Readers here at MW have heard before that writing is a job. If you want to write professionally, you need to treat your writing as a business. Which means you show up to “work” every day–aka you get your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard. But as much as we say that, the truth is, writing is very different from most jobs. In most other professions, it is possible to “ride the clock,” to show up, answer demands with the answers you’ve been taught in school or through experience. You can’t do that with writing.
You show up to your writing job and you have to create something new and exciting from nothing. Sure, we have craft skills to fall back on, maybe an established series with characters, and even an outline–but every time we sit down we have to create. Let’s face it, sometimes [...]
Continue reading Sometimes it’s hard
Today is hotter than the Fourth of July. Yep.
No wait. It’s as hot as the Fourth of July, which sounds not-nearly so fun. Fireworks, hotdogs, watermelon, beer, burgers, BBQ, pool, lake, family parties (two, because my family is oddly distended) and of course, deadlines. What? It’s a holiday and you thought writers got to take them? No. I got my next deadline (page proofs for the compilation I talked about last post) in the email Yesterday. So this leads me to chat about Business of Writing.
You asked for it, so I think the next few (as they occur to me) will be business oriented, in the nature of what happens when (once you are published) and how you deal with it. Though I promise no order to them at all, I’ll try to cover stuff that might interest you. And I’ll take requests. LOL. Like a “professor” in [...]
Continue reading Hotter Than the Fourth of July — Book Business — Really!
As I have a book hitting shelves in a little under two weeks, promotion is a big part of my to-do list. By now readers of MW know that it is largely the responsibility of the author to promote their own book (and it is in our own interest to do so if we want to sell more books). But how does one get the word out about a book, especially a first book?
Recently I was contacted by an author whose first book will be released later this year. She wanted to know how to set up a blog tour and if they were were worth the time and effort. The answer to the former is fairly straight forward; the latter is a bit trickier. Both are good questions and some that other writers probably share, so I thought I’d start my exploration of promotion with blog tours as [...]
Continue reading On Promotion: Blog Tours
Two weeks ago I posted Noveling 101 and a very interesting conversation about character and conflict cropped up in the comments. The gist of the conversation boiled down to whether it is necessary for conflict to spur character growth. In my opinion, if you are writing character driven fiction, the answer is yes.
The conflict of the story is what forces the character to change and grow. It doesn’t matter if it is a coming of age story or an epic quest, the character should grow by the end of the book. (If they don’t, you are writing a different type of fiction.) If the character as they are in the beginning of the story could accomplish what they do in the end, nothing has changed. They have not grown as a person/character. This growth is forged under pressure and that pressure is the conflict of the story.
The comment [...]
Continue reading On Characters and Conflict
It isn’t my day. Okay, it isn’t anyone’s day, because we take Sundays off. But I just got in, unpacked the RV, and fed the dogs. I have walked through the house and looked at the HUGE pile of laundry. I didn’t do anything with it, mind you, but I did take note of it, which I guess is a start. I have checked my email and called my mother to let her know I am home and alive. (She is now most appreciative of that last part, possibly because mom met her first zombies on Saturday at ConCarolinas.) Anyway. Concarolinas was STUPENDOUS because of all you guys. David and I sat at the MW party on Saturday night and watched you guys with amazement. MW has become a community. All we did is open a door, tell you some cool stuff, and let you into the weird world of writing as we [...]
Continue reading The Day Of
(Originally posted on Kalayna.com)
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The king’s advice to the white rabbit in the above quote seems too easy, too self-explanatory to be of any use to a writer. And yet, how to begin or end a story is an issue I see discussed and bemoaned on craft loops on a regular basis. More emphasis seems to go into the beginning of a book, as that is what agents, editors, and eventually, readers will see first. But how you leave a reader is as important as hooking them in the beginning. I blogged on beginnings last week, so I thought I’d take a look a endings today.
“Go on till you come to the end. Then stop.” Seems easy enough, right? But I bet we’ve all read a [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Endings