Monday, January 31, 2011

"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any."
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I, Vladimir - Reader's Comments.

 A few readers comments that have been made on my novel  'I, Vladimir'.
The story which will travel through time and tells the tale of the oldest living vampire, Vladimir; his struggles living along side humans; which was sometimes more out of convenience than one of mutual understanding-
"Your characters are all so distinctly visible, and you have the tension knot strained perfectly."

"Well paced narrative with great detail and a wealth of imaginative creativity."

"Historically, this is minutely documented, making it more realistic than fantasy."

"I never would have read a vampire story before, but this has gripped me all along - testimony as to how great a novel it is."
I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.  ~ Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.  ~ E.L. Doctorow

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It is the deepest desire of every writer, the one we never admit or even dare to speak of: to write a book we can leave as a legacy. And although it is sometimes easy to forget, wanting to be a writer is not about reviews or advances or how many copies are printed or sold. It is much simpler than that, and much more passionate. If you do it right, and if they publish it, you may actually leave something behind that can last forever.


Stop When You Are Going Good

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never get stuck.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Short Story Accepted

"Let The Party Begin" 

Has just been accepted for the American anthology  

'Serial Killers'.


Cross out as many adjectives and adverbs as you can. It is comprehensible when I write: “The man sat on the grass,” because it is clear and does not detain one’s attention. On the other hand, it is difficult to figure out and hard on the brain if I write: “The tall, narrow-chested man of medium height and with a red beard sat down on the green grass that had already been trampled down by the pedestrians, sat down silently, looking around timidly and fearfully.” The brain can’t grasp all that at once, and art must be grasped at once, instantaneously.

Work inspires inspiration

Work inspires inspiration. Keep working. If you succeed, keep working. If you fail, keep working. If you’re interested, keep working. If you’re bored, keep working.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Excerpts from Stephen King's "On Writing"

Get the first draft done quickly…
I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave duiring a period of severe sunspot activity.
On rewriting…
Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.
Second drafts can only help so much…
“A movie should be there in rough cut,” the film editor Paul Hirsch once told me. The same is true of books. I think it’s rare that incoherence or dull storytelling can be solved by something so minor as a second draft.
Formula for success: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%...
Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggest cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings)...I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: “Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.”
Practice isn’t painful when you love what you do…
Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.
Some meaty detective-fiction similes…
My all time favorite similes, by the way, come from the hardboiled-detective fiction of the forties and fifties, and the literary descendants of the dime-dreadful writers. These favorites include “It was darker than a carload of assholes” (George V. Higgins) and “I lit a cigarette that tasted like a plumber’s handkerchief” (Raymond Chandler).
On writing seminars and the desire for “the right writing environment”...
In truth, I’ve found that any day’s routine interruptions and distractions don’t much hurt a work in progress and may actually help it in some ways. It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.
What scares the master of fear…
The scariest moment is always just before you start.

Credits for this go to

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"The Borrowed Book" a piece of flash fiction, has been accepted by Outburst magazine for their next issue. See the link above for previous issues.
"A Child's Voice" another short story has been accepted for publishing in the new US anthology called Pot Luck .

Monday, January 24, 2011


She looked across the darkness.
The black void nearly motionless.
Silence broken by the waves.
A tear escaped from within.
She knew they were lost.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Writing is Like Walking Through A Desert

I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me, writing is like walking through a desert and all at once, poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney. I know there’s a house under there, and I’m pretty sure that I can dig it up if I want. That’s how I feel. It’s like the stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap of faith that says: ‘If I sit down and do this, everything will come out OK.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Facebook page!/pages/Daniel-Kaye-Writer/103967553013072                                                                      

Friday, January 21, 2011

My first Haiku.
Why are we shouting?
We always seem to argue,
And still, I love you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

 'Meet For Diner?' A short story I wrote has been accepted for publishing in the new US anthology called Pot Luck .

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes Written by Stephen King

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes
Written by Stephen King
25 April 2005
I. The First Introduction

THAT'S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers' school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn. It will actually take you twenty minutes or so to read this essay, however, because I have to tell you a story, and then I have to write a second introduction. But these, I argue, should not count in the ten minutes.

II. The Story, or, How Stephen King Learned to Write
When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do. I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit. In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction. These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel.

