The Art of Writing – A Conversation with Local Author George Galdorisi from The Coronado Times

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Coronado resident, Retired Naval Aviator and New York Times best-selling author George Galdorisi recently released his latest book BRAVESHIP WRITERS SHARE THEIR SECRETS: How to Write Books People Actually Read. A prolific writer, George has published more than 15 books, both fiction and non-fiction, along with hundreds of articles, most recently focusing on Artificial Intelligence.

Galdorisi is currently the Director of Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures at the Navy’s Command and Control Center of Excellence in San Diego. His over thirty years of active duty service and post-Navy service has provided him with ideas that shape both fiction novels, in a genre becoming known as ‘Useful Fiction’ or Fictional Intelligence, as well as for his non-fiction books on emerging technologies. This most recent book, that Galdorisi penned with Kevin McDonald, is a tool for aspiring writers to learn how to write, publish and sell a book by sharing wisdom from those who’ve already done it. Retired Admiral, NATO Commander and Author James Stavridis praised the book saying, “Few established writers are willing to share the secrets of their craft; and until now, no group of award winning writers has done so. Braveship Writers Share Their Secrets breaks new ground and provides an entertaining and extraordinarily useful guide to beginning, emerging and established writers. Read this book and then pick up your pen!”

I had the opportunity to sit down with George to talk about his craft. As we discussed George’s novels we focused on his latest Rick Holden Novel –  Fire and Ice. When asked how he chooses what he plans to write about he shared, “For my novels, I write about what worries me in the geopolitical arena. As I have watched as Russia has become increasingly aggressive during President Putin’s tenure, it occurred to me that Putin might invade an Eastern European country to take the Russia people’s minds off their domestic issues. I wrote the book in 2020 and it was published in early 2021, long before Putin began massing forces on Ukraine’s borders.” George went on to say, “As more and more writers have examined future warfare through works of fiction, a new genre of military-themed literature has emerged. ‘Useful Fiction,’ or FICINT (Fictional Intelligence), is generally understood to be imagining future warfare scenarios based on the realities of high-end combat and real-world intelligence—not fantasy.”

When I asked how this ‘useful fiction’ is viewed by the military, George said, “The U.S. national security community has now embraced this new genre as a useful instrument to intuit how tomorrow’s wars will be fought. As one small indication of the momentum that Useful Fiction has gained, I recently spoke at a Useful Fiction event at the U.S. Air Force Academy. It was attended by hundreds of Academy cadets, as well as scores of officers from various commands, including the North American Aerospace Defense Command.”

Prior to becoming a prolific writer, Galdorisi served for thirty years as a Naval Officer and helicopter aviator having had command four times. Galdorisi said, “I was blessed that the Navy moved us here to Coronado in 1983 to stand-up HSL 41 and I was able to stay here taking sea duty tours and remain here for the rest of our career and raise our family. Our son Brian and our daughter Laura are both Coronado High School graduates.”

When asked what he loved about Coronado, he said, “My favorite part of Coronado is being married to Becky Galdorisi, who taught elementary school here for over two decades, and as we walk through the community she will be approached and hugged by her old students.”

George taught a six-week seminar for Coronado Adult Education called ‘Get Published Now’ and it incorporated the lessons shared in his latest book. George said, “I’ve had a great deal of help from mentors and fellow writers throughout my writing career. Now I would like to pay it forward. One way of doing that is via my website: www.georgegaldorisi.com. If readers go to the site, go to the pull-down Blog menu and select Writing Tips; they’ll find useful advice for beginning, emerging and accomplished writers.”

You can check out the entire article here: https://coronadotimes.com/news/2023/10/19/the-art-of-writing-a-conversation-with-local-author-george-galdorisi/

 

George’s September Newsletter

Hello Writing Friends

As I mentioned in my previous writing missives, the sole intent of these newsletters is to share some things I’ve learned along the way and to encourage you all to share as well.

I’m certain that all of you are familiar with the saying: “Nor all readers are writers, but all writers are readers.” So true. That’s why I’m sharing something that Virginia Woolf said years ago:

“When the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards – their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble – the Almighty will turn to Peter and say, not without a certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these need no reward.  We have nothing to give them here.  They have loved reading.'”

While it isn’t a bright line that separates writers, when I speak with some of you I come to realize that most of us lean one way when we write fiction: we are either plot driven or character driven. To provide the most extreme examples I can think of, two long-running television shows capture the difference. Law and Order is plot-driven and Seinfeld is character-driven. Enough said.

I’m an extreme example of a plot-driven writer (I suspect it comes from being an introvert). That is why I read everything I can regarding how to develop characters. Here is an article that I keep handy when I need some inspiration: https://georgegaldorisi.com/ten-characters. For all of you – plot- or character-leaning writers – I think that you’ll find these pithy descriptions of ten familiar characters refreshing.

