I was going through the Writer’s Digest videos on youtube when I came across Robert Olen Butler. Here is the first of many videos where he describes the creative process. He also takes you along how his creative process works.
I think it is worth watching to get any idea on how another writer accomplishes his/her craft.
It’s hard to feel sorry for a wildly successful author, but in the case of Michael Lewis I’ll make an exception. Just this once.
Lewis’ latest book – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine – was published less than a week ago and has already reached the number one sales rank spot on Amazon. It’s an impressive feat, especially for a serious piece of non-fiction writing with nary a wizard, a vampire or an ancient code that’s – holy shit! – hidden in plain sight to boost its sales. But the feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that many of the book’s reviews are, without a word of exaggeration, so negative that they’d made a Nuremberg verdict look upbeat and generous.
At the time of writing there are 64 one star reviews – more than the total number of 2-5 star review combined – sending a clear message to potential purchasers: this book might be popular but it’s also a total sack of crap. Don’t waste your money.
I originally posted this in a Nanowrimo group on Facebook. Going back to see if anyone liked it or commented on it, I noticed it was buried under the sheer numbers of postings other folk put down. Instead of whining about it, I just going to repost it here. It seems that everyone in the group wants to be heard and that is ok. I will work with it.
I was looking at how to face rejection and tips to help with the inevitable rejection I will some day face. At Writer’s Digest, I read this article.
In the middle is an advertisement by author of the article Holly McDowell. I was about to skip reading it but something caught my eye.
She writes digital serial novels. The cool thing that caught me was that if you read to the end of her book, you can vote in which direction the story should go.
Besides choose-your-adventure books as a kid, this is the first time I read of an author enlisting the aid of her readers like this.
This is a really cool idea. Might have to try it someday.
Just found this after reading in a Nanowrimo group on Facebook about a writer getting their first rejection. I looked online for Writer’s Digest about why works get rejected. It then led me to this fine blog.
Literary agents are full of great advice for writers. That’s why, whenever I am concluding an interview with an agent, I always end the encounter by asking “Is there any other piece of advice you’d like to discuss?”
This open-ended question often draws a fantastic answer, as the agent’s most passionate advice will pour out.
I lost my day job last year. The grocery store closed down as Walmart opened up nearby. Been searching for work ever since. I admit there are days where I have difficulty in getting out the door searching. On some days I don’t get out the door. No one seems to be hiring. Or there is some blacklist out there saying not to hire me.
Must be my imagination. Of course there is no such blacklist. Or is there one?
I started rethinking my writing strategies. A book can take an awfully long time to write. Once it is written you would have to check for grammar, structure, narrative flow, readability, and endless other things. You would not know for a while if you are going to be accepted. Or rejected.
This brought me back to the realm of short stories. Supposedly I could write more short stories than I can write a novel. They are quicker to write than novels. At least that is my theory.
Feels like an insurmountable task ahead of me. Like someone at the gates of a massive castle that only opens to a few. That few are published and paid writers.
To quote one of my favorite old movies from the 80′s:
CHARLES DE MAR: I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy.
I originally put this up on the Writers of the Future phpBB forum, but I wanted to repost it here for everyone who doesn’t visit that forum, but is still curious about what it takes to get called up to the WotF ‘majors’ and, ultimately, get a base hit — or a home run!
I decided to finally make a list of books I own or currently have that deal with writing. Many of the Kindle books I grabbed when they are free on amazon. I do not own a Kindle, but I have the Kindle for PC app. They also have a Kindle for the web app so I can read it on a web browser. Which is great for my little linux netbook.
