Live and Learn

To read the entire article just click on the title – Live and Learn

I just finished editing my book Everyone’s Dream Everyone’s Nightmare and delivered it to a writing friend who will give it another reading and (hopefully) another edit. It was published in book form in 1998 and after having printed 3,500 copies I’m down to my last 2 boxes (under 80 books) and it will become my next e-Book as soon as it’s ready. It will not be printed in book form again.

When I started this project I told my writing friends that if I just removed the word “wonderful” I would lose about 40 pages – not quite true but there were other words of wisdom that had to be changed or removed as well.  Every time I cooked “in the van” or “in the motorhome” followed.  When we traveled “in the region” or “in the area” followed. You get the idea – lots of changes, lots of deletions, lots of “showed” rather than “told.”

I don’t often do book reviews because I usually read in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and I’m reading for pleasure BUT I learned so much from my latest read that I just had to share some of my thoughts:  The book is Back Spin by Harlan Coben and I have read many of his other books and loved them all……except for this one. This was a learning experience that I struggled with but I continued.

By the time I got to page 50 or so I had to check to see when the book was published: – 2009 Dell Mass Market Edition – copyright: – 1997 and that explained it all.  His first book Deal Breaker was published in 1995, Drop Shot was published in 1996 and Back Spin in 1997.  He was a relatively new writer. The story, what there was of it, was about golf and did not come to life until the last few chapters when everything came together because it had to. There was a lot of “telling” and almost no “showing.” Nothing could make me care about the characters and to hold my interest in the story I have to care. Even his main character, Myron Bolitar, normally cute and witty, left me cold. His other characters were easily forgettable.

In my own work I hear from my writing group “that’s a cliché” and try to find another way to say the same thing. In reading Back Spin I’m sure people said the same to Harlan Coben and rather than using a cliché he changed the statement to something so strange that much of it didn’t make sense. I won’t use a cliché every time but……glad to have them……

Harlan Coben is still one of my favourite authors but Back Spin taught me to be a better writer. Thanks Harlan,  Joei


For a fun read about my solo travels of the last 25 years, try some of my e-Books available at or through most retailers.


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