Archive > November 2010

Querying Your Novel in Five Painful Steps

So, apparently, I’m working on being a novelist. I was recently told this, and I eventually decided it’s a fair accusation. I don’t focus enough on my short fiction, if I’m honest with myself. I didn’t think I would enjoy the long form, but then I tried one, and it… well okay the first one […]

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What’s on your shelf?

If there’s anything better than writing, it’s reading about writing. Learning the basics, honing our craft, searching for inspiration, we fill our shelves with the wisdom of those who have gone before. The first book on writing that I ever bought was Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, by Lawrence Block. It contains great advice […]

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Learning to say no

If you haven’t read Christie Yant’s great article about volunteering, shame on you. Just kidding, but you absolutely must read in its entirety before you continue. Yes, I’m assigning homework. Go ahead, I’ll wait. There was a day, not that long ago, that I’d jump at any opportunity for volunteer work in the speculative fiction […]

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Filling Your Well

While wrestling with my first novel rewrites, I had what could be called nothing less than a meltdown. To say I was in complete anguish over the novel would only be telling half the story. I debated with myself whether to scrap the entire thing or not, and was really pissed at myself for having […]

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What kind of stories do you write?

There are questions that every author dreads to hear. Usually it’s something along the lines of “Where do you get your ideas?”, which I don’t actually mind. Mine is “What kind of stories do you write?” It’s a fair question I ask. I often glare jealously at my friends as they whip out answers to […]

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Writing Groups: Why You Should Join One

A few years ago I quit my job to focus on writing.  Prior to my last day, and in preparation for my new career as a novelist, I took a day course on how to write the break-out novel from respected New York agent Donald Maass, and picked up a few writing books (all of […]

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Write as if Your Parents are Dead

[Note: this post is in response to a reader request by @sheikyurbouti. Thanks, though this may raise more questions than answers...] 1. “Write as if your parents are dead.” 2. I’m sorry if your parents are dead. But I’m not sorry enough to stop. 3. You may have heard this advice in a creative writing […]

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A Bit on Social Networking

I’ve been told, more than once, I’m really good at networking. Honestly, this just isn’t true. Christie understands. She and I have spoken about this, how we both get told “Oh, but you can make friends almost anywhere you go!” Which, sure, this is sometimes true. The key word there is friend. We don’t get […]

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We’ve got guts

You know that scene in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince where Harry & Dumbledore are in the cave, and Harry has to keep making Dumbledore drink that horrible poison?  No matter how badly it hurts Dumbledore, or how badly he begs for mercy, Harry has to keep lying to him and telling him things […]

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