Archive for the ‘ Writing Tips ’ Category

Outlining doesn’t have to blow dead bears: From brainstorm to novel

As Chuck Wendig has recently written on his blog, outlining doesn't have to be an exercise in high school-esque futility. Indeed, it's a fundamental step towards getting your novel down on paper. And even a reformed pantser like me has embraced the joys – or at least the relative painlessness – of outlining. (I've written about my methodology here in case you're curious.) So what the hell Continue Reading...

Thoughts on this year’s #3daynovel and how to improve next year

After I hit my 30,000 words last night, I stopped working on Prime Time for the weekend. Not because it was finished, but because I knew I was at an impasse. This year, though I met my 30,000-word goal for my 3-day novel, I don't really feel like I "won" the contest. Part of that is because I didn't officially enter (i.e. pay the contest organizers $50 for a shot at the grand prize) because Continue Reading...

How to politely request book reviews: a handy template

Having recently received a spate of emails from authors who are clearly clueless about how to politely request a review of their books, I thought I would write up a brief list of etiquette items that authors should follow when making these requests of total strangers. These items are nonnegotiable: Address your would-be reviewer by name Yes, this will require a bit of research on different Continue Reading...

Write weird: In praise of peculiar pieces

Back in the day, before I was ever accepted into a university writing program, before I ever thought much about what I was writing and why, I wrote a lot of short, weird fiction. I wouldn't say that my time in a university writing program blunted my weirdness, exactly, but since most of my peers would read my stories and write comments in the margins like "What does this mean?" or "???????", I Continue Reading...

Looking for a challenge? Submit your short fiction to this contest!

There are lots of short story contests out there, but not all of them offer you a chance to win publication and $200 cash! I'll be one of the judges in the inaugural eBook Me Up Short Story Contest, and if you're looking for cash and prestige, this is a contest worth entering. Here's a little more info on what the competition is all about, and how you could win! The eBook Me Up Continue Reading...