Eventually, a copy of this little newspaper found its way into the hands of a faculty member, and since I had been unwise enough to put my name on it (a fault, some critics argue, of which I have still not been entirely cured), I was brought into the office. The sophisticated satirist had by that time reverted to what he really was: a fourteen-year-old kid who was shaking in his boots and wondering if he was going to get a suspension ... what we called "a three-day vacation" in those dim days of 1964.

I wasn't suspended. I was forced to make a number of apologies - they were warranted, but they still tasted like dog-dirt in my mouth - and spent a week in detention hall. And the guidance counselor arranged what he no doubt thought of as a more constructive channel for my talents. This was a job - contingent upon the editor's approval - writing sports for the Lisbon Enterprise, a twelve-page weekly of the sort with which any small-town resident will be familiar. This editor was the man who taught me everything I know about writing in ten minutes. His name was John Gould - not the famed New England humorist or the novelist who wrote The Greenleaf Fires, but a relative of both, I believe.

He told me he needed a sports writer and we could "try each other out" if I wanted.

I told him I knew more about advanced algebra than I did sports.

Gould nodded and said, "You'll learn."

I said I would at least try to learn. Gould gave me a huge roll of yellow paper and promised me a wage of 1/2¢ per word. The first two pieces I wrote had to do with a high school basketball game in which a member of my school team broke the Lisbon High scoring record. One of these pieces was straight reportage. The second was a feature article.

I brought them to Gould the day after the game, so he'd have them for the paper, which came out Fridays. He read the straight piece, made two minor corrections, and spiked it. Then he started in on the feature piece with a large black pen and taught me all I ever needed to know about my craft. I wish I still had the piece - it deserves to be framed, editorial corrections and all - but I can remember pretty well how it looked when he had finished with it. Here's an example:

(note: this is before the edit marks indicated on King's original copy)

Last night, in the well-loved gymnasium of Lisbon High School, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom, known as "Bullet" Bob for both his size and accuracy, scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed ... and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his knight-like quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon thinclads since 1953....

(after edit marks)

Last night, in the Lisbon High School gymnasium, partisans and Jay Hills fans alike were stunned by an athletic performance unequaled in school history: Bob Ransom scored thirty-seven points. He did it with grace and speed ... and he did it with an odd courtesy as well, committing only two personal fouls in his quest for a record which has eluded Lisbon's basketball team since 1953....

When Gould finished marking up my copy in the manner I have indicated above, he looked up and must have seen something on my face. I think he must have thought it was horror, but it was not: it was revelation.

"I only took out the bad parts, you know," he said. "Most of it's pretty good."

"I know," I said, meaning both things: yes, most of it was good, and yes, he had only taken out the bad parts. "I won't do it again."

"If that's true," he said, "you'll never have to work again. You can do this for a living." Then he threw back his head and laughed.

And he was right; I am doing this for a living, and as long as I can keep on, I don't expect ever to have to work again.

III. The Second Introduction
All of what follows has been said before. If you are interested enough in writing to be a purchaser of this magazine, you will have either heard or read all (or almost all) of it before. Thousands of writing courses are taught across the United States each year; seminars are convened; guest lecturers talk, then answer questions, then drink as many gin and tonics as their expense-fees will allow, and it all boils down to what follows.

I am going to tell you these things again because often people will only listen - really listen - to someone who makes a lot of money doing the thing he's talking about. This is sad but true. And I told you the story above not to make myself sound like a character out of a Horatio Alger novel but to make a point: I saw, I listened, and I learned. Until that day in John Gould's little office, I had been writing first drafts of stories which might run 2,500 words. The second drafts were apt to run 3,300 words. Following that day, my 2,500-word first drafts became 2,200-word second drafts. And two years after that, I sold the first one.

So here it is, with all the bark stripped off. It'll take ten minutes to read, and you can apply it right away ... if you listen.

IV. Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully

1. Be talented
This, of course, is the killer. What is talent? I can hear someone shouting, and here we are, ready to get into a discussion right up there with "what is the meaning of life?" for weighty pronouncements and total uselessness. For the purposes of the beginning writer, talent may as well be defined as eventual success - publication and money. If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

Now some of you are really hollering. Some of you are calling me one crass money-fixated creep. And some of you are calling me bad names. Are you calling Harold Robbins talented? someone in one of the Great English Departments of America is screeching. V.C. Andrews? Theodore Dreiser? Or what about you, you dyslexic moron?