Speaking of characters, here is some advice one of my writing mentors shared with me regarding how to write conversations so the characters all don’t sound alike. He suggested that there are three techniques: One is to give each major character a keyword or phrase so that when you read it, you know it is that person. Another method is to use odd diction or syntax, so again, when you read it, your brain knows it is a different character. A third tool can be used if English is not the native tongue of the speaker, which allows you to use either the actual language, or a transliteration, or an Anglicized version of the words the way they are pronounced.

That brings me to some book news I’d like to share. I have offered writing advice to many people individually, as well as through writing seminars. It occurred to me that it might be useful to put what I’ve learned into a book. It contains not just my thoughts, but also those of my Braveship Writers colleagues. Here is a link to my website, where you can learn more about the book:

https://georgegaldorisi.com/. You’ll see it on the slider and if you click on the arrow you’ll see more. Here is what one professional writer, Robert Masello, had to say about Braveship Writers Share Their Secrets:

Although much of this invaluable book is focused on writing thrillers, I found lots of useful advice and welcome inspiration in it for all kinds of writing—articles, essays, memoirs, fiction of all stripes. I’ve been toiling in these fields for decades, and I’ve even written a few books on writing myself; but to find a book that’s as straightforward, informative, and just plain conversational as this one is rare. It’s like having a private consultation, over a beer and pretzels, with a group of insiders willing to spill the secrets and answer all the pressing questions about everything from conception to publication, and beyond.

Finally, whenever I find an article online or in print that I find useful in upping my writing game, I put these it on my website: https://georgegaldorisi.com/.  If you go to the site you’ll see “Blog” at the top and the pull down menu takes you to “Writing Tips.” Perhaps you’ll find some of these useful.

Thanks for tuning in. I’d love to hear about your latest writing project(s).

All the best – George

How To Write A Book People Will Read – Listen Now on Admiral’s Almanac

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“Few established writers are willing to share the secrets of their craft; and, until now, no group of award-winning writers has done so. Braveship Writers Share Their Secrets breaks new ground and provides an entertaining and extraordinarily useful guide for beginning, emerging, and established writers. Read this book, and then pick up your pen!”

— Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and author of a dozen bestsellers, including 2034: A Novel of the Next World War and To Risk It All: Nine Crises and the Crucible of Decision.

“Although much of this invaluable book is focused on writing thrillers, I found lots of useful advice and welcome inspiration in it for all kinds of writing—articles, essays, memoirs, fiction of all stripes. I’ve been toiling in these fields for decades, and I’ve even written a few books on writing myself; but to find a book that’s as straightforward, informative, and just plain conversational as this one is rare. It’s like having a private consultation, over a beer and pretzels, with a group of insiders willing to spill the secrets and answer all the pressing questions about everything from conception to publication, and beyond.” — Robert Masello, bestselling author of The Einstein Prophecy, Robert’s Rules of Writing, The Haunting of H.G.Wells, and many other books

“A comprehensive guide to mastering the art of thriller fiction, delivered with vim and gusto by two of the genre’s finest storytellers!” — Dr. Matt Cook, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Sabotage and Good Little Marauder

 

LISTEN NOW: https://www.podpage.com/the-admirals-almanac/how-to-write-a-book-people-will-read/

George’s August Newsletter

Hello Writing Friends

As I mentioned in my July missive the sole intent of these newsletters is to share some things I’ve learned along the way and to encourage you all to share as well.

You all know this, but it bears repeating. It takes courage to write. Here is a quote I keep near my computer monitor. It is from Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, duc de Richlieu (just Cardinal Richlieu to his pals) “Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men and I will find an excuse to hang him.”

Like many of you, I am a huge fan of Disney’s Pixar movies (hard to believe that the first one, Toy Story, was released in 1995 – over a quarter-century ago!)

Why have they been so successful? We all see and enjoy the animation, but at the heart of each movie is the story.

That is why I was so happy when a screenwriter friend of mine shared the Pixar storytelling secrets with me. As a writer, reading them was an “ah ha” moment.

See for yourself:

https://nofilmschool.com/2012/06/22-rules-storytelling-pixar

As to sharing best practices, perhaps more than any other writers that I know, and as I shared last month, I make a near-religion of reading books about writing. Recently, I reread E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel. Like you, I have many friends and acquaintances who approach me at Starbucks, in the grocery checkout line or elsewhere and say: “I want to write a novel.”

The first thing I ask them, borrowing from Forster’s book, is what kind of novel is it?:

  • You are writing a story if your high concept is: “The king died and then the queen died.”
  • You have a plot if your high concept is: “The king died and then the queen died of grief.”
  • You have a mystery if your high concept is: “The queen died, and no one knew why, until it was discovered that it was through grief at the death of the king.”

As writers, this sounds so simple, and it is, but as you provide advice to beginning and emerging writers you might help them bound the problem by having them decide what kind of novel they want to write.

Finally, whenever I find an article online or in print that I find useful in upping my writing game, I have the “need to share” that afflicts most humans. I put these articles on my website: https://georgegaldorisi.com/.  If you go to the site you’ll see “Blog” at the top and the pull down menu takes you to “Writing Tips.” Perhaps you’ll find some of these useful.

That’s it for now. As always, I’d love to hear about your latest writing project(s).

