Meet Me at the Breaking Place ?>

Meet Me at the Breaking Place

“This book is incredible. You absolutely have to read it.” Ah, these words. More than mere validation for authors who spend so much time in uncertain solitude, they are payment and a generous tip for all the pain endured on the road from first thought to last word. They are the perfect reward. “It’s a good book.” “A great read.” “So well-written.” These are fine words, too. Encouraging words. We’ll take them above silence any day. But they fall far…

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Freelance Editors. Okay, Just 13 Things. ?>

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Freelance Editors. Okay, Just 13 Things.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly like numbered-list blogposts. They just feel artificial to me. So…um…here’s one about editors. Sorry. 1. We edit because we love books and writers but also for the money. 2. It’s a good thing we love books and writers. (And Ramen noodles.) 3. We don’t laugh with maniacal glee while slicing and dicing our way through your manuscript. We know how hard it is to write, and how much harder still it is to…

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Two Paths ?>

Two Paths

The path to writing well and the path to publication are two different paths. I’ll explain in a second. But before I begin, let’s dispense with the “good writing is subjective” conversation. Can we just work from the assumption that everyone in the room understands that my definition of “writing well” and yours differ at least in small ways, and perhaps also in big ways? We can? Cool. Four Truths About the Path to Writing Well 1. Writing well takes…

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At the End of the Day ?>

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day, you either wrote something or you didn’t. Maybe it was a banner day, when the stars all aligned and the metaphors all sang and the characters all looked up from the page to offer their thanks for three dimensions instead of two, for flesh and bone and blood and tears, for life itself, even though some of them will be dead by page 243. Especially because of that. Maybe it was a prolific day,…

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Self-Talk for Writers ?>

Self-Talk for Writers

Writers are notorious self-talkers. We have to be. All of our employees live in our head. Self-talk is our way of motivating them to do their jobs. But not all our self-talk is helping. Some of it is de-motivating those employees. Yes, it’s true that there are a few uniquely-wired writers who seem to be genuinely motivated by de-motivation. If repeating “I’m a loser!” inspires you to greatness, well…good for you. (And be sure to tip your therapist.) But be…

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The Maybe (An Imaginary Conversation Between Writer and Editor) ?>

The Maybe (An Imaginary Conversation Between Writer and Editor)

Writer: Which is the better career – janitor or hairdresser? Editor: I take it you got my editorial notes. Writer: Yeah. So tell me. Which one? Editor: You already have a job. Writer: Humor me. Editor: Hairdresser. Writer: Wrong. Janitor. Editor: I didn’t know there was a right answer. Writer: Exactly! Do you see what I did there? You just fell into my segue trap. Editor: You’re talking about my notes, aren’t you. Clever. Writer: I know, right? So about…

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There Is No Good ?>

There Is No Good

Everyone* knows there’s no magic formula for writing a book that’s destined to become a bestseller. (Did you notice I didn’t write “there’s no magic formula for writing a bestseller“? I did that on purpose. Pause for a moment to think about why I did that.) But that doesn’t stop you from trying to find such a formula – or at least discover a few tricks that can improve your chances of such success. So you reverse-engineer the bestsellers. You…

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