Are you planning to write a book in 2020?
Want some writing inspiration and wisdom from authors who have written dozens or even hundreds of stories and books?
Check out my list of the five most inspiring books about writing over at Civilian Reader.
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True story: When I was 17, I met an African storyteller.
He traveled to distant parts of the world, collecting oral stories and writing them down for posterity. He was my first real-life writing teacher.
His feedback helped me get started as a writer. Within a couple of years, I had sold my first magazine article. I’ve been writing ever since.
I got a chance to talk about that experience (and a bunch of other sometimes-funny, sometimes-humbling stuff) on the ever-excellent Nerds That Geek website. Check it out.
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How do writers create fascinating monsters?
For me, it’s a many-layered process that involves thinking about where a monster came from, what it’s after, how it thinks, and what happens when it encounters the heroes.
I actually got the chance to dive deep into the monster-creation process and explain how to do it step-by-step, thanks to the marvelous Mogsy over at Bibliosanctum, the super-fabulous speculative fiction blog.
You can read my guest post here.
P.S. You can also get access to your own monster-making workbook when you get my author newsletter.
Categories: Dru Jasper, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel
Tags: aspiring writers, behind the scenes, fantasy, for writers, horror, how to get published, how to write a book, how to write a novel, monsters, science fiction, Writing Tips
I’m writing a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
One of the little-known perks of being a writer is that I get to pretend that I know all kinds of cool stuff.
Every character I create is an expert in something.
They can hack into top-secret computer networks, field strip an AK-47 blindfolded, make a peanut butter sandwich without dripping any.
These people have skills.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a writer (and writing halfway decent books is kind of a skill). But still, I wish I had the time, energy, and money to learn these four skills. Continue reading
In case you missed it, the Science Fiction Book Club chose A Kiss Before Doomsday as a featured pick. Which, as an author, is incredibly exciting.
To celebrate, I put together a behind-the-scenes special that the book club shared with their members this summer.
If you’ve ever wondered where writers get their ideas, read on.
Science Fiction Book Club: Spotlight on A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY
One of the toughest jobs a fantasy writer has is coming up with new and interesting monsters. When I sat down to write the second Dru Jasper book, I knew that the bad guys would be undead creatures. But today’s readers have seen countless undead foes. How do you put a brand-new spin on the idea? Continue reading
Hammer time! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Do you ever wonder if maybe we make crucial life choices based on completely misunderstanding the world around us?
One of the most common questions I’m asked in interviews is: What made you decide to become a writer? I tend to talk about reading and storytelling as a kid, playing with an old typewriter, that sort of thing.
But really, I think it all goes back to a broken plate glass window.
Try. Measure. Improve. Then repeat as needed.
Every writer I’ve ever talked to always wants to achieve more.
(Even Hugh Howey.)
We all want to reach more readers, sell more books, write better stories, and so on.
All of us, writers or not, want to do more and do it better. The question is, how?
DING! (That’s my lightbulb-moment sound effect.)
Believe it or not, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY started out as a short story.
I was struggling with another novel, so I switched gears and wrote a fun little story about this awkward wannabe sorceress who ends up breaking the evil curse on a bad-boy hero with a muscle car.
It was half scary, half funny, and people seemed to really get a kick out of it. They kept asking me what happens next.
And I had to say, “There is no next. This is it.”
But then something funny happened.
I first met Anita when she worked with my literary agent, Kristin Nelson. Anita is a freelance editor who helps writers bring out the very best in their novels. She was kind enough to share her editing insights, including why you should never let a rejection letter get you down, and why joining a critique group can not only improve your writing, but also save you money – and help you get published. Here’s Anita with all the insider info about editors. –L.
Anita, can you tell us what a developmental editor does, exactly?
Anita Mumm, founder of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services
The easiest way to describe a developmental editor’s work is that it focuses on the big picture: Does the plot work? Are the characters the kind of people readers want to spend an entire book with? Is the dialogue smooth or stilted? Is the voice appropriate to the genre and audience?
Developmental editing means making sure the foundation of the novel is sound, and that all of its parts come together in a meaningful whole.
Categories: For Writers
Tags: Anita Mumm, behind the scenes, editors, getting published, how to get published, how to write a novel, who, writing a novel, writing advice, Writing Coach, Writing Tips