writing

5 Things for Writers to Look for in a Day Job

It might seem strange to have a post about what to look for in a day job on a publishing advice blog. After all, often the dream is to write full time. Day jobs are just a distraction, right? Realistically, though, it’s hard to earn a living from writing fiction full...

5 Writers Discuss the Writing Life

As DEATH AT THE DAY LILY CAFE, the second in the Rosalie Hart mystery series, reaches publication, I have been reflecting on the path I followed to getting published. Yes, I found a terrific agent and fell into the hands of a talented editor at Minotaur, but the first step was...

7 Ways To Make Your Own Luck

Serendipity may be unpredictable by nature, but there are ways you can prepare for it and even help to “create” your own serendipitous moments. Column by Paula Whyman, author of YOU MAY SEE A STRANGER (May 2016, Triquarterly). Paula Whyman’s fiction has appeared in many journals including McSweeney’s Quarterly, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly Review,...

Should You Follow the Siren Song of a New Idea?

Writing, rewriting, revising, re-rewriting. It’s painstaking, and after months—or possibly years—of working on a novel, you can feel bogged down, exhausted, even defeated. And then it happens: You get a new book idea. And not just any idea. A great idea. In fact, you’re sure this idea is a hundred times better...

3 Things I Stopped Doing That Got Me Writing Again

Every writer has a “go to” set of techniques, strategies, and schemes they use to motivate themselves to get their stories written; all the things they do every day to write their way to “THE END.” However, after 20 years of barely completing a sentence, much less a story, here are...

Writing Through Fear

We’re all scared. Let’s just start there. No matter what stage of writing you find yourself in, fear is the constant adversary that will track your every move and hunt you down. Just when you think you’re bulletproof, you’ll plunge headlong into a sea of depression and be overwhelmed with waves...

How Missing My Deadline Brought life to My Novel

I had a conference call with my publisher about a week before my husband’s emergency brain surgery. I remember pacing outside, in the December cold, with the phone pressed against my ear and trying to carry on a normal conversation while also sneaking glances through the living room windows to make...

3 Things You Need to Know to Write Great Flash Fiction

Instant gratification reigns supreme in today’s fast-paced society. I could go into a spiel here about Twitter, DVR, multi-tasking, and Big Macs, but we all live it (and, in most cases, love it) every day. Writing is no different. E-readers are replacing traditional books (some e-books even use short video clips...

Writing Requires Perseverance

Beyond the obvious need for a writer to have talent and a fruitful imagination, he must also have perseverance to become a published author. Occasionally, a writer’s first novel is extraordinary, or he writes a masterful proposal, and his book lands on the fast-track to getting published. But most first attempts...

On Pencils and Process

**GIVEAWAY! Benjamin is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks.** I love pencils. I wrote every draft of The Last Pilot using Staedtler’s traditional HB; a fantastic pencil.

Censorship: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

I tend to be a timid writer. I constantly second-guess myself as I worry about what people will think. I’m afraid that people will completely reject and even hate what I have to say. This rejection happens on a regular basis as many writers find their works challenged or banned, thus...

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Smith

This is a recurring column called “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their careers can talk about writing advice and instruction — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journeys that they wish they knew at the beginning. This is installment is from...

5 Ways to Modify NaNoWriMo

It’s November, and that means many writers are well into their (first? second? 12th?) NaNoWriMo experience. But for many other writers, crafting a 50,000-word novel in 30 days is daunting, and they’d rather write a book over a span of a few months (or years), rather than just one. If you...