Nonsense. Worse than nonsense, off the subject. We're not talking about good or bad here. I'm interested in telling you how to get your stuff published, not in critical judgments of who's good or bad. As a rule the critical judgments come after the check's been spent, anyway. I have my own opinions, but most times I keep them to myself. People who are published steadily and are paid for what they are writing may be either saints or trollops, but they are clearly reaching a great many someones who want what they have. Ergo, they are communicating. Ergo, they are talented. The biggest part of writing successfully is being talented, and in the context of marketing, the only bad writer is one who doesn't get paid. If you're not talented, you won't succeed. And if you're not succeeding, you should know when to quit.

When is that? I don't know. It's different for each writer. Not after six rejection slips, certainly, nor after sixty. But after six hundred? Maybe. After six thousand? My friend, after six thousand pinks, it's time you tried painting or computer programming.

Further, almost every aspiring writer knows when he is getting warmer - you start getting little jotted notes on your rejection slips, or personal letters . . . maybe a commiserating phone call. It's lonely out there in the cold, but there are encouraging voices ... unless there is nothing in your words which warrants encouragement. I think you owe it to yourself to skip as much of the self-illusion as possible. If your eyes are open, you'll know which way to go ... or when to turn back.

2. Be neat
Type. Double-space. Use a nice heavy white paper, never that erasable onion-skin stuff. If you've marked up your manuscript a lot, do another draft.

3. Be self-critical
If you haven't marked up your manuscript a lot, you did a lazy job. Only God gets things right the first time. Don't be a slob.

4. Remove every extraneous word
You want to get up on a soapbox and preach? Fine. Get one and try your local park. You want to write for money? Get to the point. And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can't find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again . . . or try something new.

5. Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft

You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right - and breaking your train of thought and the writer's trance in the bargain - or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don't have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it ... but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don't do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

6. Know the markets
Only a dimwit would send a story about giant vampire bats surrounding a high school to McCall's. Only a dimwit would send a tender story about a mother and daughter making up their differences on Christmas Eve to Playboy ... but people do it all the time. I'm not exaggerating; I have seen such stories in the slush piles of the actual magazines. If you write a good story, why send it out in an ignorant fashion? Would you send your kid out in a snowstorm dressed in Bermuda shorts and a tank top? If you like science fiction, read the magazines. If you want to write confession stories, read the magazines. And so on. It isn't just a matter of knowing what's right for the present story; you can begin to catch on, after awhile, to overall rhythms, editorial likes and dislikes, a magazine's entire slant. Sometimes your reading can influence the next story, and create a sale.

7. Write to entertain
Does this mean you can't write "serious fiction"? It does not. Somewhere along the line pernicious critics have invested the American reading and writing public with the idea that entertaining fiction and serious ideas do not overlap. This would have surprised Charles Dickens, not to mention Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Bernard Malamud, and hundreds of others. But your serious ideas must always serve your story, not the other way around. I repeat: if you want to preach, get a soapbox.

8. Ask yourself frequently, "Am I having fun?"
The answer needn't always be yes. But if it's always no, it's time for a new project or a new career.

9. How to evaluate criticism
Show your piece to a number of people - ten, let us say. Listen carefully to what they tell you. Smile and nod a lot. Then review what was said very carefully. If your critics are all telling you the same thing about some facet of your story - a plot twist that doesn't work, a character who rings false, stilted narrative, or half a dozen other possibles - change that facet. It doesn't matter if you really liked that twist of that character; if a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with you piece, it is. If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I'd still suggest changing it. But if everyone - or even most everyone - is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say.

10. Observe all rules for proper submission
Return postage, self-addressed envelope, all of that.

11. An agent? Forget it. For now
Agents get 10% of monies earned by their clients. 10% of nothing is nothing. Agents also have to pay the rent. Beginning writers do not contribute to that or any other necessity of life. Flog your stories around yourself. If you've done a novel, send around query letters to publishers, one by one, and follow up with sample chapters and/or the manuscript complete. And remember Stephen King's First Rule of Writers and Agents, learned by bitter personal experience: You don't need one until you're making enough for someone to steal ... and if you're making that much, you'll be able to take your pick of good agents.

