This week, Maggie Doonan counsels us on when to throw in the towel on a writing project while Julia Munroe Martin opens up about why she abandoned one of hers.
Anne R. Allen warns new writers against mistakes that could leave them prey to publishing scams. James Scott Bell offers two methods to jumpstart your writing session. Over at MythCreants, Chris Winkle advises us on ways to better give and receive criticism.
Writer pal Kathryn Craft shares her experiences with exploring and pitching new ideas after her first two novels were published. David Gaughran provides tips on how to maximize the benefits of Kindle Unlimited. From Writer Unboxed, Steven James waxes eloquent about the “agathokakological” nature of humanity.
My attempt to restore this weekly feature on my blog was thwarted a few months into the year by a series of challenging, distressing, exhilarating, and generally overwhelming events—from editing a new speculative fiction anthology to the death of my mother-in-law, from a six-week home renovation to a partial roof collapse at my place of employment that caused 100-hour work weeks, from caring for a sick bunny (he’s better now, thankfully) to building a new website for one of the small-press publishers I work with.
Despite such “interesting times,” I managed to write four new chapters in my SF novel-in-progress and hammered out a 7K-word short story just this week. Honestly, that’s paltry progress compared to my usual output, but I’m grateful for anything given the mayhem of 2017—and we still have four months to go!
On a high note, my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters, was accepted by Firebringer Press and should be released next year as an eBook, audio book (recorded by yours truly), and in paperback paired up with a vampire novella written by Steven H. Wilson, fellow scribe and owner of Firebringer.
So much about this excites me beyond the obvious thrill of a new release. We plan to produce the paperback in the fashion of the old ACE doubles where you read one novella, then flip the book over read the other. Readers of a certain age (ahem) and older grew up enjoying those and I relish the prospect of producing a book in that format today.
Additionally, the speculative fiction anthology I’m editing is actually volume three in the Middle of Eternity series, also published by Firebringer. This third book, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, is also slated for a 2018 release.
Back on topic, About This Writing Stuff… might end up appearing on a monthly basis rather than weekly as I try to balance my life and catch up on my writing, editing, and publishing schedules, not to mention maintain my health and sanity. Until then, I hope you find the articles below useful.
From Digital Book World, Beth Bacon teaches us about Creative Briefs, while Gordon Warnock urges not to disregard libraries when marketing our books. Over in the Kill Zone, James Scott Bell talks tough and Jordan Dane wants us to keep it real.
Kristen Lamb and Janice Hardy sub for Jami Gold on her blog with a deep dive into antagonists and conflict. As an aside, Jami is battling a health issue that she openly discusses on her blog and I want to take a moment to wish her the best.
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.
This week, Kristen Lamb delves into the torture of writing a synopsis while Dana Kaye wants authors to stop poor social media practices. Four is our lucky number this week as Donald Maass preaches pacing, Janice Hardy describes descriptions, and Written Word Media covers covers!
Speaking of Written Word Media, they also provide a detailed discourse on what it means to be a hybrid author as well as tips for an effective author website.
Are you a fantasy writer? As of October 12, Tor.com will be open for submissions.
About This Writing Stuff was once a weekly feature on my blog until April 2015. As life became increasingly hectic, I was unable to maintain that schedule. I revived it briefly on New Year’s Eve last year and kept it going for about a month or two into 2016 before I again became overwhelmed.
So, let’s try this again. I can’t promise to be consistent, but I’ll do my best.
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.
This week, we start with a pair of “How To’s” as Patrick Ryan provides excellent advice on the basics of short story writing, and over at Digital Book World, Penny Sansevieri wants to optimize your Goodreads giveaways.
Jami Gold helps to improve your productivity and strengthen the stakes in your story while W.B. Sullivan has something urgent to discuss. Janice Hardy and Candace Robinson offer fuel for your writing while Eileen Cook builds conflict with dialogue.
We then get down to the business of publishing and promotion with James Scott Bell, Anne R. Allen, and Barbara O’Neal.
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.***