Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, and Wal*Mart

Many people ask writers where they get their ideas. Most of us writers have developed stock answers (including the snark that makes up the subject of this post.) Yesterday, I had about a dozen ideas for new stories. Yesterday morning, Maria V. Snyder and I headed down to the National Geographic to see the traveling exhibit of Terra Cotta Warriors from China. (Maria doesn’t live in the area, but she lives close enough that she can travel...

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Planning for the Unexpected

Yesterday,   asked me how my month-long sojourn to Hospital-Land affected my writing schedule (particularly because my previous posting had been about overly-aggressive goal-setting for writing.)  I figured I’d take a few pixels to answer, today. In my prior job, if I needed to take time off to care for a relative, I’d let my boss know as soon as I became aware of the need.  I’d schedule vacation time to cover...

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After the First Book…

In the past few days, I’ve spoken with a surprising number of authors who have completed their first books and are starting the long, hard process of shopping it around to agents.  (Yea, authors!)  Every single one of those authors is following the best rule in the Author’s Book: each has started working on his/her next novel. Alas, some didn’t read the corollary.  Some are writing the second book in the series...

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How to Move Your Stories into the World

Several weeks ago (whoops!), I received email from a reader, Michele Kennedy, asking me how to go about placing her novel with a publisher.  I told her that I’d love to write a general post on the subject, and she agreed to let me use her name in the posting.  So…  Here goes – a few thoughts on how to get published, focusing on novels, rather than short fiction or nonfiction, because that’s what I know...

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How to Build a Story from a Spark

A few weeks ago, there was a lot of discussion about writing process and how different novelists create their work.  I didn’t have time to engage then (I was, um, too busy meeting a deadline, resulting from the way I create my work 🙂 )  There was a follow-up discussion launched by technosage, which I did join.  You can read that thread, and some of my initial comments here.  Technosage invited me to expand on those...

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