Wait, are these stories AC or DC?
It was a real honor to have the chance to sit down and talk with Electric Spec about what makes short stories so relevant today. As writers, short stories give us the opportunity to connect with readers in ways that novels don’t. Besides, talking about how to write short stories is just plain fun.
Also, for probably the first time ever, I talked about the science fiction stories I discovered when I was 12 years old that made me decide to become a writer.
If you enjoy an engrossing science fiction or fantasy short story (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then you need to check out Electric Spec. For over a decade, these fine folks have been putting out some of the best speculative fiction out there. Give them a shot.
Click here to read my Electric Spec interview.
And speaking of short stories, don’t forget to subscribe to my author newsletter to get a free Dru Jasper story. >
Copywriting for fun and profit. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
I’m proud to say I’ve built a full-time career around writing, as both a novelist and a copywriter.
That means splitting my time between the two. Usually I spend the morning writing novels, then spend the afternoon writing marketing and advertising copy for business clients.
(“Copy” is just fancy ad agency shorthand for “words that sell stuff.”)
I’m not alone. There have been innumerable examples of copywriters who also successfully wrote fiction. James Patterson, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Heller, and Dorothy Sayers, to name a few.
Think Microsoft Word is a pain to use? Try cranking out 100K on this sucker.
I’m often asked what my writing process looks like.
How do I write a book? It’s pretty simple, actually.
(Not easy. But simple.)
First, I start with the basics:
- Who are the good guys?
- What are they trying to do?
- And, especially, why?
- Who are the bad guys?
- Where does this take place?
Then I boil all of that down into a strong core idea. For example: a bookish crystal shop owner has to save the world from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – who drive possessed muscle cars.
The idea has to work at the core level, it has to really grab me, before I start writing it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Then I figure out how to make the whole book work, beginning to end, in a short synopsis. Maybe one page. That takes time. And even once I have that figured out, I don’t start writing it yet.
Writer’s block(s). Get it? … Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
Let me tell you the secret to getting rid of writer’s block forever.
I’ll admit, I’ve certainly had days where I feel like I don’t know what to write, or I worry that everything I write is terrible.
Some people call that writer’s block. I call it “Monday.” :-)
But seriously, what most people call “writer’s block” is an insidious combination of those two problems.
Problem #1: Not knowing what to write. Continue reading
Are you hearing the Jaws theme in your head? I am. And now you are, too. :)
Critique groups: best thing ever for writers? Or soul-crushing pits of despair?
Here are my 6 secrets for spotting a top-notch critique group — or assembling your own.
Connect with other writers and get the feedback you need to finish your book, publish it, and write the next one.
Everything you need to know from Yours Truly is right here on author Patricia Stoltey’s blog:
Click here: http://patriciastolteybooks.com/2016/01/6-secrets-of-successful-critique-groups-by-laurence-macnaughton/
Imagine if there was a way you could instantly spark new ideas, organize your thoughts and get more done every day.
As a writer, my brain is constantly loaded up with new ideas.
But I’ve found a way to quickly break down my thoughts, sort them out, and get organized, so that I can be productive. With a program called Scapple, I can think clearer, work faster and be more creative. Continue reading
Ever wanted to know how a science fiction or fantasy author builds an imaginary world?
How do authors create strange new worlds? Find out!
Authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Frank Herbert, William Gibson and scores of others are renowned for the worlds they’ve created.
What makes them so intriguing?
I’ve been invited to join a handful of other authors at MileHiCon here in Denver this month to talk about the reasons why (and how to do it).
What Is World Building?
What? I can’t hear you. WHAT?
I know so many writers who claim that they need absolute silence in order to write. I used to be one of them.
As I write this, we’re having a hardwood floor refinished in the room directly above my office.
If you’ve never had a floor redone, I envy you. You probably still have your hearing.
It turns out that old hardwood boards are incredibly acoustic. And if you grind on them with two-ton industrial vacuum-equipped sanders, you get what is quite possibly one of the loudest sounds in the known universe.
It’s a noise so painfully loud, you can plug your ears and shout to the person next to you, and they don’t even know you’re there. A 747 could land on my front lawn, and I wouldn’t know.
Right now, there are probably people at NASA scratching their heads over the cosmic feedback spewing from these machines.
Scary. Freakin’. Fish. That is all. Move along.
Some names stick with us.
Bridget Jones, Holden Caulfield, Nero Wolfe — these names are all indelibly stamped into our literary consciousness.
Those names are evocative. Memorable. Unique.
Some writers are incredibly good at coming up with names.
I am not one of them.
Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel
Tags: aspiring writers, behind the scenes, how to get published, how to publish a book, how to write, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, Writing Tips