Writing Aids

The Writing Advice Not Taken

Also known as “The writing advice I wish I’d had in 2011.” I ran into someone on a Facebook group today, asking for help. This person had a bunch of books out, and none of them were selling. I went and analyzed the writer’s work, and recognized a familiar set of problems. The writer was doing a bunch of things wrong – most of them, the same things *I* messed up, early on. Hey, these are easy mistakes to make. There’s no guidebook. (Well, there are, but the advice is often conflicting and confusing.) After assessing the writer’s work, I …

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Writing in Public, Too: NaNoWriMo Day 27

Happy Thanksgiving, for all you folks in the US! Hope the rest of you are having a grand day, too. Thursday is usually a 16 hour work day for me, but – I got half a day off, for the holiday. I got up at a decent hour and got a thousand words in on the Raven story, which proceeds to go pretty nicely. Smooth sailing on this one so far, and already I am seeing some hints about what I can do in future episodes. Then I decided to check out the coverage of the Macy parade in NYC, …

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Writing in Public, Too: NaNoWriMo Day 25

Crazy busy day today. Still got the writing in! Woke up and got rolling a little later than I would have liked. Woke up, checked email, sort of played on the internet for a little bit. Grabbed some food. And then plowed into my housework. I’m moving to a somewhat smaller apartment, you see. So today was all about downsizing. Got rid of a bunch of stuff. Packed up a lot of the rest. Worked from about 11am until around 4pm, when I suddenly realized I’d skipped lunch, and I was starving. At which point it was time to stop …

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Writing in Public, Too: NaNoWriMo Day 20

LOONG work day today. Very tired. In work from 7am till 11:30pm, and then home. Very, very tired. No writing done, but then that was more or less expected. 😉  Off to sleep now!     Fiction words for the day: 0      Fiction words for November: 25,300 (10600 into the 4th episode) Blog Words today:: 33     Blog Words for November: 8490

Writing in Public, Too: NaNoWriMo Day 19

Today was a decent writing day. Up and moving by around 9am, and after some light breakfast and coffee, checked emails, and generally relaxed for a while. Ate lunch, and then put in about 1000 words. So not the most productive morning, but the afternoon started off well. Had an appointment in the afternoon, and then got into some sorting and packing work. Which was good, and productive. Took a couple of hours. Then dinner, which was delicious chicken sausage stir-fried with egg noodles, brussel sprouts, green beans, and spices. And some more writing – another thousand words in. Going …

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High Volume Writing: Why Track Session Wordcount?

My peak writing days give me 20-25 thousand words of fiction. I can kick out five thousand or more words in a day without really breaking a sweat. I’ve also found that the parts of my books where I wrote more words per day are cleaner, clearer, require less revision and get less critique from my editors. And I’d like to share with you some of the techniques I’ve learned to use to generate high volume writing! As always, every writer is different – these are things which work for me, and may or may not work for you. Try …

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High Volume Writing: Pacing Yourself

My peak writing days give me 20-25 thousand words of fiction. I can kick out five thousand or more words in a day without really breaking a sweat. I’ve also found that the parts of my books where I wrote more words per day are cleaner, clearer, require less revision and get less critique from my editors. And I’d like to share with you some of the techniques I’ve learned to use to generate high volume writing! As always, every writer is different – these are things which work for me, and may or may not work for you. Try …

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Accountability Aids – and #ROW80

Accountability Aids: Accountability is important in habit building. We use accountability aids as a tool for fostering the sorts of behavior we are trying to generate in our lives – whether that is kicking a bad habit, or building a new one. NaNoWriMo is essentially a big month long accountability aid, as we’re guilted into writing 50k words in a month because we’ve told all these people we’re going to get it done. Many accountability aids are personal and private. These are tools to provide inspiration by showing the progress you’ve made toward your goal. Other accountability aids are more …

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Making Magic Work: Cost of Magic

One challenge in fantasy writing is the craft of designing a magic system that makes sense – that’s believable for the reader – but which is flexible enough that you can continue to toss out new curves over the course of a series. Often, writers will fall back on some set of tropes that they’re familiar with. The opening to Eragon, for instance, reads a lot like a write-up of a Dungeons and Dragons game. The writer seemed to quickly realize that wasn’t going to work for the long haul, however, and crafts a magic system which is fairly unique …

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Writers: A few things you need…

There’s a few key things you MUST HAVE to sell your book, based on my research of the marketplace and careful chatting with other writers. 1. You must have a great cover. Your readers will be scanning a page full of twenty or so little postage stamp size books. They will then click “next page” unless a book cover & title interest them. That’s all you have for advertising – just your cover and title. That is your initial hook. Cruddy covers are generally instant death for ebooks. 2. You must have a great blurb. Learn to write the blurb. …

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