books by mlm


what’s happening

another first draft


I once wrote forty-thousand words and fourteen of sixteen chapters of a book, only to throw it away and start over. I was reasonably satisfied with it but, looking ahead to where things were headed I realized it wasn’t going to end well. My biggest sin as a writer (apart from typos and, frustratingly, dropped words) is that I front load my works and taper off on the back end.

In other words, a well-written story should be broken into four equal parts, with the first quarter of the story being the opening act, the next two quarters being the middle act (always twice as big as the rest, split into two with a big moment turning the story on its head), and the last quarter being the closing act.

I tend to write half the story before I get to act two and then, instead of writing a longer book, I just rush to finish, leaving a book that looks less like the sleek and perfect USS Enterprise-A, and more like the top-heavy Enterprise-D.

Here I am three paragraphs in (and counting) and I still haven’t gotten to my point.

I just scrapped a fifty-seven hundred word paper I had completed for my Masters degree, and rewrote it into a seven-thousand word paper on the same subject. Is it any better? I have no idea. All I know is I have half a dozen more classes to get through before I can get the piece of paper that says “Master” or whatever, and I intend to get through all of them by next Spring.

tl;dr - I didn’t write anything fun today.

Tomorrow I’m teaching a class at John 3:17 Ministries (a center for women who have suffered domestic abuse), and next week is camp and I promised I would not take my laptop to church camp this year. I promised I would not take my laptop to church camp this year…

camp laptop.gif

I’m probably going to take it.

Matthew Martin