I thought about making each one a link to Amazon but decided against it. WordPress site might have a problem with that. The books should be super easy to find by the copy and paste method.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
2014 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market by Rachel Randall
Let’s Get Digital: How to Self Publish, And Why You Should by David Gaughran
The Seven Moments in Storytelling That Really Matter by Christian Blake
The Seven Moments in Storytelling – How to Use Discovery by Christian Blake
The Seven Moments in Storytelling – How to Use Conflict by Christian Blake
The Seven Moments in Storytelling – How to Use Reinforcement by Christian Blake
SHORT STORY: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product by Michael Milton
The Writing of the Short Story by Lewis Worthington Smith
Writing Habit Mastery by S.J. Scott
7 Minutes a Day to Mastering the Craft of Writing by Rob Bignell
How to Write a Fiction Novel in 30 Days or Less by Nicholas Black
The Technique of Fiction Writing by Robert Saunders Dowst
Questions That Easily Write Books by Ian Stables
Building Your Book for Kindle by Kindle Direct Publishing
Read Their Mind by Sandi Krakowski
21 Websites That Pay You To Write by Jenny Kellett
Creative Writing by Anon
How To Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich
How to Be a Writer and Earn a Living While You’re At it by De Novo Digital Media
The Writer’s Tune-up Manual by Craig Hart
How to Become a Freelance Writer by William Carter
How to Start a Successful Blog in One Hour by Steve Scott
Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
The Prolific Writer: How to Write Faster, Better, and More Easily than Ever Before by Ethan Miller
Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-Mail Overload by Mark Hurst
Tor/Forge Author Voices: Volume 1 by Kristin Sevick
Tor/Forge Author Voices: Volume 3 by Stacy Hague-Hill
So, You Want to Write a Book – Simple Guidelines to Creating Your Publishable Book by Othniel Seiden
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K.M Weiland
Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland
A Novel Idea: Story Structure Tips for the Break-Out Novelist by Eddie Jones
The Easy Way to Write Short Stories That Sell by Rob Parnell
The Book on Writing Paula LaRocque
Tell, Don’t Show! by James Lofquist
Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay
Show or Tell? A Powerful Lesson on a Crucial Writing Skill by James Thayer
Fun to Write Novel Writing Action Kit by Donna Monday
How to Write Amazingly Hypnotic Copy to Sell Your Stuff Easily and Quickly by Curtis Burns
Beyond the Writing by Jennifer Malone Wright
WRITE EVERY DAY: How to Write Faster, and Write More by Cathy Yardley
Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel by Cathy Yardley
Rock Your Revisions: A Simple System for Revising Your Novel by Cathy Yardley
2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron.
Hooked by Les Edgerton
Write Fast: 21 Powerful Ways to Cut Your Writing Time in Half by Bryan Hufford
Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs by Marcia Riefer Johnston
Telling Details, 2nd Edition by Kat Duncan
How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin
How to Write a New York Times Bestseller in Ten Easy Steps by Jason Mulgrew
Creative Thinking by Infinite Ideas
Secrets of Successful Writers by Darrel Pitt
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow
The Definitive Guide to Writing on Your Terms, Using Your Own, Honest-to-God, Gut-Wrenching… by Rebecca Tsaros Dickson
Writing Active Setting Book 1: Characterization and Sensory Detail by Mary Buckham
Writing Active Setting Book 2: Emotion, Conflict and Back Story by Mary Buckham
Creating Characters: How to Build Story People by Dwight V. Swain
Perfecting Plot: Charting the Hero’s Journey by William Bernhardt
Story Structure: The Key To Successful Fiction by William Bernhardt
Creating Character: Bringing Your Story To Life by William Bernhardt
Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris
The Busy Writer’s One-Hour Character by Marg McAlister
The Busy Writer’s One-Hour Plot by Marg McAlister
The Busy Writer’s Book of Checklists by Marg McAlister
The Busy Writer’s Self-Editing Toolbox by Marg McAlister
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman
The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus – A Writing Study by Sam Stone
The Ultimate Fiction Thesaurus II by Sam Stone
Story Structure to Die for by PJ Reese
How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers by Steve Scott
Show & Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing by Jessica Bell
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
The Prolific Writer’s Toolbox: No Nonsense Tips For Writing Fast by Greg Scott and David Masters.
