Kenneth Darter

Writing, Music, and Life

Archive for the category “Writing”

Goals and Shortcuts

2011 is the year I’m hoping to start AND finish a novel.  It’s been something I’ve tried to do for some time now and this year I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish the job.

I’ve been working on the planning of this novel for some time now and finally started writing about two months ago.  It started off pretty well.  I set a realistic goal for myself with plenty of leeway built in to catch up if I fall behind.  I spent a lot of time last year working on short stories so I was pretty confidant in the number of pages I could write daily and the schedule that I have set.

But as you might have guessed already, the work hasn’t gone quite the way I had intended.  I’m a natural procrastinator so I’ll always find some reason to not work or worse yet, I’ll find a shortcut around the goals.


The problem started when I printed the first 100 pages of the novel to start editing.  I realized that I needed to break up some of the chapters.  When I broke sections into separate chapters, my page count went up without my writing a word.  It was magic!!


So the next day, I restructured the chapters again and then I did it again and again.  Now, I’m almost finished with my 500 page novel four months early!!!

(but each chapter is two sentences long).

Not really, but I did lose a few days messing around trying to up my page count.  I came up with several extraneous paragraphs at the end of every chapter just to kick the chapter over to the next page.  Those paragraphs will probably be tossed as soon as I start editing.

I’ve now made my daily and weekly goals word counts instead of page counts because it’s much harder to game the system that way.  (although I’m thinking about making all the characters Canadian so that every sentence of dialog ends with “eh”).


(everyone’s favorite canadian, eh)

One last bit of good news before I get back to the grind – I’ve now written more on this novel than I have every written on any other novel that I started!  That should be worth at least one day off to write a blog post, right?


The Boarder

My short story, The Boarder, has been published at kalkion, a literature and science fiction web magazine.  You can find the story at this link:

I was surprised by this today because I haven’t been working on short stories this year, I’ve been focused on finishing a novel by the end of the year so it was a nice confidence boost to get published on a story I submitted last year.

Check it out if you get a chance.

The Dawn Treader

My wife and I finally got to see the Dawn Treader in the movie theater.  I was a little nervous about how the movie producers were going to handle this book; if I had to pick one book that is my favorite in the Narnia series (and that’s a very hard thing to do for me) then it’s the wonderful Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”.

For those of you who don’t know me, I literally cut my teeth on the Narnia books and I can’t count how many times I’ve read them (I wish I had read the Bible as much as I read Lewis’ books).

All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  Many critics have pointed out the shortcomings, but overall the movie succeeds (and my wife didn’t mind watching it at all because Ben Barnes – Prince Caspian is in it again).  While I’m a purist of the books and I would have enjoyed it very much if they had followed the book literally, I did not mind the changes and I can see that some of the changes made for a better movie.  A few praises and quibbles:

  • The world of Narnia is wonderfully created on the screen.  The film pushes you into the fantasy world and adventure and never lets you go until the ending.
  • The dufflepuds got the short shrift.  Read the book to get the true flavor of these crazy fellows.
  • The actor playing Eustace was superb and the animators creating the dragon were almost as good.
  • Reepicheep was everything he should have been, I just missed seeing him and Lucy playing chess.
  • Where were the mermaids?
  • Why didn’t they follow Caspian’s storyline in Narnia and show him hooking up with the star?

I hope that the filmmakers continue with the excellent work they are doing and look forward to the next installment featuring Eustace.  My wife, however, was disappointed to find out that in the next book, Caspian is a very old man!

DragonCon (part 1)

This year, I made the long trek from the suburbs of Atlanta to downtown Atlanta to go to DragonCon.  This is not much of a trek for me since I do it 4-5 times a week anyway, but I wanted to put the word trek into this post as much as possible.

I’ve wanted to go for a while and was finally able to talk myself (and my wife) into spending the money and giving up most of a holiday weekend because of the Writer’s Workshop that A.C. Crispin holds there every year. Read more…

Shot Down

PLEASE NOTE: This blog includes excessive use of Bad Sarcasm and is thus rated BS.

It happens to all writers, but being shot down by magazine editors hurts.  Especially when it happens so quickly.  Last weekend, I sent out two stories and expected to take a metaphorical breath and work on something else for a few weeks whilst happily daydreaming about getting acceptance emails like “Love the story, don’t change a thing and send me ten more just like it; I’ll publish them sight unseen, in fact, I’ll just turn over the whole magazine to your writing . . . ”

Instead, I get an email on Monday  Read more…

Procrastination and Digression

I’m on track to finish editing two short stories this week.  Of course, I was supposed to have finished those stories and two others by the end of last week and that didn’t happen.

If there’s one thing I hate it’s revising and editing my stories.  Unless, I’m writing stories, and then I hate writing and would much rather be revising and editing.  Oh wait, the one thing that’s worse than either of those things is revising and editing based on a comment from an editor – I mean, really, don’t they know that I know the story is confusing and that was the whole point (-of-view).  If it is wrong to write a confusing story then why do we study James Joyce and Lewis Carroll in literature courses?

So what do I like about writing you ask, why do I do it?   Read more…

The Littlest Dragon has been published

One of the my stories, The Littlest Dragon, has been published in an online magazine – Anthrozine – available for free at

You can read the story behind the story at

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