My life is fairly crammed, and writing time is hard to come by. Today I got one of those precious blocks of time in which I could write for several hours almost without interruption, yet as I fired up the computer, I felt not excited about the prospect, but worried and on edge. I also felt a little unsure: I had several projects I could be working on and was waffling on which one to choose. Continue reading Better Writing Through Writing About Writing
Writing professionally, or even just aspiring to write professionally, requires a weird combination of hubris and humility. You have to be willing to believe, at least for the 15 minutes it takes to put together and send out your submission, that the stuff you make up and write down is so fascinating that thousands or tens of thousands of people would pay good money to read it. The Hollywood Bowl has a seating capacity of about 18,000. A modestly successful midlist novelist or someone who sells a story to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction reaches more readers than that with a single book. Who the hell do we think we are? Continue reading Wait, you’re not a real writer at all!
How fast can you write well? Don’t mistake slowness for quality: what speedy writing lacks in deliberation, under the right circumstances and with enough writing practice behind it, it can more than make up for in involvement, awareness, and momentum. [image by Neal Fowler]
James Maxey, author of numerous successful short stories and of the Dragon Age trilogy of novels, has been used to a goal of 10,000 words written per week. This is pretty ambitious by almost anyone’s standards, and he doesn’t always hit the mark. Recently, though, he found he suddenly and unexpectedly had a full week without obligations, and he asked himself if for that time he might be capable of writing 10,000 words a day. Working like that for a week, he reasoned, it should be possible to write an entire novel. Continue reading Writing a Novel in One Week
Writing a novel can be a little like a troubled romance, neh? Perhaps it started out with a flurry of excitement. Your idea swept you away and fascinated you–this was the one! This was the novel that was going to get finished or be your first sale or make a name for you. At the beginning, the characters were endearing or intriguing and the plot opened up before you like a twisty road opens up before a motorcycler on a crisp fall morning. Continue reading When You Hate Your Novel
Writing for publication has always been tricky–not to mention challenging, exhausting, unpredictable, and demoralizing. Continue reading Two Roads Diverged in the Interwebs: Finding Your Place in Tradpub versus Selfpub