Tag Archives: writer unboxed

About This Writing Stuff…

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.

All that and a little more… Enjoy!

4 Signs It’s Time to Quit a Writing Project by Maggie Doonan

7 New Writer Mistakes that Make You Vulnerable to Predators by Anne R. Allen

What Happens When You Run Out of Novels? by Kathryn Craft via Sandra Hutchison

The Visibility Gambit by David Gaughran

Two Writing Mind Tricks to Get You Rolling  and Weaving Backstory into Frontstory by James Scott Bell

Telling the Truth in Fiction by Steven James

Seven Things I Learned from Wrecking my Novel by Julia Munroe Martin

A Storyteller’s Guide to Criticism by Chris Winkle

Memoir or Fiction? Should You Novelize Your Real Life Experiences? by Anne R. Allen

 

About This Writing Stuff…

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.

My bunny, Peanut!
My bunny, Peanut!

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.

Ace Double Novels

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.

All that and a little more… enjoy!

How to Write a Creative Brief So Your Graphic Designer Creates an Amazing Book Cover by Beth Bacon

Libraries Gone Digital: 4 Ways Libraries Expand Your Reach as an Author by Gordon Warnock

Conflict: Why It Isn’t Just About Fighting by Janice Hardy via Jami Gold

3 Ways to Add Depth to a Novel by Jody Hedlund

How to Talk Tough by James Scott Bell

How a Professional Editor Can Improve Your Writing by Jim Dempsey via Writer Unboxed

Dialogue: Ten Ways to Make it Real by Jordan Dane


Antagonist Series by Kristen Lamb via Jami Gold

What is an Antagonist?

“He’s His Own Worst Enemy”

What’s Driving Our Story?

Inner and Outer Demons

The End-All-Be-All of Our Story

 

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, 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.

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

The Dreaded Synopsis–What It REALLY Reveals About Our Writing by Kristen Lamb

The Hybrid Author: Everything You Need to Know by Chloe at Written Word Media via Digital Book World

10 Things Authors Need to Stop Doing on Social Media Immediately by Dana Kaye

4 Tips for Preventing Flat Descriptions by Janice Hardy via Jami Gold

Four Kinds of Pace by Donald Maass

4 Ways to Hack Your Book Cover Design (with Science) by Taylor at Written Word Media

7 Must-Have Features for All Author Websites by Ferol at Written Word Media

Seth Godin’s Three Charges Against Publishers by Alison Jones

The Unreliable Narrator and Story Suspense by Now Novel

Google Experiments and Fails with Book Discovery by Joe Wikert

Tor.com Opening to Fantasy Novellas on October 12 by Carl Engle-Laird

 

 

About This Writing Stuff…

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.

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

How to Write a Short Story with Clarity and Economy by Patrick Ryan

How to Make the Most of Goodreads Giveaways by Penny Sansevieri

Increasing Our Productivity: Why It’s Not Simple and Strengthening Stakes: It’s Not About Going Big by Jami Gold

6 Ways to Cultivate Urgency That Will Captivate Fiction Readers by W.B. Sullivan

5 Reasons Your Plot Stalled by Janice Hardy via Jody Hedlund

4 Ways to Use Experience to Fuel Your Writing by Candace Robinson

What Authors Need to Know About the Publishing Industry Today by James Scott Bell

Selling Books on Social Media: 4 Steps to Less Wasted Time by Anne R. Allen

Money and the Writer by Barbara O’Neal

I Can’t Believe You Said That–Using Dialogue to Build Conflict by Eileen Cook

Hold On To The Light – SFF Authors and Fans for Mental Wellness by Gail Z. Martin

 

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