Like any writer, I like to talk - and write - about my art. These range across the topic and discuss my thoughts on the craft from the technical to the artistic.
As I learn more about the old writer's dictum, write, revise, revise, and revise; and as I get practice submitting my work to publishers, I've found that one of the hardest parts is when you get to the nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty "let's clean up this sucker because we're about to hit 'send' to give it to the publisher and it's time to make sure it's free of any dumb-dumb errors."
Dumb-dumb errors. Kind of like Dumb-Dumb Bullets in Lethal Weapon IV.
But in all seriousness, I wanted to share with you my magic list of POV [point-of-view] problem words that I got when I attended a self-editing workshop put on by my editor, Tera Kleinfelter, Assistant Managing Editor at Samhain Publishing: more>>
As we head full-speed into 2012, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the course ahead. Ebooks are now a fact of life and the trend is growing. The consolidation in the publishing industry that we saw in the 2000s has resulted in a more narrow field of players in the traditional world, and signs are popping up that the competition in the epub world will get stiffer as well. What does this mean for us, the authors? more>>
Romance is one of those things that, for many of us, is a guilty pleasure. I didn't read it much when I was younger, I read more in science fiction and fantasy. The stories that excited me, though, had fully-developed relationships in them. When I first read Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series I found a fully-realized fantasy novel with actual sex and romance. What an eye-opener. From there, I started re-examining my assumptions about romance. more>>
Keeping the plot of a novel-length manuscript can be a challenge for the most organized of writers. If you, like me, aren't naturally left-brained sequential, then it can be more of a headache because your mind doesn't organize information in a stepwise fashion. Have you ever looked at your story and realize that everything is happening in one day? or two different things are going on in the same night? more>>
It's funny, I don't really think of myself as being "inside publishing," or inside the ebook publishing industry, but since I have a book out with a major digital-first press I suppose to others that I might be considered at least "published," if not on the "inside track." more>>
1. Decide in which world you want to set your story. As Xakara mentioned in her post, ANY world in which we write, be it the "here and now" or the "once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away" has its own rules and customs. Once you've decided where you want your story to be set, ask yourself some questions on behalf of your main character: more>>
While the American holiday of Thanksgiving has been celebrated from Colonial times, it wasn't until the American Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln decreed it would be each year in November. When the first European settlers landed in the New World in Massachusetts Bay, they stayed in their ship for the winter - where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and disease. Scurvy is caused by a lack of Vitamin C, and British sailors would be given limes in later years - hence the term "limey" to refer to a British navy man. more>>
Hmm. Maybe I should leave songwriting to the professionals. "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" is much more catchy as a title, no?
The paranormal: we are fascinated by it. We want to believe. We tell stories about ghosts and goblins, dragons and the fey. It's what we see out of the corner of our eye, or what lives beyond the light at night. We follow spritualists and go to live performances, hoping that maybe it might be real and not a man behind a curtain. more>>
"Classic" television is our topic du jour. I ought to talk about what makes television great. But I'm not. I'm going to talk about what television I loved when I watched television, back in the days when you actually had to get up off your arse, walk across the room, and change the channel manually. Man, was I excited when we got a snazzy push-button television! more>>
My first book, BURNING BRIGHT, written with coauthor Rachel Wilder, comes out next month. One of the things I'm learning as a new author is how to do promo. In fact, I've started talking about it like that - "do promo" like it's some kind of jargon term, some in-crowd thing that I'm part of. more>>
Today being Sunday has got me in a pensive mood. I think, as writers, we tend to think a lot about method: what is our method, what is the method of writers we admire or want to emulate, and what should our method be in order to be better - better authors, better sellers, better writers, better people. more>>
When I saw Star Wars at the age of nine in the theater (or maybe it was The Empire Strikes Back), I had a HUGE crush on Luke Skywalker. Dashing, attractive, daring, he was everything I wanted my hero to be. more>>
"No, put it there." "No, over there." "On the bureau, can't you see?" "What bureau?" "The one in the bedroom!"
Discussions about space sometimes plague us. Where do we file that client information? Where do we put the new hire? Where do we store all the books that we bought? We just bought a new TV, now where do we put it? What about the bin for recycled goods? more>>
From ACN: When I go to my writing group and mention to friends of mine that I write with a collaborator, or as I call her, a co-author, I get odd looks. One even suggested that it couldn't possibly be a collaboration and that really I must be doing all the work. But that really couldn't be farther from the truth. more>>
Getting Back In the Mood
I've been working on editing my first book, which comes out later this year from Samhain Publishing. I wrote it with my coauthor, Rachel Wilder. While we work together extensively, when I'm at my keyboard working on edits it's usually by myself. Since we wrote Burning Bright last year, we've developed two new series in very different universes, as well as wrote more material in the Burning Bright universe but with other characters. So how do I recapture the mood I was in when first writing Burning Bright? more>>
It's my week to write a Wiley essay, and as I was planning it, it hit me: I can write a Wiley about how I write a Wiley!
All kidding aside, there's a very useful tool called a Mind Map that can help with anything from what topic to pick for an essay to where to go on vacation to what are the critical issues the Board of Directors needs to solve in the coming year. Let's walk through one together! more>>
So, what do you call a writer in business school?
Srsly. I decided to get my MBA in Finance at long last. I attend Argosy University and am loving it. My favorite instructor is Dr. Peter Sigiols, who isn't content with a Juris Doctorate but is now getting a DBA, or Doctorate in Business Administration. more>>
A lot of people, generally nonwriters or new writers, tell me that to write a novel, one needs an outline. To which I say, Hogwash.
That's right. Hogwash!
One needs an outline as much as one needs a pencil - which is to say, there's more than one way to write something down. more>>
Writing is a lonely pursuit. We can work with each other to an extent, but it ultimately comes down to applying oneself to the page or the keyboard. In order to do this, we have to suspend disbelief in our right to communicate, and trust that we have something worthwhile to say. Even if we are our own audience through a journal, we need to be able to let ourselves put thoughts down long enough to capture them, even if later we might decide they're silly or unworthy. But in order to have written something, it's axiomatic that we must, well, write it. more>>
As I am writing my flash a day prompts, I realized I'm writing a longer story with Fenton and Kilasha. Accordingly, I think I'll split them off into their own little corral and return to the flashes, writing discrete stories for the prompts like the instructions seem to indicate. I find writing flash to be harder than longer pieces. I like longer pieces, they hold my interest. I'm always asking questions, in life and in my work, and that leads me places when I'm telling a story. Like the little kid, I always want to know, what happens next? more>>