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On Writing - Part One

On Writing: Part One

Tips on Writing Fiction

On Writing Part OneWhen I tell people that I'm a writer, in general, a few things happen. Almost always, I get a bizarre look in return that implies, "You're kidding, right?" The most puzzling thing to me about this initial response is that it is almost always followed by this response, "You know? I've always wanted to be a writer." Really? Then why don't you write? This routine usually morphs into an insane amount of beer drinking and long discussions about dashed hopes and crushed dreams of not pursuing a literary career by the person who started this conversation in the first place. I'm always being prodded for writing tips whether from Twitter followers or bar patrons or acquaintances who know that I've been a writer for almost 20 years (oof!) and I have a decent amount of literary output and byline credits to show for it. Do I mind talking about? I don't mind one bit.

You may be asking yourself (if you're curious at all about the writing process), "Who the hell does this asshole think he is? Who gave him the 'Writer Know-It-All' badge?" In which I would reply, "Ummm. You're quite hostile." I do not claim to be a Samurai Master of Writing. I do not go on lecture tours and show Power Point presentations about the structure of genre novels. I do not wear a monocle and a smoking jacket while sitting in a leather recliner and pontificate about iambic pentameter in Shakespearean plays. I do not claim to be anything but a writer who is asked a lot of questions about writing from people who are truly curious about writing. I enjoy the writing process or, better said, MY writing process. I enjoy the satisfaction that comes from completing a writing project, whatever it may be, from blog post to short story to novel. I most particularly like the responses from readers that enjoy my written work. It is very satisfying to me. Have I made a gazillion dollars as a writer? No. Am I famous? No. Do I know what I'm doing? Yes. Do you trust me? Who knows but goddamn it, I'm going to write about writing. It will be fun. Do I have credentials? Yes, I have a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin in which I wrote an honor's thesis on the narrative strategies of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Do I have an agent? Not right now but I had one a couple of years ago and I'm currently looking for a new one. Have I been published? Yes. Blah blah blah blah... let's get on with it. OK? Let's go!

I'm going to split this blog post about writing into a few posts, maybe 3, maybe 4, I haven't decided yet but there will be a few. This particular post will be about some writing tips. There will be another about the writing process, my process, then one with frequently asked questions about writing and writers. Ready?

The following "writing tips" were born out of a message from a Twitter follower who asked me to give a writing tip to her then the rest of them spilled out in the form of a few Tweets later that day. They appear in no particular order of importance except for #9 which needs to be last in this group of tips. In all honesty, there are hundreds of great writing tips but these are some that popped into my head that day. Here they are:

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Dinner from the G.D.A.M.

An Excerpt from the book "Boys" by Scott Semegran

We sat across from each other in the small living room of my small apartment, on the floor around my beat-up coffee table, piles of coins and dollar bills on top, two tall boys of beer on ratty paper coasters from the restaurant there too, counting our tips. It was not a good night for tips but the quantity of coins and bills looked deceiving in their unorganized state, looked like we had a lot more money than we actually had. We enjoyed the optical illusion, briefly. We smiled as we pushed the piles of coins and bills around in front of us then raised our cans of beer to toast.

"To Pasta Warehouse," I said.

"To Pasta Warehouse!" my friend Alfonso said.


"No, say it the Mexican way. When you toast, say 'Salud!'"


We touched our cans together then gulped the cheap beers, crushing the cans when we were through, tossing the cans to the side on the floor, returning to organize the coins and bills, hoping to make rent. We were an odd looking pair of friends. I was lanky and short and white. Alfonso was massive and tall and Hispanic. But what we lacked in commonality of outward appearance was made up by similar character traits of kindness, empathy, and extreme loyalty. We were good young men and good friends to each other.

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The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood by Scott Semegran

The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood

mrsb_front_cover_500pxOn his way to New York to celebrate his impending literary success, Simon Burchwood is the prototypical American careerist. But a quick detour to Montgomery, Alabama to visit a childhood friend sends Simon on a bizarre journey, challenging his hopes and dreams of becoming a famous writer. This is a character study that delves into the psyche of a man who desperately tries to redefine himself.

Is Simon pompous? Yes. A jerk? Yes. Will you like him? Absolutely! "The book is told entirely from Simon’s viewpoint. Simon is not a very likable guy; as a matter of fact, he is a self-centered, pompous jerk. But for some reason, it’s pretty fun to be inside his head, mainly because he is an inadvertent, oblivious jerk... you will learn Simon’s views on smoking, cleanliness and going to the bathroom, just to name a few. There were times that I laughed out loud... A very good novel that was humorous throughout." 4 and 1/2 Stars - Red Adept Reviews

Read an excerpt here and here.

Reviews for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:

Accolades for The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood:

Amazon $2.99 $14.99
Barnes & Noble $2.99 $14.99
Apple $2.99  
Kobo $2.99  
Google Play $2.99  
Smashwords $2.99  
Scribd - $8.99/month Link  
Oyster - $9.95/month Link  
CreateSpace   $14.99

Paperback Info

ISBN: 978-0615753355

Copyright: © 2008 Scott Semegran

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Printed: 200 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, cream paper, black and white ink, full-color cover with matte finish

Publisher: Mutt Press

Category: Fiction / Literary

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Mr. Grieves #170

Mr Grieves #170

Buy the Mr. Grieves Book at Amazon.com! amazon

To read more Mr. Grieves comic strips, go here.

Books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran Sold at Malvern Books

malvern books

Malvern Books in Austin, TX carries visionary literature and poetry from independent publishers, with a focus on lesser-known and emerging voices the world needs to hear. Now, they carry books from Mutt Press by Scott Semegran. Mr. Grieves, Modicum, and The Meteoric Rise of Simon Burchwood; these are the selections from Mutt Press they carry. Please stop by and pickup a paperback. They also host book and poetry readings and musical performances, and provide a friendly meeting space for book clubs. Shop local, support small business and indie publishers like Mutt Press.

For more info about Malvern Books, please visit http://malvernbooks.com/. Or stop by at 613 West 29th Street, Austin, TX 78705.

For more info about Mutt Press, please visit http://muttpress.com/.

If you found my blogs, stories, cartoons, or other articles on my website useful or entertaining, then please visit my Books page and check out my novels as well as my comic strip compilation and my collection of short stories and cartoons. They are all available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover formats. For a pittance, you can purchase something great to read while supporting a writer with a large family and lots of mouths to feed. Thanks for your support, Scott.

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