publicity tagged posts

Great Stuff for Writers, June 24, 2013

Major changes coming again to my Great Stuff posts. Starting next month, I’m going to again scale way back on these posts, for a lot of reasons:

  • Technical buffoonery on my part that made the Twitter links back to them produce “page not found” errors that I didn’t know about (but should have). I know better now.
  • Time. This is the main reason. It just takes too much time to produce these posts in the current form.
  • Others are doing it better. They have bigger audiences. Another reason why my time isn’t being well spent on these posts.
  • I need to rethink my social media involvement, such as it is.

So, July 1st, when Google Reader dies, is a good time for a reevaluation and restructuring on these posts. What will that be? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here’s the Great Stuff for Writers from...

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Great Stuff for Writers, May 20, 2013

Wow! TONS of Great Stuff this week, in just about all categories. Titles, critique groups, emotions, made-up words, publishing paths, “scarcity thinking,” and dogs reading books! Even a traditional/self-publishing poll. Something for everyone.


Right up there with a great cover, a great title is critical to getting a potential reader to consider your book. That’s why Katie Weiland (@KMWeiland) provides 17 Steps to a Reader-Grabbing Title. Seventeen sounds like a lot, but she breaks them into 5 elements, 7 questions to ask, and 5 brainstorming tips, to make them easy to digest.

There are writers out there who hate critique groups. HATE ‘em. Sometimes there’s plenty of reason to. But sometimes not. Kris Montee, one of the sister pair who write as PJ Parrish, discusses this in

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Another step closer, but more yet to go

Man climbing steps

Making progress, step by step

Step by step, The Eternity Plague gets closer to becoming a published reality. Earlier this week I finished reviewing the work of a local copy editor. That’s an important step.

There’s still important work to do, however. When I began writing the book, lo those many years ago (2004!), I chose to set parts of the story at a medical research center I visited early in my research: the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center near downtown Dallas. Why? Well, it was–and still is–a highly regarded research center and a cousin of mine who works there was able to arrange for me to spend some time in the lab of one of its scientists. Very cool! AND, it wasn’t in Oklahoma, which was where I was living at the time.

Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong wi...

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Great Stuff for Writers, April 8, 2013

Welcome to the first full-week edition of Great Stuff! We’ve got craft pieces on info-dumping, writing sex scenes, and overusing particular words; business pieces on publishing, KDP Select, and book bloggers; floundering through social media; a tech article on how Google Glass might be used to read books in the future—or might not be; and a writing life piece on building good relationships with your readers.


Ah, the dreaded info-dump. If, like me, you’re a current or former professional who also writes, you can fall into the trap of killing the flow of a story by dumping information on the reader. Independent editor Jodie Renner (@JodieRennerEd) provides strategies for providing Info with Attitude that get the key things the reader needs to know across while keeping the action ...

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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!


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 5 & 6, 2013

Sorry for the light late-in-the-day post but I’ve spent most of the day as a judge at a science fair, then had a meeting to run this evening. So, without further ado…


Yuvi Zalkow’s (@yuvi) back with some material he extracted from a Skype interview with author Thaisa Frank (@ThaisaFrank). What struck him, and it may strike you too, is her comment about The Failure of the Intended Story, by which she means, she starts to write a story and gets stuck. The process of getting un-stuck then reveals the better/deeper/more real story. How about that? Said another way, if we were to treat “writer’s block” not as a block but a deflector, like a bumper in a pinball machine, we can use it to our advantage, to go in a new and more profitable (artistically and maybe commercially) direction...

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