Author Archives: Jane Friedman

The Necessity of Failure Plus How "Accidents" Happen

Photo credit: Mindful OneWhile reading Kevin Kelly’s blog (which focuses on technology + the future), I came across this wonderful quote for writers. Lucky accidents seldom happen to writers who don’t work. You will find that you may rewrite and rewrite a poem and it never seems quite right. Then a...

4 Steps to Useful Critiques: The Lerman Method

Photo credit: Deirdre Saoirse Moen Today’s guest post is by Wolf Pascoe. Wolf is a playwright, poet, and physician. Visit his blog, Just Add Father. — What do we really have to offer one another as writers? Every so often, I read a blog post about how to listen to criticism....

5 Excellent Tips for Platform Building

This past weekend, I had the honor of keynoting the Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference in Austin. During that weekend, I also had the opportunity to hear some wonderful advice from other publishing experts. Here's some excellent online marketing advice I heard. All are direct quotes unless in brackets.

Editing a Life

Today’s guest post is by Darrelyn Saloom, a monthly regular here at NO RULES. You can read more of her guest posts here, or follow her on Twitter. — An odd thing happened to me when I finished collaborating on a memoir. I spent four years and two days (obsessively at...

Free E-Book on Building Readership by Cory Doctorow

Portrait by Jonathan Worth My most popular post (so far) this year, 5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs, could’ve benefited from one more addition: The Problem Isn’t Piracy, The Problem Is Obscurity by Cory Doctorow This e-book gathers some of Doctorow’s best essays and rants on why authors should give their...

The Persistent and Damaging Myth About Introverts and Marketing

Cartoon from Toothpaste for Dinner I’m getting frustrated with people who say they’re bad at marketing & promotion because they’re introverts. Maybe this argument was more valid before new technologies came along—when marketing and promotion involved more “getting out there,” networking at events and stores, or making phone calls. (God knows...

4 Ways to Make the Most of a Critique Group

Today’s guest post is from writer Susan Cushman, a monthly regular here at NO RULES. Read her personal blog, learn about the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction Workshop, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Cartoon used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Inkygirl.com. — “It is the mark of an...

Don't Treat Conflict As Monolithic

In the most recent edition of the Glimmer Train bulletin, I loved this article by Cary Groner on conflict. Here’s a small snippet: I’ve been surprised, when reading books about fiction writing, that such short shrift is often given to the decisions writers make about conflict and its levels. We hear...

When Is Lying in Memoir Acceptable? 3 Key Issues

Today’s guest post is from Tracy Seeley, author of My Ruby Slippers. Visit her site, or find out more about her book. — They crop up like weeds in the literary garden, those memoirs that lie. James Frey invented some details of his life and wildly exaggerated others. Greg Mortenson and...

Best Tweets + Upcoming Events

Best Tweets is going on an early summer break due to upcoming conference travel and holiday travel—plus I’m wrapping up the academic year at University of Cincinnati. Look for its return in mid-July. Here are some excellent upcoming events where I’m teaching: 6 Key Components of an Online Author Platform (online...

Do You Have a Marketing Support Network?

This month at Writer Unboxed, I discuss one of the invisible aspects of your platform that directly impacts your success: Your relationships. Click here to read “A Critical Marketing Secret: Don’t Go It Alone.” I can confirm, after launching my e-book last month (The Future of Publishing), that I couldn’t have...

5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs

The following resources have been mentioned on this blog, in various forms, since 2008. Now I’m rounding them up in 1 place. [Some links corrected/added on 5/31/11.] 1. 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer. A fabulous resource from an experienced novelist. It comes in two parts because the...

Learn How to Properly Format an E-Book (free class!)

Speaking of publishing yourself digitally for free, anyone who’s interested in the new instant publishing models—getting your work onto Kindle, Sony, Nook, etc—should NOT miss the next free webinar from Digital Book World. It’s eBook 101: Designing for Kindle and ePub. Formatting e-books in the Kindle and ePub formats can be...

Writers: Don't Heed Samuel Johnson's Advice

Today I read the latest post at Don’t Publish Me: “If You’re In It For the Money.” (Go follow Jenn on Twitter.) It made me realize that many people out there still wave the flag for the old Samuel Johnson adage: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”...

A Wordsmith Among Kingfish

Today’s guest post is by the lovely Darrelyn Saloom. Follow her on Twitter, or read one of her most popular posts on the memoir she’s writing with Deirdre Gogarty. Pictured above: Rick Bragg On the third weekend of October 2009, writers and book lovers gathered at the Louisiana State Capitol in...

My Exciting News at Writer's Digest

You’ve probably noticed I’ve been making liberal use of guest bloggers during the new year. That’s because I’m busy cooking up new content at Writer’s Digest, but I’ll soon return to more tough-love posts for writers! For now, I do want to share some exciting news & cool stuff that I...

A Plot-Defining Disturbance

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless. Each of the Potter books includes a major disturbance in Harry’s world. These disturbances typically involve a threat to Harry’s life, which is the...

Point of View: Stories Are About PEOPLE

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless. The number of point of view characters in a story affects the reader’s view of how focused that story is. POV also influences the...

Tight Focus: Resist Telling Nonessential Details

Today’s guest post is by Jim Adam. It is part of a series on storytelling and The Strengths of the Potter Series. Check out Jim’s book, Motherless. Each book in the Potter series stays focused on the issues relevant to that book. A few forward references appear now and then, but...

There Are More Bad Titles Than Good Ones

The February Glimmer Train bulletin is now available, and I found this delightful gem on titling by Eric Puchner: Still, the fact remains that there are many more bad titles than good ones. I’ve seen some jaw-droppingly awful titles, often from very gifted writers. And I’m not just talking about my...