Tag Archives: mythcreants

About This Writing Stuff…

Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to a better and healthier start than mine. This year was less than 24 hours old when I was struck with a stomach virus that left me violently ill on and off (mostly on) for three days. At least it held off until just after the Sherlock season premiere.

It’s nice to occasionally resurrect what used to be a regular feature on my blog, this gathering of sagacious and informative articles from around the interwebs.

Although I’m not convinced that Laurie Gough’s rant against self-publishing could be labeled as either sagacious or informative. Certainly Kristen Lamb and Larry Correia don’t agree.

Over at Digital Book World, Chris Syme offers a four-step program to help authors market their books effectively on social media while Jami Gold is all about helping writers choose the best editors.

Finally, we get some perspective on POV from both Donald Maass and Chris Winkle, and Anne R. Allen explains why she writes first chapters last.

All that and a bit more. Enjoy!

Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word by Laurie Gough

Author Animal Farm – New York GOOOOD, Self-Pub BAAAAD and Generation Author Snowflake & The High Cost of Instant by Kristen Lamb

Fisking the HuffPo’s Snooty Rant About Self-Publishing by Larry Correia

4 Steps to Selling More Books with Less Social Media and Why You Only Need to Sell Your Books on One Social Media Channel by Chris Syme

Spend Less Time Marketing By Setting Up Social Media Outpost Channels by Chris Syme

Picking Editors: Tips for Finding a Developmental Editor by Jami Gold

Immersive POV by Donald Maass

Choosing Your Story’s Perspective by Chris Winkle

First Chapters: Start Your Novel with Your Reader in Mind by Anne R. Allen


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, Chuck Wendig and Kristen Lamb eviscerate Huffington Post for exploiting contributors. Kathryn Craft encourages writers to consider how much they’re willing to give away.

Eric Wecks ponders a better info dump while Chris Winkle guides us from concept to story and Larry Brooks leads us even further to story structure. Jane Friedman explains the purpose of author websites, and Konrath dissects Lee Child regarding Amazon’s brick and mortar bookstores.

All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

***Please note that this will likely be the last installment of About This Writing Stuff for at least six months as I have become far too busy. My publisher and I are releasing a new anthology in July, I have a novella coming out after that, and I am writing the first draft of a science fiction novel.  

Additionally, I need to pass two more Microsoft exams to achieve my MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert). I work in the IT field and–as with writing and most other areas of life–continuing education is critical to success and longevity.*** 

Scream It Until Their Ears Bleed: Pay the Fucking Writers by Chuck Wendig

Shame on You AOL/Huffington! NO More Literary Booty Calls by Kristen Lamb

How Much Will You Give Away? by Kathryn Craft

Info Dumps Aren’t Evil by Eric Wecks

Lee Child on Amazon’s Real-Life Bookshops-and Why We Should Be Worried by Lee Child

Fisking Lee Child by Joe Konrath

How to Turn You Concept into a Story by Chris Winkle

Let’s Address a Common Misunderstanding About Author Websites by Jane Friedman

A Kinder, Gentler Perspective on Story Structure by Larry Brooks

Visiting the Oldest Bookstore in America–and its Resident Ghost by Gregory Lee Sullivan

Coming Soon: The “Write Stuff” Writers Conference in Bethlehem, PA!


Write Stuff 2016 Conference

About This Writing Stuff…

This week, my publisher and writer pal, Steven H. Wilson, is interviewed by fellow podcaster James DeRuvo about copyright violations and the CBS lawsuit against Star Trek: Axanar.

Over at Mythcreants, Chris Winkle provides his POV on viewpoint characters. Writer Beware’s Victoria Strauss examines the Author Guild’s recent efforts to improve publishing contracts for authors, and on Writer Unboxed, Steven James encourages us to abandon strict adherence to outlines and write organically. In the Kill Zone, Larry Brooks dismisses the plotting vs. pantsing debate in favor of using the process that works best for you.

On the technical side, we get some tips on Ebook formatting and importing files into Scrivener while Chris Musgrave reviews popular writing software.

Finally, in light of the upcoming Suicide Squad film from DC Comics, Bob Greenberger discusses the recent reprinting of the 1980s comic book series, which he edited, and his contribution to a character’s backstory.

All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

doddleTALKS TECH: Steven H. Wilson and the Axanar Copyright Debate  via James DeRuvo at doddleNews

What’s Out There For Me? Part One by Chris Musgrave

Importing Files Into Your Scrivener Project by Gwen Hernandez

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format by Daniel Berkowitz

Dirty Little Secrets About the Story Development Process by Larry Brooks

How to Abandon Your Outline to Improve Your Story by Steven James

The Fair Contract Initiative by Victoria Strauss

Choosing Viewpoint Characters by Chris Winkle

I Appear to Have Been Reprinted by Bob Greenberger

Amazon Considers Opening Hundreds of Bookstores by Leena Rao

Three Brilliant Publishers Doing Things Differently by Matt Goolding



About This Writing Stuff…

In addition to posting current events in the writing and publishing community, I’m still catching up with highlights from last year, during this feature’s hiatus.

