Today I’m writing as both reader and writer. You know that feeling when you read a really good book by an author you’ve never read before? It’s a fantastic feeling for an avid reader and happens far too rarely. So you pick up another book by the same author and you’re all “OMG! This is awesome too!” Then you find that the author has a series and you devour it as fast as you can.
The author might end the series, or perhaps she takes a lifetime to publish each installment. Kind of irritating, right? But do you, as a reader, feel entitled to bitch and moan and threaten said author for her evil ways?...more
On April 3, 1973 Motorola’s Martin Cooper made the first call on a mobile phone. Thirty-one years later, Facebook launched on February 4, 2004, only two years earlier than Twitter, which started on July 1, 2006?
But the cell phone date is misleading. The first commercially available cell phone cost $3.500 and weighed several pounds. In fact, cell phones wouldn’t become popular until 1990. Therefore, today’s cell phones (including the fashionable computer-phone hybrids) are fewer than twenty-five-years old; Facebook is nine and Twitter is seven.
In 2013, and according to the U.N., the world has 6 billion cell phone subscribers; that’s right: 6,000,000,000...more
I've written about this before, because it seems to be the constant dilemma of all writers. How does one find the time to write when you have a shit-ton of obligations and responsibilities? It’s a daily complaint I see from at least one person (usually more) on Twitter, Facebook, and in critique groups. Perhaps it's one of your complaints. Work, family, and social obligations take up every waking hour. It’s impossible to do all of that and write. If only we could add an hour to our day, we’d write the shit out of that hour.
The reality is even if you were given that hour, you’d need another because you’d probably fill that hour up with something that is not writing.Those that are busy whining aren't doing. This is part of the problem....more
I have trouble with setting. Not with creating it. In the first draft I don’t address it at all, except to give it a name or a brief, very vague description. But later, when I’m rewriting, I devote an entire pass to filling it in. I almost never use a real location. Why? It stems from my experience as a reader. I love stories that I can use a little imagination with. I like to imagine the setting, without deciphering details, wondering if I got it right or not. With a fictional setting, the reader is more free to imagine whatever suits her imagination, and as a writer, I want the reader to bend the story, all parts of it, to fit her tastes....more
Imagine you're a fly on the wall at a party or some other social gathering. You don’t know most of the people there, but they know you. Picture the chatter, the laughter, the catty gossip flying about. You realize that your child is the topic of discussion in most of the little circles. First you smile because you hear things like:
Best couple of hours I ever spent.
What an amazing experience. You really need to meet her!
I’m a fan!
Well, shit, you think, who knew your kid was so damn special? But then you move further into the room and you hear the hushed whispers of those not so enthralled with your baby....more
I’ll admit that I’ve always been suspicious of the concept of self-publishing, both as reader and writer. Yes, I published IN THE BONES myself, but not without a lot of kicking and screaming and a ton of reservations. There just aren’t a lot of good self-published titles out there, and there are heaps and heaps of crap. I know I’m offending a few of you, but if we’re all honest, we know it’s true. Maybe my book is crap too. It depends on what you view as quality, I suppose.
But I went into this knowing that failure is more likely than success. Pessimist? No. I believe I can do this, but I know it won’t be an easy road, and success will come in tiny increments, not buckets of cash and oodles of fame....more
With the release of IN THE BONES, which I published myself, I stepped—no jumped—into marketing. At first it was a whirlwind of “WTF is going on?” and “where are my pants?” (Don’t ask) But after about a week of floundering around, I regained my footing and realized that, oh shit, I need a plan.
Marketing a book (or any product) is not something one can approach all willy-nilly without a focus or a goal. It’s something you have to be realistic about and you have to give it at least a bit of thought beforehand. You can’t just tweet the shit out of people and hope for the best. You can’t expect one action or even several actions to guarantee an assload of sales. Sales come later. So get this miraculous bestseller idea out of your head. You must sit down and examine what is the best way to reach readers, and what is the surefire way to turn them off once you do. ...more
By now most of you have heard about Random House’s contracts for its recently started Hydra imprint (and it’s likely that its sister imprints, Flirt and Alibi, share the same contract). These imprints are electronic-only, and as Writer Beware notes here, the terms of this contract are not what writers expect from such an esteemed name in publishing. The terms aren't what any decent publishing house would offer. They pretty much suck.
I submitted manuscripts to these imprints, excited to have even a shot at publishing with a publisher that has stood behind many of the books I’ve enjoyed over the years. I was rejected, but I’m not so sore about it anymore. Had this been the contract offered, I would have declined, and the sting of having to do that would’ve been far worse than that of the rejection. Random House did me a favor by rejecting the manuscript, and yet, I’m not angry about the deal they offer. I’m not even surprised....more
Domain name syntax is a complex arrangement of concatenated labels designed to afford unique names to Internet addresses.
To list and explain the ranks and levels of name labels would be mind-numbing and far too complex to attempt in a short article, but to illustrate the meaning of Top Level Domain or TLD we can analyze our own: www.onfictionwriting.com....more
In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley portrayed a society under a totalitarian regime and stated that “the only way to create a permanently stable society is for a totalitarian regime to have absolute power.” Huxley’s regime controlled the behavior of each individual, and ensured that independent thinkers couldn’t disturb the social fabric....more