Quick-Tip Tuesday: Challenge Revisited, and Setting Our Work Goals

Back in February, in a post called “A Challenge to All — Time to Take the Plunge,” I issued a challenge to readers of Magical Words. Take that novel that you’ve been working on, the one that you know is almost done, but feel needs one final tweak, and get it ready for submission to some publisher by October 1. Remember?

Well, we’re in the dog days of summer and fall begins in less than a month. So how’s it going?

Setting goals of any sort can be a tricky business. I had goals for this year, and while I’ve met many of them, I still have several more that I’ve yet to address and, frankly, I don’t know if I’ll complete all of them before year’s end. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it has this year for me. Issues come up that we can’t possibly anticipate, family […]

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Making Money Mondays and Uncle Sam

Top Ten Tax Tips

Do all or some, but always number one and number two. And for all you giggling 8 year olds … yes I said number one and number two.

Save every meal receipt (if it pertains to writing) for every meal at every event, every con, and on the road before and in between and after. On receipt document date, time, total, and who you were with. A lot of receipt ink no longer lasts. Faded receipts are useless. If you count off your clothing as a tax deduction, make sure the clothing is worn only at what counts as work. Con costumes, con clothing, con shoes, have their own place in the closet. If I use it in everyday life, it doesn’t go in Con clothes and I don’t count it off. Count gas or mileage. Keep receipts (ditto on ink problems) or good records. If […]

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Faith Screwed Up

And yes, I can look at the title and see the play on words. But what happened was — the Hubs took me on an unplanned 4 day, 3 night trip to the mountains, so nothing (NOTHING) got done. Why? I was spazzing out about the release tomorrow. BLOOD OF THE EARTH lands Tuesday.

I was in a nail biting ruin. I needed rest. Hence the vaca and the total dropping of the ball on today’s post and the blog at my own site, and …. yeah. Faith Screwed Up. But I’m glad I waited.

Because, um, this at B&N.

Yeah. Number two. No–it never happened before. No–I didn’t expect it. No–I never expected Nell to create this much excitement. (Yes–that’s a confession.) Yes–my tummy aches. I don’t really chew my nails. But I may not sleep.

Making Money Mondays is about making money in the field of writing. Despite […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Writing With Emotion

Sometimes we writers overthink our work (and in that spirit, this will be a brief post). We try to create spectacular worlds and amazing magic systems and plots filled with surprises and twists. And all of that is great. When I read, I love narrative complexity, rich settings, and remarkable magic.

But I read for emotion. I read, as do so many, because I want to delve into the internal lives of compelling characters. Humans are natural voyeurs and eavesdroppers. We are curious about other people, sometimes to a disturbing degree. (See: Kardashian, Kim) One of the great allures of reading, I believe, is the chance not only to listen to and watch characters, but also to have access to their thoughts and emotions.

I bring this up because I have noticed in working with students and less experienced writers, a tendency to shy away from exploring the emotions of […]

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It’s About Good Use of Your Resources.

Making Money Mondays…

Morning ALL!

To be published, there is nothing better than the one-on-one of a writer to an editor, talking about a proposal, an ongoing project, or even a project that didn’t go well and didn’t sell well. Unless you are independently wealthy or have a sugar-honey-love, and can make trips to New York to talk to editors, and actually get an appointment (no they usually even don’t make lunch appointments with prospective writers, despite what film industry says), you need to go to writers’ conferences.

Which cost money.

So what to do? First, make a list of what you want out of your dollar spent: Editors as guests? Professional writers in your genre as guests? Opportunity to pitch your project? Opportunity to have a professional critique your writing? Cost of hotel within a certain price range? Near to your house? Inexpensive travel? Restaurants nearby?

And then do […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Learning From Inexperience

Not so long ago, I posted here about revising my early work. I’m preparing for the re-release of my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (more on that later) and so have been editing the books: cutting adverbs, strengthening my prose with more forceful verb constructions, and making the writing more concise and direct. You can find the post I wrote about this here. And you can also read Joshua Palmatier’s post from June 28, because he’s been doing much the same thing with his work.

I want to return to the process in this post, because I’m now almost finished editing The Outlanders, the second LonTobyn book. The Outlanders has long been among my favorites of all my books, not because I think it’s the best I’ve written, or even one of the top two or three. It’s not. Rather, I’ve always loved this book because it exceeded my expectations […]

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Making Money. Giving Up. Not Both.

Making money in the business of writing is hard.

Every writer learns that at some point, even New York Times Bestselling writers learn it when a book or a new series tanks, when a beloved editor is canned, or when a cover stinks, when a line of books is ended, or a company folds. The disappointment is boundless, the resulting depression can be dark and deep as an ocean. We all know that.

But success can be found (even if it was lost ). Money can be made, at any level, with perseverance and determination and creativity. It can’t be done if you give up. There’s that.

Many of you know my story.

Fifteen years with only 1 (ONE) short story sale. SO MANY REJECTIONS. HUNDREDS OF REJECTIONS. Yes hundreds. Just one positive note in 15 years. Think about that. 15 years to find the dream. Then —

Two book […]

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