How to Edit A Book Fast And Easy: The editing, grammar, and punctuation system that works by Ian Stables
Write A F*$%’ing Book Already – How To Write a Book To Skyrocket Sales and Boost Your Career by Jim Kukral
Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker
Self Publishing Books 101: Helping You Get Published and Noticed by Shelley Hitz
Sporadic – Read this and Crush your writer’s block! by Gregory Warshaw
How To Diagnose Your Character: Using Psychology To Create and In-Depth Character by Joshua Hoyt
The Creative Writing Workbook Create and Develop the Writer Within by Susan Clayson
Smashwords Style Guide – How to Format Your Ebook by Mark Coker
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
A Step By Step Guide to Formatting Kindle Table of Contents by Victoria Sunsett
How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman
Audacious Creativity by Stephanie Gunning
Climbing Your Inner Mountain: Ten Steps to Reaching Any Goal by Robert S. Shumake
13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster: 2 Pro Writers Share Their Secrets by Linda Formichelli and Carol Tice
Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams by Laurie Schnebly
How to Write Short Stories in 6 Easy Steps by KS Tan
Essays in the Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson
Deconstructing Tolkien: A Fundamental Analysis of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by Jane Yolen and Edward J. McFadden III
Writing Fiction For Dummies by Peter Economy and Randy Ingermanson
How to Write More Words More Easily by Terrance Field (added 1-22-2014) This little book cost me $0 at Amazon. It was a fast, easy read and has lots of good, actionable material in it.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. Added January 31, 2014
250 Things You Should Know About Writing By Chuck Wendig
500 Ways to Be A Better Writer by Chuck Wendig
500 More Ways to Be A Better Writer by Chuck Wendig
Revenge of the Penmonkey by Chuck Wendig
Write That Novel by David Farland
Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing by David Farland
Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland
Elements of Fiction by Orson Scott Card
The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
How to Write a Great Book by Tom Evans
Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver
Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers
Let’s Write a Short Story by Joe Bunting
The Magic of Writing by Linda Falkner
Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by Jordan Rosenfeld
Modern Library Writer’s Workshop by Stephen Koch
Scrivener For Dummies by Gwen Hernandez
Sharp Writing: Building Better Writing Skills by Kaplan
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Story Starters: Mini Edition by Clifford Fryman
The Storyteller’s Art: How Not to Bore Your Reader to Sleep, Tears, or Homicide by Francis W. Porretto
The Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
Write Good or Die by Scott Nicholson
Writers Write by William Meikle
Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Brian Stableford
Writing Fiction For All Your Worth by James Scott Bell
Writing to be Understood by G. Allen Clark
You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
On Writing by Stephen King (This one I was rather meh about as I was expecting something I could use immediately. It took me awhile to realize that his concept of the writer’s toolbox is something every writer needs to develop on their own. Thus my collection on how-to on writing had dramatically increased in the past few years).
The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D
What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter
The Art of Dramat!c Wr!t!ng by Lajos Egri
The Only Book on Grammar You’ll Ever Need by Susan Thurman
Body Trauma: a writer’s guide to wounds and injury by David W. Page
Writer’s Digest Guide to Novel Writing
No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty
Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold
How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
How to Write a Damn Good Novel II by James N. Frey
The Key by James N. Frey
Strunk and White The Elements of Style 3rd Edition
Strunk and White the Illustrated Edition
Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks
Write What You Want & Sell What You Write by Skip Press
The Pen Commandments by Steven Frank
How to Write & Sell Your First Novel by Oscar Collier
Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer and Mark Shatz
30 Steps to Becoming a Writer and Getting Published by Scott Edelstein
The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference by Writer’s Digest
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block
Elements of Fiction Writing: Plot by Ansen Dibell
Elements of Fiction Writing: Description by Monica Wood
Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
How to Write Short Stories by Arco Publishing
Cause of Death: a writer’s guide to death, murder & forensic medicine by Keith D. Wilson
Malicious Intent: a writer’s guide to how murderers, robbers, rapists and other criminals think by Sean P. Mactire
Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells by Ben Bova
Novelist’s Boot Camp by Todd A. Stone
Character-Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet
Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon
Page after Page by Heather Sellers
Chapter after Chapter by Heather Sellers
Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain (yes I have a ebook of this one as well. I thought I lost it and found it after I bought it online for Kindle).
A Creative Writer’s Kit by Judy Reeves
How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
You Can Write A Novel by James V. Smith Jr.
Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer by James V. Smith Jr.
Breathing LIFE Into Your Characters by Rachel Ballon
Writing The Novel by Lawrence Block
The Writer’s Guide to Fantasy Literature by Philip Martin
The Describer’s Dictionary by David Grambs
The Writer’s Partner by Martin Roth
Writing the Wave by Elizabeth Ayres
First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner
Poor, starving and near homeless writers category
CHEAP MEALS and Amazing Drinks – 70 Recipes to Impress Your Friends & Save Money by Cyrille Malet (Kindle) NOTE: Possibly renamed Budget Recipes – 70 Easy Recipes That Save You Time & Money
I decided to put past my doubts and fears. Getting back to work on my space opera novel. This time I am working on the structure of the novel first. It is like planning out the key points. What I see happening in the novel from a overall view. It is helping me get past the blank page. It isn’t set in stone as I can change it anytime as I go.
The coolest thing is that I see it taking shape. Getting excited about it again. What I really like most about structuring the novel is finding the plot holes and plugging them. Or at least putting a patch on them.
The part I am now struggling with is making the plot points make sense without it becoming too far-fetched.
Oh well. It is space opera. Just run with it and make it work!