One item in particular caught my attention: the decision of the World Fantasy committee to discontinue using the bust of HP Lovecraft as their award statue.  This was reported in November 2015, but I had not heard about it until this week and decided to share it here, objectively. I have no opinion on this matter one way or another.

From the Kill Zone, P.J. Parrish advises us to write every day while Joe Moore offers editing tips for independent writers. Think your characters are clever? Oren Ashkenazi has some questions for them. From Writer Unboxed, Kim Bullock provides a handy checklist on how to kill your darlings, and Dan Blank discusses distractions. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore reveals a bit of hindsight from her arduous journey to success.  All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

World Fantasy Award Drops HP Lovecraft as Prize Image and HP Lovecraft Biographer Rages Against Ditching of Author as Fantasy Prize Emblem by Alison Flood

Freedom of Expression? by Barry Eisler via Joe Konrath

I Was Wrong…You DO Need to Write Every Day by P.J. Parrish

Editing Tips for the Indie Author by Joe Moore

Desperately Seeking Darlings by Kim Bullock

Four Questions to Ask when a Character is Clever by Oren Ashkenazi

Don’t Worry, It Only Gets Harder by Dan Blank

Five Things I Wish I’d Known Five Months Before I Published My First Novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

10 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi by BBC America


I’d also like to shout out to writer pal, Steven H. Wilson, who just released his SF/F novel, Peace Lord of the Red Planet, on Audible, and to Crazy 8 Press as they launch their Kickstarter to fund the publication of the second volume of their SF anthology series, Pangaea. Check them out and thank you for supporting small press writers!


Pangaea II Book Cover Peace Lord of the Red Planet book cover


About This Writing Stuff…

This week, award-winning writer Steven H. Wilson imparts his experiences as a self-publisher and small-press founder. David Gaughran and Victoria Strauss discuss the Penguin Random House sale of the nefarious Author Solutions.  Over at Writer Unboxed, they talk about tension, energy, and choosing the right path.  The Mythcreants, a site replete with helpful articles and perspectives, offers tips on character development and clichés to avoid.

All that, and a little more. Enjoy!

Lessons Learned: Self-Publishing – Part One and Part Two by Steven H. Wilson

FYI: Penguin Random House is Still in the Vanity Publishing Business by David Gaughran

Author Solutions Sold to Private Equity Firm by Victoria Strauss

2016 Opens with a World Author Challenge to Publishing Contracts by Porter Anderson

Tension vs. Energy by Donald Maass

The Storyteller and the Roads Not Traveled in the WIP by Julianna Baggott

19 Tips on Writing Memoir from The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith

Six Cliches to Watch Out For by Oren Ashkenazi

The Six Traits of Strong Characters and Five Signs Your Character Is Fully Developed by Chris Winkle



About This Writing Stuff…

As 2016 approaches, one of my resolutions is to resurrect a popular, semi-regular feature here on my blog that went dark in April 2015 as my life just became too hectic to maintain it.

“About This Writing Stuff” is a collection of interesting articles from the writing and publishing world. Most are instructional, meant to provide helpful tools for writers. Some are merely news or updates, but all are meant to inform with no bias on my part. In other words, I don’t always agree with every article, but I welcome your feedback and opinions.

I thought I’d start on New Year’s Eve, especially since I recently discovered a fantastic website for fantasy and SF writers called Mythcreants, from which came three of the articles below touching on creating memorable character moments and riveting fight scenes as well as unrealistic tropes to avoid.

From Writer Unboxed, Lisa Cron delves into backstory, while SF author Veronica Sicoe is completely out of order. Jami Gold breaks down the characteristics of a strong story. We also talk Facebook for writers and the renaissance of used book stores. The latter sparked quite a debate recently on social media over the fact that writers receive no payment for the sale of used books.  How do you feel about this?

Enjoy the articles and have a wonderful, healthy, and productive New Year!

What We’ve Been Taught About Backstory…and Why It’s Wrong by Lisa  Cron

Writing Out of Sequence – The Best Way to Write by Veronica Sicoe

How to Best Use Facebook as an Author by Teymour Shahabi

The Critical Importance of Crafting a Strong Opening and 8 Tips for Picking Meaningful Character Names by Jody Hedlund

Does Our Story Have Everything it Needs? by Jami Gold

Six Unrealistic Tropes and How to Avoid Them by Oren Ashkenazi

Six Tricks for Memorable Character Moments and How to Narrate a Riveting Fight Scene by Chris Winkle

In the Age of Amazon, Used Bookstores Are Making an Unlikely Comeback by Michael S. Rosenwald