All the best – George

George’s July Newsletter

Hello Writing Friends

Does the world need another writing newsletter? I’ll let you be the judge.

Before Covid knocked the world sideways, we used to see each other at writing conferences and seminars. Sadly, in the post-Covid world, many of those events have not restarted.

So here we are, doing our solitary work of writing. While all of you are self-actualizing as most writers must be, every once in a while it might be a good thing to give your keyboard a rest and poke your head up to share best practices with your fellow scribblers.

That’s the sole intent of this newsletter—as well as those that will follow—to share some things I’ve learned along the way and to encourage you all to share as well.

Since I’m sending this to you via a BCC list, you don’t know who else is getting this newsletter, but if you have something you think is worth sharing, I’m glad to be your “agent” and pass that along to others on this list.

The first thing that I’d like to share it this article: “The Power of Narrative:”

https://nautil.us/the-power-of-narrative-15975/

You’ll note that this article has an environmental focus, but that it is mostly about stories. The second paragraph begins: “Defined in the simplest possible terms, a narrative is a story about something. Stories are essential to us because as human beings and social animals, we are storytelling creatures.” We are all story-tellers, that’s what we do.

As to sharing best practices, perhaps more than any other writers that I know, I make a near-religion of reading books about writing. My bookshelves groan over the weight of these books. I’ve read some of them multiple times. Recently, I reread Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer. I find that it helps me derive writing best practices from anything that I read. If you haven’t given it a try you might want to consider doing so.

Finally, whenever I find an article online or in print that I find useful in upping my writing game, I have the “need to share” that afflicts most humans. I put these articles on my website: https://georgegaldorisi.com/.  If you go to the site you’ll see “Blog” at the top and the pull down menu takes you to “Writing Tips.” Perhaps you’ll find some of these useful.

That’s it for now. I’d love to hear about your latest writing project(s).

All the best – George

U.S. Navy duo shares secrets to writing a successful book – The Coronado News

George Galdorisi is a well-known author and Coronado resident with 15 published books to his name. Kevin McDonald, hailing from Austin, Texas, and a former naval aviator, has written books centered on aviation and history. The two have combined their wealth of experience to co-author a book about the art of writing.

Despite the differences in their writing journeys, the duo’s history is intertwined. They first met in the Navy in 1985 when Galdorisi was McDonald’s commanding officer at HSL-43. Three decades later, they have come together to pen “Braveship Writers Share their Secrets: How to Write Books People Actually Read.”

Read this The Coronado News Article Here: “U.S. Navy duo shares secrets to writing a successful book by: Sofie Fransen

Rotor Review Over the Horizon -A Better Way to Deal with Deadly Sea Mines By LCDR U.H. (Jack) Rowley, USN (Ret.) SWO/EDO

In an era of great power competition, the U.S. Navy is focused on high-end warfare—engaging anti-ship cruise missiles, defeating hypersonic weapons, protecting the homeland and allies from ballistic missiles, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning and other high-tech weapons. We are focused on defeating those we sometimes still call “near-peer” competitors. Our fleet’s muscle will not make it to the high-end fight, though, if it fears the deceptively destructive naval mine. Here, one former naval officer suggests one way to deal with sea mines by using unmanned surface vessels.

Click Here to Read “A Better Way to Deal with Deadly Sea Mines By LCDR U.H. (Jack) Rowley, USN (Ret.) SWO/EDO” from the Summer ’23 Issue of Rotor Review

Special Edition Announcement on How to Write and Get Published – The Admiral’s Almanac Podcast

In this episode The Admiral’s Almanac starts off with a new style intro and the announcement of The Admiral’s Almanac Writers Series. Sitting down with frequent guest and New York Times best selling author George Galdorisi, we discuss what’s in store for you in this upcoming 6 episode series. Not only do we discuss how to get started but why leaders must get started. Enjoy this new series and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Op-Ed: The promise and perils of Artificial Intelligence – The Coronado News

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George Galdorisi, a Coronado resident and New York Times bestselling author, says we can manage AI, and it will not manage us.

The headline on the first page of the New York Times Sunday Opinion page in early July could not have been more stark or more menacing: “The True Threat of Artificial Intelligence: Technology Forged by Private Markets Won’t Solve the World’s Problems. It Will Only Amplify Them.”

It that statement doesn’t get your attention, it’s likely that nothing will.

It would be difficult to identify a technology that has been talked and written about than those under the umbrella of artificial intelligence or AI.

Read the full article here

Engineering Unmanned Surface Vehicles – Into an Integrated Unmanned Solution from Naval Engineers Journal.

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The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, has proposed that tomorrow’s U.S. Navy grow to 500 ships, to include 350 crewed vessels and 150 unmanned maritime vehicles. While the composition of the future Navy’s crewed vessels is relatively well understood – based on ships being built and being planned – what those unmanned maritime vehicles will look like, let alone what they will do, remains opaque. This article sheds light on missions these unmanned craft might perform and what role AI can play in making them “smart wingmen.” Read More – click here to view the publication online or click here to download as a pdf.