Tag Archives: writing advice

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

Posted in Writing and Editing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Theory and Discussion, Writing and Editing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Publishing, Writing and Editing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Look Down

In many disciplines, if you follow a specific set of instructions, then you should get the intended outcome, whatever that may be. But following rules does not significantly improve art, except incidentally. Art is not art merely because it has technical merit. In fact, some of the best art busts all the rules and gets away with it. If Tom Thompson or Vincent van Gogh had decided to do what a good painter is “supposed” to do, we might never have known their names. Continue reading

Posted in Theory and Discussion, Writing and Editing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Just To Be Clear …

A few years ago, I discovered an interesting segue in an article by philosopher George N. Schlesinger. While relating moral integrity to the selection of articles for academic journals, he recites journal editor J. Scott Armstrong’s “author’s formula” for publishing … Continue reading

Posted in Writing and Editing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bedevilled by Details Part II: Beware of Overshare

Details are wonderful. They enliven your story, create characters that seem uncannily real, and generally make your fictional world go ’round. You can never have too many details … right? Continue reading

Posted in Writing and Editing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bedevilled by Details Part I: Keeping It Straight

If your details are inconsistent, your story will lose credibility and your readers will start to lose interest. Additionally, it will take longer for your editor to help you find and clean up those details, so if you are paying for editorial services out of your own pocket, this may increase the costs to you. Continue reading

Posted in Writing and Editing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment