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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Pitch Fever

The Canadian Literature Pitch on Twitter (i.e., #CanLitPit) is back and it’s happening on July 12, 2017. If you have a manuscript that’s been scrubbed and polished until it’s ready for its close-up, this is a great chance to get the attention of a number of established Canadian literary agents and publishers all at once FOR FREE. Participating publishers include Turnstone PressSecond Story Press, and Coteau Books, among others. Continue reading

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Hiring Your (Near) Perfect Editor

So you’ve written a book (awesome!) and you’ve given it at least one critical read to catch plot holes, poor characterization, unclear writing, and so on (fantastic!). You’re reasonably confident that your writing is publishable, but you’re not sure what to do next. Whether you’re looking for a publisher or planning to self-publish, you may need to hire an editor at some point. Here are some things you’ll want to know. Continue reading

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Rules, Shmules?

You’ve probably been told there are rules for writing fiction — eternal, immutable rules that, if broken, will cause publishers to consign your novel/novella/short story to the flames and leave your name writ on water. Continue reading

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