Rewriting is the key to success

Writing, most of the time, is easy. At least for me. Rewriting is the hard part. And before I get a million virtual tomatoes aimed at my head, let me explain. My background and training is print journalism. When your story has to be written in eight minutes so the press will start on time, you get it done. It won’t win the Pulitzer, and you might think lining bird cages is too good a fate for it, but it’s written. So when I’m switching gears to fiction, that’s the bar I try to clear – getting words on paper. …

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Why I’m going indie

This is not a surprise if you’ve been reading my blog, but I’m going indie — starting next week, I hope. Research, combined with my experiences in the newspaper industry’s transformation during the past decade have convinced me that at this point in my career, and at this point in the publishing industry’s transformation, that it’s the smartest option. I made the decision a while ago, but I’m announcing it now because I plan to have my first e-book — a short-story collection — available late next week. I’m into final edits on the stories, and the cover is ready to …

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More writing geekery coming

Live Journal’s been having so many issues the past few days with DNS attacks and other server issues than it’s become pretty unreliable. So as I can get into my site there, I’ll be grabbing several of my old writing process posts and bringing them over here in some form or another. I wanted to bring over one today, but I haven’t been able to get in to copy it. Hopefully it will come up soon…

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Writing a series — the endless cast of characters

I spent three hours last night wrestling the first draft of a short story into the ground. The story only really took flight after I realized that rather than creating a random character for the POV character to interact with, I just had to drop in an existing series character who hadn’t shown up in this story, but plausibly could. She showed up and the story entered that magical realm where I feel like I’m not writing, I’m just sitting back and transcribing as the characters play out the situation. This is the main reason I like writing series fiction. …

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Chugging toward publication

I’ve been quiet over here, but writing away behind the scenes. I’m hoping by late next week or early the following week to publish a short-story collection I’ve been working on. It will be e-book only, but I’m going through Smashwords, so all versions, including PDF, will be supported. A couple of the stories are drawn from Story Cubes Challenge entries I liked, but the longest is one I haven’t mentioned yet. I should know more in a few days about timing — stay tuned!

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#WorkshopWeekend – the non Google+ version

It’s the first Google+ #WorkshopWeekend where we post pieces (<1,000 words) on Saturday for people to critique. Bruce had asked if there was a way people not yet on G+ could join in, so I’m also posting mine here for people to comment. If you’d like me to return the favor, just leave a link to your #WorkshopWeekend piece in comments. I have to work this afternoon and evening, so depending on volume, I might not get to commenting on some until late tonight or tomorrow morning. My #WW piece is the first 1,000 words of a longer short story …

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Hey, Norm! (aka living in a small town)

My friend Stacey was in town this week, and her reaction when I described my favorite coffee shop, which I visit daily, was “So you walk in and it’s all ‘Hey, Norm!’?” It’s an analogy I hadn’t thought of, but it’s spot-on. That community is one of the things I love about small towns. Sometimes, it really seems like everybody *does* know your name. I see it in my hometown, though it’s grown over the years and doesn’t fit any classic definition of a small town. But wandering around at the downtown association’s Strawberry Stroll last month, seeing high school …

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Google+ and writing workshops

Since I got on Google+ in its second week, the thing I’ve liked the best is how many writers I’ve connected with. I’ve been so swamped, I haven’t had a chance to really look at each and what their specialties are. But having all the writing chatter in my feed has helped me keep focus during a crazy few weeks. The newest bit is an upcoming writer’s workshop, something the group is trying for the first time this weekend. The idea is we each post a piece that’s less than 1,000 words (or portion of a piece). We comment on …

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Rory’s Story Cubes Challenge – Week 5

Prompts: L/corner/alphabet block, keyhole, castle/tower, snoring/sleeping, ghost/trick-or-treat/Halloween/shadow, sad face, magic wand, scales (of justice), airplane Lockstep Will checked his watch. Just another 15 minutes — if they were on time — and then he could be free of this hellhole. Even with headphones on, he could hear the man next to him snoring away. He tried to block out the noise, bent on finishing the crossword. It was a simple one really. Clues any halfway-intelligent person could solve. He shook his head as he read adjoining clues, filling in A-L-P-H-A and O-M-E-G-A in the appropriate squares. At least he wouldn’t …

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Beyond the Big Six Publishers

While I was reading the Time piece last week, the WSJ had a story bemoaning the decline of traditional publishing, arguing that we’ll miss those gatekeepers when they’re gone because they filter out the lousy books. As I said the other day, I think there are mechanisms that will arise to replace that gatekeeping role, based on my experiences in the fanfiction world. But I’ve also seen a couple of other writers make good points on the subject and wanted to share their thoughts: Anne R. Allen makes a pretty good case that the switch to indie publishing will do …

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