The Journal: Start a Writing Career

In today’s Journal * Start a Writing Career * I finished one * Of Interest * The Numbers Start a Writing Career I’m one of those writers Dave Farland talks about in his article, linked in today’s “Of Interest.” I don’t worry a lot about sales. I follow Heinlein’s Rules. I write, submit to a market or indie publish, and write again. But marketing and sales? The very concept puts me to sleep, with the exception of two rules: 1. The opening of a book sells that book, and the end of a book sells the next book. So I … Read more

The Journal: Dare to Be Bad and a Lot More

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * There’s a link * If you hadn’t noticed * I have a really cool problem. * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “[T]here are no real repercussions of mailing a story that fails. No editor reads anything that doesn’t work and no editor will remember your name if your story doesn’t work. … The reality is that no one notices, which I suppose for some people is worse. But there are no real risks.” Dean Wesley Smith “I would also turn every story in to a workshop [critique … Read more

The Journal: Dark Scenarios

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Musing on Autumn in southeast Arizona * Short stories abound * Dialect revisited (lightly) * Writers of the Future contest * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “[Y]ou have hopes and then you plan to fulfill them by doing things in the present: that’s utopian thinking. Meanwhile, you have middle-of-the-night fears that everything is falling apart, that it’s not going to work. And that’s dystopian thinking. So there’s nothing special going on in science fiction thinking. It’s something that we’re all doing all the time.” World-renowned science fiction … Read more

The Journal: Dialect

In today’s Journal * Topic: Don’t Write Dialect Unless You Know How * Of Interest * The Numbers Topic: Don’t Write Dialect Unless You Know How Simple, straightforward advice, right? And it makes sense. Few problems will jerk a reader out of your story faster than poorly written dialect. But it’s also a paradox. After all, how can you learn how to do something if you don’t try? But if you try, you’re not following the advice. I have both a book (Writing Dialect) and an audio course (How to Write Effective Dialect) on the topic. But even in those, … Read more

The Journal: A Recommendation and the New Mentorships

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Worked a full day * A Recommendation * The New Mentorships Are Live! * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “You don’t win elections by solving problems.” Jeff, commenter on TPG blog post My commentary and response: “You win elections by creating problems and then promising to solve them.” Wow. For the first time since I don’t remember  (probably a couple of months), I actually worked a full day yesterday. It felt good. I spent most of the morning polishing the mentorship information, putting the web pages together, … Read more

The Journal: Surface Advice

In today’s Journal * Quote of the Day * Topic: Surface Advice * The New Mentorship Program * Of Interest * The Numbers Quote of the Day “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” Mark Twain Topic: Surface Advice That’s what I call the popular but basically meaningless buzz-words that some instructors recommend and then can’t explain, or can’t explain adequately, or explain incorrectly. It’s what I call surface advice. It sounds good but it explains nothing. At best it’s a waste of time. At worst, especially if the explanation is incorrect or the … Read more

The Journal: A Horrific Essay and Time to Get Serious

In today’s Journal * A Horrific Essay * Time to Get Serious * Of Interest * The Numbers A Horrific Essay In today’s “Of Interest” I’ve included a link as I often do to a David Farland (The Story Doctor) Writing Tip. I suggest you read it, if only as a cautionary tale. To my way of thinking, it’s a flat-out horrific essay. I physically shuddered in a few places as I read it. So CAUTION. I included the link only as a (shudder) warning for most of you. The very title itself — and most of the rest of … Read more

The Journal: Discoverability and Recommendations

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * A New Tool for Discoverability * Workshop Recommendations * Still working * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “There should be nothing in the world more benign than Goodreads…. What should be a cosy, pleasant corner of the internet has become a monster.” Sarah Manavis of NewStatesman “PG has seen enough publishing contracts to assure one and all that there is no ‘Standard Publishing Contract’.” The Passive Guy A New Tool for Discoverability My friend Sam T. forwarded me an article about Goodreads, how practically unusable it’s become, … Read more

The Journal: Stealing Valuable Classes

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Since I took part * Yesterday I reported * Re yesterday’s link * Today * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.” Isaac Asimov (Thanks to TPV for the quote.) “[R]eading Mr. Liu [Cixin]’s fiction is essential for understanding how China views America and the world today.” Niall Ferguson [Referring to Mr. Ferguson’s quote], “[T]his is the biggest misinterpretation of my work. … [In my books], aliens are aliens, space is space.” … Read more

The Journal: Thoughts on Walking

In today’s Journal * Quotes of the Day * Do you have any favorite quotes * If you aren’t a subscriber * I’m a fortunate guy — thoughts on walking * I didn’t write yesterday * Of Interest * The Numbers Quotes of the Day “Don’t let people drive you crazy when you know it’s in walking distance.” Author Unknown “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” G.M. Trevelyan “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau “It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.” Charles … Read more