Meaningless Drivel, Snark Alert, The Publishing Process

Revealing the Hidden Secrets to Publishing Success

Tired of having to jump through all those silly hoops agents and editors keep placing between you and your dream of becoming a published author? After literally minutes of research, I have uncovered 10 secrets that practically guarantee success. Sure, I could keep them to myself, but I’m feeling generous today so I thought I’d share them with you. Study these secrets. Use them wisely. Become hugely successful. Then buy multiple copies of my soon-to-be-released fiction bestseller, The Last Days of the Literary Agent*. It makes a great Festivus gift. Legally change your name to Stephen King. Then write under…

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General, Self-editing Tips, The Publishing Process

What Do You Mean by “Editing”?

This is the first in a series of “what do you mean by…” posts. I want to tailor this series according to your interests. So…queue up your questions and then send ’em along so I can make this as helpful as possible. I thought it would be appropriate to start with “editing,” since that’s kind of an important topic on this blog. So what do I mean by editing? Let’s start with a little quiz. When you tell a friend that you’re “editing” your novel, which of the following best describes what you’re doing: I’m going through the novel and making sure…

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About Me, Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Favorite Things, Other Writer's Words

7 Random Distractions to Keep You From Noticing There’s No Real Content In This Post

All indications are that it’s Friday. And apparently, it’s a holiday weekend, too, though I didn’t realize this until my fictional next door neighbor started setting off fireworks in his driveway. I think it’s some sort of holiday to celebrate man’s dominion over dogs. I didn’t verify this in the “current holiday we just made up” section at the Hallmark store, but previous experience and the ain’t-that-cute tweets of complete strangers on Twitter give me reason to believe July 4th is known as “Make Your Dog Cower Under Your Desk” Day. I could be wrong about that. I don’t have…

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General, Ideas

Finding Stories

Where do you get ideas for your stories? If you’re like lots of writers, you probably draw from your own life experience. Someone once said that every writer’s first novel is autobiographical. I happen to think that every novel a writer writes is at least somewhat autobiographical. (What this says about Dean Koontz, I’m not quite sure.) But what if you have a boring life? Where do you find your ideas for non-boring novels? Start by coming up with a compelling protagonist. The really good ones write their own stories. But where are they? you ask. Well, they’re all around…

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Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Trends

Fiction Trends of the Future!

Yesterday I was in the future. Wait, I mean in the future, I zipped back to yesterday. Or was it tomorrow that I…never mind. It doesn’t matter. Bottom line is what’s important here and here’s the bottom line: I know what book trends are going to be hot in three years. Yes, you heard me. (Really? Did you just hear me right now? Like in an audible voice? Because that’s either the coolest thing ever or a sign that you should schedule an emergency appointment with your psychiatrist.) While I was in the future, I did a little historical research.…

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My Thoughts

Finally, the Post About Novels and Love Stories

So here we are. Last Friday I made a rather bold claim – that all novels are love stories. Since then, a few of you have chimed in with opinions and ponderable things relating to my claim. Headless Mom (gotta love that name) wrote: One could argue that regardless of topic, all novels are love stories: the love between the author and his/her words, the author’s love of the story. Amber asked for examples. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Let’s be simple. Like if there were a great children’s story about a doggy wanting a bone and how the…

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Beyond Categorization, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

All Novels Are Love Stories (But This Post Isn’t)

I think it’s Monday. Is it? I had these great plans to write a clever post about how every novel is essentially a love story in disguise, but those plans got derailed by Real Life. So instead, I’m just going to offer this bit of writing advice (I’ll get to the “love story” post another day): Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say. I don’t mean “sometimes you don’t have anything of value to say.” I mean sometimes you just don’t have anything at all to say. When these times come, it’s not about writer’s block – it’s about…

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