Hello and Welcome to the Newbie Corner


“There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham

Chances are, you–like me– got here by accident while searching for the secret sauce of writing; the most direct route to being published; the magical potion that, like your morning coffee, could be counted on to jump start your creative juices each and every day. Or you were looking for Maugham’s three secrets of writing a novel that, if you just followed them with diligence, would pop that story out in three short months.

None of them are here. None of them are anywhere. Or, they are everywhere.

Huh? You say.

Being an author of fiction is a bit like being the beef in a stew. The beef is necessary, but the stew needs carrots, onions, potatoes, maybe peas, spices, and careful cooking. To carry the metaphor one step further, depending on the mix of ingredients and cooking time, the stew can be awful or wonderful.

There are, literally, thousands of possible ingredients that can influence your writing stew. At the risk of straining the metaphor beyond its usefulness, and getting down in the nitty gritty of what this blog is about, they include such minutiae as the way you cut the potatoes, the pot you use, and whether you cook on gas or electricity.

Enough on the food already, Ken. Get on with it.

This blog is about becoming an author of fiction. It uses my journey over nearly five decades of professional writing as a frame of reference. A journey that started in a small town weekly newspaper, progressed through 40 years of technical and business writing, and, here, at the backend of my life, returned, as a newbie, to my first love–fiction. It is about the lessons learned–both hard won and easy–along the way to making Ken’s authorship stew. It is about process, about creativity, about matters large and small. It will be, as we go along, part memoir, part ‘how-to’, part philosophy.

I believe there is a storyteller in everyone. Not everyone is adept at telling stories and some of those that can tell stories cannot write them. But if you are here, chances are you want to try. That is what I want to help you do—to go from newbie, to author.

My next entry will outline how I see this blog progressing–the plan, if you will. I hope you come back and follow along.