Abandoned

By Brian Kaufman Having finished two novels and grown tired of rejections, I began to write a third novel. I had a clever idea and a marvelous, operatic ending in mind. 35.000 words in, I realized I’d dead-ended. I stuck my stack of legal pads in a box (this was before home computers walked theContinue reading “Abandoned”

Thoughts on Audience: Deuxième Partie

In my blog post last month, I wrote that audience is a necessary, though problematic, consideration for the author. A quick recap—written communication changes, depending on the audience. The way you say something will depend on who’s reading. In some cases (genre fiction), audience expectations will actually shape the finished piece, from pacing to plotContinue reading “Thoughts on Audience: Deuxième Partie”

Who Are We Writing For?

An audience is the target of your communication. Written communication is an odd duck because the transmission is not immediate. When you speak to someone in person, the communication is rooted at that particular moment. The written word typically exists without a direct interface. This is important because for a connection to be made, theContinue reading “Who Are We Writing For?”

Retreating

By Brian Kaufman The year before last, I decided to try a writer’s retreat, hoping to inspire and accelerate my latest work-in-progress. My wife is a published poet, and the idea appealed to her as well. Many web packages were out of our price range, so I decided to put my own package together withContinue reading “Retreating”

The Fine Line of Writing Historical

By Brian Kaufman Though I write in multiple genres, I tend to circle back to one genre in particular. Three of my published novels are historical fiction. My first novel, The Breach, told the Alamo’s story from the Mexican point of view. That book took me three years to research, two years to write, and anotherContinue reading “The Fine Line of Writing Historical”

The First Steps

By Brian Kaufman Writing was not my first choice. The summer I turned nine, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris raced to beat Babe Ruth’s record for home runs. I was a Yankees fan, and their heroics inspired me to play baseball for a living. I would reach my late teens about the time Mickey wouldContinue reading “The First Steps”

Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School

By Brian Kaufman I asked a writer friend if he’d ever read a particular classic novel. His face puckered up as he admitted, “Yes, I had to read that for school.” There’s not enough time for all the great books. My friend, author Pat Stoltey, recently told me, “My worst moment when I was aContinue reading “Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School”

What I Do When I’m Not Writing

By Brian Kaufman Introduced to a new coworker recently, “What do you do for fun?” I explained that I write. Since I write textbooks for a living, my new friend pressed me for a different answer. “No, not work. What do you do for fun?” I write. “You don’t spend every moment of every dayContinue reading “What I Do When I’m Not Writing”

Thoughts on The Myth of The Great American Novel

By Brian Kaufman Ask a published writer about a lottery-ticket sort of dream, and some will mention a best-seller. Others, a movie contract. For some, writing the Great American Novel tops the list.I know more than one writer with that secret goal. One of them might be me.

When Your Past Becomes History

By Brian Kaufman I’m pretty old. Time is relative. Suppose you bought a car in 1995. You can register it as a classic. Yet a 25-year-old person would hardly be considered an antique. The modern age of baseball started in 1900. The modern age of philosophy began with René Descartes in the seventeenth century. So,Continue reading “When Your Past Becomes History”