The Mark of a Good Writer

You’ll find plenty of opinions about what makes good writing, but there are as many opinions as there are readers, and they range from technical critiques to personal raves, with many being a mix of the two. You probably won’t find a consensus on the issue.

But what makes a good writer? Continue reading

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On Working for Free

If there are people making money from your writing, then you should be one of those people. It’s simple, right? Continue reading

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Hopping the Fence: When an Editor Writes

I’m an editor. I get a manuscript, dissertation, or textbook and I dig into the words to root out fluff and transplant content from areas where its meaning is obscured in shadow to places where the light hits it more directly. I do a little pruning, a little grooming, and then I hand my trowel back to the person who planted the garden. Now I’m watching other people dig through my plot and it is a weird feeling, my friends. Continue reading

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How Not To Be a Naked Emperor

Doubt feels awful, even when it’s just a minor, nagging little thought in the back of your mind. After all, what if you really did leave the stove on and burn down the house while you were at work? Even small doubts can have dire consequences if they are justified. The problem is, many of them aren’t justified, but it’s not always easy to know when you should invite doubt in for tea and when to shut the door on it. However, if you’re going to be a writer, you need to make friends with your doubt. Continue reading

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How Real is Real Enough?

Realism is critical for good fiction writing, but speculative fiction demands some nonrealism, too. How do you find the right balance of realistic and nonrealistic features, and how do you make them work together harmoniously? Continue reading

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Which Publishing Rabbit Hole Should You Fall Into?

There’s a lot of publishing advice that can help aspiring authors decide whether or not to self-publish or how to find the right agent or publisher, which is great news for aspiring authors. However, sorting through all that information can be overwhelming and new writers who are not already familiar with the industry may have trouble weeding out biased or unsound advice. Here are a few links that can help you round out your knowledge of the publishing world and make the right decisions for your writing career so you don’t lose your head. Continue reading

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True Literature or Not True Literature, That is the Wrong Question

Human beings enjoy a good story. Most people like some variety in the types of stories they engage with, and some people will read or watch pretty much anything. You would think that publishers would recognize this, but in book publishing, there is a long-standing and seemingly impenetrable divide between literary fiction and so-called genre (“popular”) fiction in general, and speculative fiction in particular. But is this distinction useful? Continue reading

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