The Publishing Process

7 Words You Probably Shouldn’t Use in Your Query

So you’re ready to query an agent. Good for you. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. There are plenty of excellent articles elsewhere on this subject. (Google it.) But I do have a smattering of advice, as indicated ever so subtly by the title of this post as well as the redundant sentence that follows this one. Here, now, are seven words you probably shouldn’t include in your query. Brilliant – I know. Your novel is brilliant. In fact, it’s so incredibly brilliant, Harper Lee decided not to publish a second novel because there was no…

Read More

The Writer's Life

The Definitive Post on Definitive Posts on Writing

No, I didn’t stutter when I wrote that title. This is THE definitive post on definitive posts on writing. You won’t need to read any other posts about definitive posts on writing. Just this one. Because it’s definitive. If I write the word definitive a few more times, it will start to sound funny when you read it. Definitive. Definitive. Definitive. Definitive. See what I mean? I’ll bet you’re even starting to mistake it for diminutive. Maybe I should¬†re-title this post: The Diminutive Post on Definitive Posts on Writing. Then I’d be compelled to keep this under 200 words. I’m…

Read More

Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Top Posts


Writing fiction can make you crazy. Here’s how. Step One – Over the course of your next three lifetimes, visit a few thousand publishing-related blogs and read every nugget of writerly wisdom you can find. Pay particular attention to literary agents’ blogs. They’re jam-packed with practical tips, such as: “If your novel includes a prologue, you’re obviously a demon from the pit of hell. I don’t represent demons. At this time.” “Don’t even think of misspelling the word query. Seriously, stop thinking about it. Have you stopped thinking about it? I didn’t think so. Please go away.” “Backstory in a…

Read More