ebook contracts tagged posts

House Guests and Book News

House Guests

One of the reasons I built my new house the way I did was so I could have house guests, and now I have. Last Monday I was pleased to have friends John and Karel spend the night on their way back to Albuquerque. They had been marshaling at the PGA golf tournament in Phoenix, and since John is also the Southwest Region President for AFA, he uses the trip to also visit the four chapters in the state, including mine here in Sierra Vista.

Before they arrived, however, another visitor came. His name is Padraig, but like many Irishmen, he prefers to be called Patty. Patty’s an interesting sort. Rough-hewn. Despite my persistent requests, he insists on staying outside. “Sun or snow, rain or blow,” he says, “my place is out of doors, lad. I’ll be fine...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 30-April 1, 2013

Welcome to the new and improved, or at least changed, version of Great Stuff for Writers! We’ve got 10 terrific posts on character development (and bumping them off), publishing and publicity tips, book design hints, and some thoughts on the life of a writer. Enjoy!

CRAFT

I’m not a fan of the 20- (or 200-) questions approach to character development, but thriller writer Tom Pawlik (@TomPawlik) offers 9 Ingredients of Character Development, centered around using the word character as the mnemonic for the ingredients. Maybe it’ll work for you.

Speaking of characters, what happens if they refuse to do what you want them to? That’s great! James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) provides sound advice on The Kill Zone on how to Let Your Characters Live and Breathe, particularly for those of u...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 26 & 27, 2013

Turn on your Observer to watch out for coincidences, more bad ebook deals (this one from Amazon, if you can believe it), and whether ebook gift cards are a good idea for your book. There’s all that and more in today’s Great Stuff.

CRAFT

Barbara O’Neal (@barbaraoneal) writes about Cultivating The Observer, that part of our writer selves that does just two things: notice and record. Notice as much as possible of the details around us, and record them for later use in our writing. Her Writer Unboxed piece is full of examples and illustrations of The Observer at work. Is yours?

What a coincidence! Well, no, not really, but Katie Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) vlog about Your Secret Weapon Against Story Coincidences might just come at a time when it’s just what you needed to read. Or not...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 21 & 22, 2013

Variety in your writing life. Rachelle Gardner advocates it and we’ve got it: craft-wise, business-wise, life-wise, even wise-cracking-wise. Great—even wise—tools for your toolkit.

CRAFT

Allison Vesterfelt (@allyvest) guest posts on Jeff Goins’ blog with the question, Is Your Writing Timeless? Yes, she really does mean, is your writing dealing with issues that will still matter a long time from now? Now, that seems like a tall order, a task reserved for “literary” fiction and not for the other genres that are too often dismissed as “mere entertainment.” Yet non-literary fiction can certainly deal with questions of how people deal with big issues in their lives—mortal or psychological danger, loneliness, fear, conflict—without descending into plotless maundering...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 16-18, 2013

Primarily a business focus in today’s articles but Kristen Lamb’s funny piece on not being a social media tools tool is a nice counterpoint.

CRAFT

James Scott Bell’s (@jamesscottbell) The Perils of Pure Pantsing on The Kill Zone could also be titled “In Praise of Structure.” Note that that’s structure with a u, not stricture with an i. Late in the post, Bell writes that structure “helps readers feel what you want them to feel” (italics his). I compare structure to the bare scaffold of a building. It defines the general shape but says nothing about where the doors and windows will be, the number, shape, or size of the rooms, or what the exterior will look like. That’s where the architect’s art comes in...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 12 & 13, 2013

Whoa! Is today a double, or even triple, unlucky day: 3-13-13? Not a bit! In fact, it’s your lucky day with the Great Stuff that’s waiting for you below, including news of a major shift in Random House’s proposed ebook contracts and 11 steps to creating a good looking CreateSpace POD book.

CRAFT

Keith Cronin (@KeithCronin) advocates a learning technique that a writer friend of mine swears by: Be a Copycat. Note that that’s copycat, NOT plagiarist. The idea is simple: by copying—word-for-word—particular passages—the opening scene, a chapter, the climax, whatever—of the work of an author whose work you admire and respect, you will gain insights into how they did what they did that you never would have simply by reading the same work...

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Great Stuff for Writers, March 7 & 8, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone. The Tucson Festival of Books is this weekend and I’m psyched. This is always a great event. Maybe I’ll see you there. Meanwhile, there’s a big kerfuffle afoot over some new ebook contracts from Random House. See below for much more on that, plus other, far less controversial Great Stuff.

CRAFT

Jordan Dane (@JordanDane) offers terrific advice in 8 Key Ways to Edit Suspense & Pace into Your Finished Manuscript. If that title isn’t enough to make you want to go read it, I’ll tease a few of her suggestions: figure out if you’ve started at the best point; is the setting the right one; does the protagonist’s “black moment” occur at the best possible place? Valuable stuff here.

Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) injects a moment of sanity in what other m...

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