Friday, March 24, 2017

Time Passages

Have you ever noticed how quickly time can pass?

If you aren’t careful, time will fly past you faster than you can enjoy it.

So often, we become wrapped up in making our living…and forget to live while we can.

Trust me on this.

I will turn fifty-eight years old this coming November. It seems like just a couple of years ago that I was twenty-five.

But, I’ve had some interesting times!

I became a radio announcer, and worked at one of my “bucket list” radio stations in Nashville back in the mid-eighties.

As a matter of fact, I was a radio announcer off-and-on for over twenty years. And I could still go back to work at my hometown radio station now, if I wanted to. I loved it! What other job pays you to play music, make fun commercials, and be a general smart aleck on the air?

Well, now I write stories…both for your entertainment and mine…and I love it!

My point to all of this?

If you want to do something that you love, don’t wait for the “right time” to do it. It never happens. Circumstances will never be “perfect”.

Do you want to act? What’s keeping you? You can start an amateur theater company in your town! Rent a school auditorium, paint a few sets, and round up some fellow actors!

Want to work in radio? Call up your favorite announcer and ask how to do it. It’s usually easy, and small-town radio will help you build your chops.

Want to be a writer? The fastest way to do it is to sit your butt down in front of your computer, and write. Every story ever written begins with one sentence. Write it. It gets easier as you tell your story.

Do you want to fly planes? Run for public office? Run a small business?

Nothing is stopping you.

Except you.

You have to take a risk to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Without risk, there is no gain.

But…you have to want it.

Time is moving forward. Do it before it runs out.

And, most of all…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Blow Something Up

A piece of advice that I’ve given out to other writers?

Simple: when you get stuck, blow something up.

Every author that has tackled something other than a short story has run across the same issue, usually in the middle of the book: things can draaaagggg.

What does an author do when caught in the draaagggy depths? Go back and rewrite the section that drags? Nonsense.

Blow something up.

You don’t have to literally blow something up, as in an explosion…although, those are fun to do. My Justice Security character, Joey Justice, does that with regularity, and always by accident.

No, you can blow something up lots of ways. Have a character suddenly become ill, and rush that character to the hospital. Make it life-threatening, and you can have all sorts of flashbacks and soul-searching by friends and family members.

Put your characters into a car and cause a crash. Was it deliberate? Was it truly an accident? Or was someone trying to stop the characters from discovering the truth about something?

In a romance novel, you can suddenly have someone from a character’s past show up…preferably with leftover feelings that can cause a love triangle.

Blowing something up means introducing something suddenly and without warning. It can get any author…or reader…through the draaagggyyy middle parts of a story by introducing something that helps keep things interesting.

Authors, believe me: if YOU are bored with the middle parts, so are the readers. Your job, as a writer and entertainer, is to keep things interesting, fun, and move the story along.

Wait…what? Entertainer?

T. M., have you lost your mind?

Nope. That’s what every author actually is. An entertainer.

We entertain our audiences. We say we write for ourselves, or for money, or for literary recognition. And those reasons are great.

But, our real purpose is to entertain. We write to entertain our readers.

And if the entertainment becomes draaagggyyy, it is our responsibility to make it entertaining again.

So, blow something up. Help your readers…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

Follow me on Twitter:  @mrtmbilderback

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