The third novel in The Book of Dungeons is one-quarter finished, and I’m happy to say I like where this series is going. The MasterClass instructors say it’s easy to write but hard to keep writing, but I’ve yet to experience what they call “writer’s block.” I’m still not sure what it is or what causes it. Sure, there are times when I want to sleep in, but once I’m up, have eaten, and I have a good block of time, I sit down and begin typing. Being frozen or unsure what to write just hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure I’ll get to a point sometime when I’m burned out. So far, I’m typing at the modest pace of 1,500-2,500 words a day before mental fatigue hits.
I cannot recommend MasterClass enough. While I’m not necessarily a fan of their work, Margaret Atwood, James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, and Davie Baldacci have proven valuable sources of writing advice. I’ve also put to good use the feature for speeding up the playback, as Neil Gaiman is such a careful talker he’s too slow to listen to! I’ve even found Steve Martin’s class to be insightful. Surprisingly, advice from David Lynch, David Mamet, and Will Wright was so general, I didn’t get much out of them and bailed after a half-hour of listening.
And since we’re talking about writing recommendations, I discovered how to connect my iCloud Apple Notes (to which I’m slavishly devoted) to an editable webpage using a nifty Chrome plugin. To me, this is amazing! Now every silly thought, joke, idea, and observation I record on my phone is immediately accessible from my PC.
I’ve also made progress with my cover art. I plan to do variations of the illuminated manuscript design for each book, similar to the title shots in the Netflix series Dispatches from Elsewhere. They are works in progress.
While the ravages of COVID are wrecking economies worldwide, I’m still happily typing away at home. My only regret is that the winter climate keeps me inside, and I’m unable to take long walks through Cuyahoga Valley National Park for exercise. Instead, I stay warm with my thermostat set in the mid-seventies Fahrenheit and cook comfort food.