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Category Archives: Writing
Writers are so good at beating themselves up for all sorts of reasons, some valid, some not so much. Here’s some encouragement for dealing with writerly quilt.
I don’t believe that the standard form we get told all stories come from is the only one an author can use. In this video, I talk about some alternate plot structures and why I think an author should be … Continue reading
When you read a story for critique, it’s often good to make sure you know what the author is looking for. Authors can help the critique reader know this by including a statement that can range from, “This is very rough, so I’m looking for big picture stuff and whether the pacing works” to “This is pretty much done, and I just want to know where the language can be clearer.”
How do you learn to write? You learn by observing and doing, by reading good fiction and making attempts at your own. The truth is that writing is primarily self-taught, that the axiom that you must write a million words is on the mark, and that the first truth is this: To learn to write, you must be writing.
With my students who are writing and thinking about writing, I would have to actively give them bad advice like Play videogames rather than write. Don’t read anything. Only write when you’re in the mood. for them not to get better.
I’m very pleased to announce that Tor has acquired my recent space fantasy (maybe?), as part of a three book deal, and I’ll be working with Christopher Morgan there. While I’ve had a lot of short stories published traditionally, this is the first novel to go through that, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the process is like.
I’m so pleased by this. The book Tor took was written last October/November as part of a change in my writing routine, and if that routine pays off this well, you better believe I’m going to stick to it. So — up at 5:30 AM and off to the gym, then only writing through 11 AM. I love these characters, who are a lot of fun, and they’ve informed me they’ve got plenty of story to tell.
I recently tweeted this: “PSA/Pro tip: Do not submit to writing contests that charge entry fees. No ifs, ands, or buts.”
Many folks agreed; others wanted to argue a bit. Here’s some of the arguments and my opinion on them. Let us remember here that I am speaking as someone representative of professional writers, and that I have some experience with selling short stories as well as editing and publishing them.
Last year, I came up with a new class, “Punk U: The Whys and Wherefores of Writing -punk Fiction”, which attempted to explore some of the -punk subgenres, starting with cyberpunk and progressing through steampunk, dieselpunk, nanopunk, solarpunk, and a dozen others. Of all of them, the most fascinating to me — and the one that’s had the greatest influence on my recent fiction, is hopepunk.