About Me, General, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

Dear Reader Who Didn’t Love My Book…

Dear Reader Who Didn’t Love My Book, First of all, thank you. You took a risk on me. I really appreciate that. Asking a stranger to read your novel is just about the hardest thing we writers have to do. (Apart from writing query letters.) So when someone actually decides to purchase a book, we experience a rare and wonderful gratitude that you decided to take the plunge. A rare and wonderful gratitude that is quickly buried by an avalanche of anxiety. See, here’s the thing: I want to have written the book just for you. I do. But there’s a good chance I…

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General, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

The First Book

Congratulations. You’ve written a novel. Your first. It’s no longer a thing “you’d like to do someday,” it’s a thing you did. The End. You just wrote that, and it made you smile. Family members barely recognize you. Where’s the sullen, contentious, lost, confused, un-showered, frustrated writer-wannabe they’d come to expect every time you crawled out of your writing cave into the real world to briefly consider eating food that doesn’t come out of a plastic bag? She’s gone. That was the exhausted, mud-caked, sweaty Basic Training writer; the “I’m going to finish this thing if it kills me” writer. You’re not her anymore. You’re a Bonafide Author…

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About Me, General, My Thoughts

This Isn’t an Abandoned Blog

The lack of recent posts is merely evidence that I’m ALL-CAPS VERY BUSY with editing work. [And all my clients said, “Amen.”] Oh, and also with a little fiction writing of my own. [And all my clients said, “You mean after you finish editing my novel, right?”] I’ve already said lots of writerly things in this space. Feel free to skim the archives for writing tips and clevery-worded encouragement and a smattering of nonsense. I’ll be back with a new post when Available Time and Having Something to Say intersect. Meanwhile, write stuff.

General, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

How to Write a Novel

You’re going to need an idea. It can be a clever plot. Something about uncontrollable magic or unpredictable mayhem or unconventional love. Or maybe your idea is a character. Someone who stands out. Someone who blends in. Someone who lives in a coffee house attic. Someone whose feet never touch the ground. Okay, now the hardest part: You must write a sentence. Any sentence will do (yes, even a sentence fragment) because you’ll probably change it a hundred times anyway. Here, I wrote some for you: The monkey never saw it coming. Halfway between the sky and the sidewalk, she realized she had forgotten how to fly. His favorite…

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Editing, General

How To Be a Good Editor

Ever wanted to be an editor? No? That’s probably wise. But just in case all your other options suddenly fall through (ie: the bowling alley installs an automatic pinsetter, the crash test dummy program stops accepting applications from humans, the professional dog walker eliminates her “Assistant Dog Walker In Charge Solely of Scooping Poop” position), here are some tips on how to be a good one. (If, perchance, you would rather be a bad editor, just do the opposite of what I suggest. And good luck with that.) Be selective. Edit the books you love; work with writers you like.…

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General, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

Do the Best You Can With What You Have

There’s little need for a post here. If you’re pressed for time, just read the title again, let it inspire some brilliant application for your writing life, then jet off to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse of the sun. (Yes, I’m talking to you.) Of course, if you want to spend a few more minutes in this space (and who wouldn’t; don’t you love how the gray header matches the cloud of uncertainty that’s giving your muse black lung?), feel free. It’s your dime. Here’s the thing (and by “thing” I mean premise for this post): writers have a…

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General, The Publishing Process, The Writer's Life, Writing tips

You

Sit down. No, you’re not in trouble. This isn’t about dangling too many participles or ending sentences with prepositions. It’s not about your premise or your plot. It’s not about your characters (they’re all really very lovely). And it’s not about your craft. You want what? A drink? Sure. What would you like? I have tea and coffee and… Really? This early? How about just the orange juice without the vodka? Okay, where was I? Oh, right. You’re a good writer. Your novel is competent, smart and entertaining. You’ve obviously read lots of books on how to write. I bet you…

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