Goodbye MW

Yes, this is true. The time has come to say goodbye.

For those of you who have followed along over the last few years, you know my writing career has taken some strange turns. In part, those turns have led me into the world of self/indie-publishing. Although I’ve tried hard to make my actions clear — that I don’t recommend new writers do as I do — at MW, we feel that this new path I’m choosing is muddying the waters for what MW teaches: namely, that all writers should seek out a traditional writing path.

Quite frankly, you new writers are at the beginning of a long road. For me, though, I’ve already traveled this road extensively (I’ve been writing for twenty years). Hopefully, I’ve got a long road still to come. But regardless, I’ve gained the publishing experience, I’ve got the networked connections, and I understand the realities […]

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Publishing — A Self-Publishing Adventure Part 5

As promised, I am going to give an update on my self-publishing experience with the short story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain.

It’s been about two months and I’ve sold…drum roll, please……….around 40 copies.

Now, whether or not you see that as good or bad has a lot to do with where you are in your publishing career and what your hopes/expectations for indie-publishing are. So, let’s begin with expectations.

Many self-published authors get it in their heads that they are going to be the next Amanda Hocking. After all, everybody is making a killing selling ebooks, right? No. Obviously, not. And, frankly, my numbers are quite above average because I came into this with a small, built-in audience (that would be you guys). See, despite all the massive changes happening in publishing, nothing much has really changed in terms of the odds of getting a bestseller. Amanda Hocking […]

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Writing — Dissecting Cowboys & Aliens

I’ve decided today to rip apart the movie Cowboys & Aliens, and I mean that in both good and bad terms. There’s a lot to learn from dissecting a movie or a book or any form of storytelling you come across. I chose this particular film for today’s talk because it straddles two genres and in doing so, shows the great weaknesses of failing to understand the genre(s) you’re working in.

Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig as a cowboy/stranger waking in the middle of the desert with a strange bracelet locked to his arm. He doesn’t know who he is or how he got there. Harrison Ford is the rancher who controls the local town. When Craig arrives in the town, Ford’s bratty son is bullying the nice townsfolk, so Craig beats up the young man. Thus, Ford and Craig are destined to clash. But just before they can […]

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Writing — Stop Worrying

Last time, I discussed the need to write faster in this ever-changing, always-frustrating, sometimes rewarding industry. Faster, faster, faster. Write Fast. That’s the mantra. It sounds great. Motivating for some, frightening for others.

But what do you do when things in your story don’t work out? How can you avoid stumbling along or worse, grinding to a halt? How, in other words, can you get the momentum running again when things fall apart?

If you’ve been writing for some time now, if you’ve completed a short story or three or maybe even a novel, if you understand the basic principles of writing a tale, then take this advice: Stop Worrying. Just stop it. I know that there is a huge difference between understanding how to construct a story and actually doing it. But as long as you have the knowledge, the rest is just a matter of trial and error […]

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Writing — Write Even Faster

Awhile back, AJ wrote an excellent post on writing fast. I’m here today to tell you, you’ve got to write even faster.

For some lucky few, this will never apply. They’ll hit it big from the start, put out one book a year, and just watch the money roll in. But for the majority of us, we have to produce a lot each year in order to keep up with demand and make some decent money.

Let’s look at demand. I’m an avid reader. I can get through 3-4 books a month. Some of you will far outshine that small number, I’m sure. But let’s say the average reader only reads one book a month (note I wrote average reader not person). Heck, let’s make it worse and say one book every two months. So, this poor fellow only reads six books a year.

Now, at my absolute fastest writing […]

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Writing — It’s Fun!

We forget sometimes. It’s easy to do. With all the fears trembling inside — Am I any good at this? Should I do something else? Can I do something else? Can I actually call myself a writer? With all the fears weighing overhead — Is my query any good? Will I get an agent? Why is it taking so long to hear back? Should I just throw in the towel and self-publish? If I self-publish, am I any good at this? With all the fears attacking from all sides — Should I listen to my parents and quit this delusion? Should I listen to that blog that says I don’t need an agent? Or how about that one that says I must have an agent? What about that review that said my story is mediocre? What about those friends who wonder after all these years if I’m any good at […]

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Writing — Extreme vs Mundane Protagonists

Before I start, I want to thank all of you who helped make my book launch a success. 10 Bits of My Brain is off to a great start and the MW community is a big part of that. If you enjoy the book, please tell your friends. And now, since you and I need a change of pace, let’s talk about writing!

I’ve been thinking about character lately. In particular, about the difference between extreme protagonists and mundane protagonists. For my purposes, an extreme protagonist is the kind of character who is all action, never an ounce of self-doubt, never a moment of hesitation, the uber-hero. This is Jack Reacher territory (or for cinematically inclined — the 80s action heroes like Stallone and Schwarzenegger). A mundane protagonist is more likely to sit back and let the world happen. This is the character that tries to avoid the conflict that […]

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