12. If it's bad, kill it

When it comes to people, mercy killing is against the law. When it comes to fiction, it is the law.

That's everything you need to know. And if you listened, you can write everything and anything you want. Now I believe I will wish you a pleasant day and sign off.

My ten minutes are up.

This article originally appeared in The Writer in 1986. Stephen King's seminal memoir On Writing is available from lots of good online booksellers. Be sure to visit Stephen King's website for more Stephenage. Which would have worked better as a joke if he'd spelled his name with a 'v', and even then only marginally so.

Borrowed from

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Thoughts On Writers Block

Picture yourself driving through the countryside, it’s a beautiful day. The birds are singing and the wild flowers are blossoming, each road you take, leads perfectly on to the next. You are so carried away with the smooth journey and your surroundings that you did not notice some time ago that you must have taken a wrong turn because now you no longer recognise your surroundings. You decide to pull in at the next farmer’s gate to do a U-turn to retrace your steps in the hope of finding a familiar landmark. What happens next is where your real problems start, the car in which you travel will no longer move, it is stuck firmly in the mud. You have all the tools you need to get yourself out of the situation; you have four wheels, an accelerator and fuel. Yet no matter what you do, you’re stuck. In the same way writers block occurs, you’re happily going along with your story when you grind to a halt. Again, you have all the tools you need, a pen and pad or a keyboard and screen but nothing happens, just a cursor flashing in the top left corner. It is often like a monitor in an intensive care unit waiting for either life to burst back into your story or death to slowly come and end the piece you’ve been happily working on.
What is the answer? There are many suggestions, one is reading, the more you read the better. Read everything you can get your hands on, not just your chosen genre but everything within reach, magazine articles, love stories, horror and crime. In today’s frantic world, we often hear the remark “I’m too busy to read, I can never find the time.” There are plenty of opportunities to pick up a book or an article that may inspire you. I try to read everywhere, including the toilet but my favourite place is the doctor’s waiting rooms. I hate visiting the doctor and waiting rooms I despise, looking round at individuals all sick and feeling sorry for themselves. I always bring a book and while reading I create a shield around me where I do not have to sympathise with the other patients. Unfortunately, the last time I visited the doctor I entered the waiting room and my worst fears happened, I knew somebody sitting there with an empty seat next to them. I had to go and talk to them; I could feel the book in my pocket screaming at me, “Open me! Read me!” Oh friend how I wish I had listened to you, for as I didn’t know this person well, the conversation soon dried up and guess what, it was the longest wait for the doctor ever.
When I was sixteen I went to work for London Underground, while working there I remember one of the best bits of advice I received, it was from a man named Freddy Hut. He was sixty-four and fast approaching retirement. Freddy had quiet interesting stories to tell about his past, the most famous, or in famous, of them was, he used to do boxing for the Kray brothers back in the early sixties. He was a proper old east London character and daily would tell everyone he met in his rough gravely voice, “You’ve got two ears and one mouth, use them in that order.” I think what this translated to was ‘Always listen twice as much as you speak’ this I think is great advice for a writer. Everywhere you go gives you an opportunity, whether it is a small gathering of people, a wedding reception or presentation in a grand banqueting hall to study people. Listen to the people talking around you and the way they act. This can give you great inspiration for developing characters and dialogue, each face tells its own story. Pause for a moment every time you are in a crowd look and listen you never know what may inspire you, I feel there is only one exception to this rule, doctor’s waiting rooms.

Sometimes when your car is stuck in the mud, you have to think out of the box to get free. Many people have suggested putting bits of cardboard or an old blanket under your wheels to enable them to get grip. You may get your feet and hands muddy doing this but eventually you will become unstuck.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"My memory is different from yours, over time your memory fades. You lose site of faces and events; dates are like frayed edges of a painting that you can never see again." ~ Excerpt from the novel I am working on.

The story which will travel through time and tells the tale of the oldest living vampire, Vladimir; his struggles living along side humans; which was sometimes more out of convenience than one of mutual understanding.
Sometimes it takes the story to grow, for the real characters to emerge ~ Daniel Kaye

Monday, January 17, 2011


Welcome to my blog.
I plan to use this blog to share some of my work and to post anything else I find interesting about writing.
I hope you will enjoy what I post and I look forward to getting to know you,
Daniel Kaye.