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Vary Sentence Structure

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Saturday November 10, 2018

This past week I edited a novel written in a way meant to emulate the method used by a handful of successful mystery writers.

"He took the stairs down. He walked into the kitchen. He stood at the refrigerator. He got out a pitcher of cold water."

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5 helpful books for National Novel Writing Month

syracuse.com – Wednesday November 7, 2018

If you've ever wanted to write a book, this is the month to begin! November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it is often referred to, is an artistic writing project online that occurs every November. People who participate in this write a 50,000 word manuscript during the month.

Take part in this project by visiting nanowrimo.org and learn more about it by checking out books from your local library or by logging on to www.onlib.org.

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How to Write Your First Book

inc.com – Thursday November 1, 2018

Here's a secret: Writing books never gets easier. I've written 23 of them, some best-sellers, some duds, and each one is as tough to complete writing as the previous one. You should take some comfort in this, as it won't get any harder than it is now.

If you have a book to get out of your system, then you have the examples of millions before who have succeeded. Here are some high-level suggestions.

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We're winning the war on Word, fellow writers. Enjoy the freedom

theguardian.com – Sunday October 28, 2018

In a grim political season, there are signs that journalists are successfully challenging at least one odious tyrant.

In Slate, Rachel Withers has reported that in newsrooms throughout the United States, Microsoft Word is finally giving way to other programs, including Google Docs.

Some of the journalists Withers interviewed mentioned costs – Word may have become cheaper but in straitened modern newsrooms it’s hard to compete with free.

Others mentioned Google’s superiority as a platform for collaborative work. This is true, and it hints at a broader truth – Word is no longer fit for the purposes that many writers and editors need it to fulfil.

Word was launched in 1983. Then it was quite a simple program, running in DOS, and it emerged into a rich ecology of programs designed for writing.

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How Science Fiction Magazines (And Their Payment Rates) Shaped The Genre

forbes.com – Friday October 26, 2018

Today, prolific writers can earn six-figure incomes entirely through stories self-published on Amazon. If they'd lived in the mid-twentieth century, those same writers might have instead turned to science fiction magazines, a source of income that has all but dried up today.

"Payment rates haven’t kept up with inflation," says Alec Nevala-Lee, the writer and biographer whose latest book, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, is out this week and covers the era that saw the rise of our modern conception of science fiction, the years roughly between 1939 and 1950. The book follows John Campbell, one of the genre's most influential figures and, not coincidentally, editor of the magazine that offered the highest rates on acceptance. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction paid writers after accepting their work, rather than paying them only after publishing the story, as many other magazines did. It gave him outsized influence in the field. But that payment rate — and influence — has plummeted in the decades since.

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How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds

atlasobscura.com – Tuesday October 23, 2018

One of life’s great treats, for a lover of books (especially fantasy books), is to open a cover to find a map secreted inside and filled with the details of a land about to be discovered. A writer’s map hints at a fully imagined world, and at the beginning of a book, it’s a promise. In the middle of a book, it’s a touchstone and a guide. And at the end, it’s a reminder of all the places the story has taken you.

A new book, The Writer’s Map, contains dozens of the magical maps writers have drawn or that have been made by others to illustrate the places they’ve created. “All maps are products of human imagination,” writes Huw Lewis-Jones, the book’s editor. “For some writers making a map is absolutely central to the craft of shaping and telling their tale.”

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How to Find the Perfect Time to Write

lifehacker.com – Tuesday October 23, 2018

If you dream of becoming a writer, you have to eventually sit down and write. Whether you’re doing National Novel Writing Month in November, or you dream of being a writer “someday,” the first inescapable step is making the time to do it. Here’s a 15-minute exercise toward that end that you can do today.

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"Free is not fair" won't make authors richer, but fixing publishers' contracts will

boingboing.net – Monday October 22, 2018

Australia is about to radically expand its copyright and the publishing industry has forged an unholy alliance with authors' groups to rail against fair use being formalised in Australia, rallying under the banner of "Free is not fair."

Rebecca Giblin (previously), one of Australia's leading copyright scholars and the founder of a project to examine the way that authors' interests diverge from their publishers' interests.

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How to write a novel by author & commissioning editor Phoebe Morgan

marieclaire.co.uk – Tuesday October 16, 2018

In the second instalment of our Writers Bloc series, we get the inside scoop on how to write a novel from commissioning editor and author, Phoebe Morgan

A commissioning editor by day and novelist by night, Phoebe Morgan is the author of The Doll House, published this month, and The Girl Next Door which is released in February 2019, both psychological thrillers. She is 28, and lives in Clapton, East London, with her boyfriend.

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Why can’t life begin after 40 for a writer?

irishtimes.com – Friday October 12, 2018

Last year, at a writing festival in rural Ireland about 60 attendees sat listening to presentations from publishers and agents. It was the kind of segment that has been popular on the writing festival circuit for quite a while now. The attendees hear a lot of familiar advice from people in the industry, both domestic and overseas. And there are occasional insights into the metamorphic and precarious state of the publishing industry.

At this particular event, there was a lot of advice about presentation, synopses and introduction letters, how authors should market themselves and their books, and the common mistakes made by aspiring novelists.

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