there's an innocence about some of my protagonists. They're often playful in their tone; they don't curse or act in an offensive manner. They try not to offend or hurt others in any way. I think that ...

Next Novelist Step

Well, I declared my novel finished and sent a letter to a New York literary agent along with a copy of the first chapter. If he agrees to be my agent, it's only a matter of time before he'll have it sold and it will be published. Maybe this agen...

Writing Fiction is Dreaming

In dreams one is sometimes present not only in the character depicted as oneself, but also as other characters. The shift between perspectives occurs rapidly and sometimes exists dually, making it difficult to realize that the person with which o...

A Novel Pace

As I'm now making tremendous progress in writing my first novel, I'm starting to realize that I now know how to write a novel. When I first started back at college about fifteen years ago, I couldn't see to the end of a few-page essay. I didn't ...

A Lizard in the story

The idea of my novel began based on a humorous moment between my friend Richard Stringer, his wife, and me one night at their home. Richard was asking me about a virus he thought he had on his computer. In response, his wife said that he didn't ...

Statistics on Thoughts

Below are the statistics of the number of readers for my thoughts in the past ninety days.

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