NaNoWriMo Progress Sheet

NaNoWriMo begins the day after tomorrow. To control my progress, I’ve created a spreadsheet that dynamically recomputes, each day, how many words I need to write in order to stay on track. This is a method I’ve used before, based on principles used to manage software projects. Because software projects have a lot in common […]

Dear New Indie Author…

This is a real note I just sent to a new author of a software-development book: I’m an independent author and software developer. I saw your posting on G+, and it sounded potentially interesting. I signed up for the email to download the ebook, thinking I could review it on my SD blog. However, by […]

#CharacterStory Writing Prompts 2012/05/14

Use one or more of the prompts below to inspire one or more character stories: Write a story with the scene depicted by the photo at top of this post, “New York #flickrmeetup – Come and meet us at the High Line!” (Click for a larger view.) Write a story with a character who periodically […]

Writing Character Flaws

Inspired by the Pendragon Variety Podcast relaunch episode—in which the Pendragon ladies vamp on the topic: “Character Flaws – Balancing Your Character’s Awesome”—I decided to expound on… uh… character flaws. First things first: We’re all told that our characters should have “flaws.” But what are these mythical creatures? What makes a flaw? any imperfection in […]

Self-Publishing for Fun and Profit

In yesterday’s post, I distinguished between the “indie author” and the “self-published author.” A reader named Wendy commented, with a question. This is a distinction that I originally got from Bob Baker, author of 55 Ways to Promote & Sell Your Book on the Internet. Bob got his self-publishing start with a book about indie […]

What the End of Borders Means for Authors

First of all, a clarification: when right-wingers talk about “closing the borders,” this isn’t what they mean. The big news over the past week is that Borders Books is officially going out of business. Book lovers have expressed grief and dismay. One Borders fan called it “a case of internet outsourcing.” He’s not too far […]

A Sneak Peek at the Ardor Point #2 Outline

I’ve been working on-and-off on this outline for over a year and a half now. I could go down the list of excuses and reasons why it took so long. – And it’s still not “finished” yet, but I can’t stand it anymore, so I’ve started on the “zero-draft.” I’d like to share with you […]

More about Book Covers

Related to last week’s extensive post on book-cover design for indie authors and publishers, Roger C. Parker posted over the weekend a few more tips for better book covers. He also linked to a page of interactive book-cover makeovers at Dunn+Associates Design’s web site. For a kick, check out a few, and think about how […]

How to Design Your Book Cover

As an indie author, you probably need to understand book-cover design. Traditionally published authors have their publishers’ experts to design their covers (whether or not those experts are worthy of the designation). Self-published authors, just printing up a few copies for family and friends, will probably be satisfied with the très kewl cover design tools […]

What Does Seduction Look Like?

Max, a young writer, asks: I am writing a story and need a visual description for a female “seductive” (if you know what I mean) antagonist. Or should I even describe her? I’ve seen that done well. This is actually one of my deeper characters. Hi, Max. The easiest answer I can think to give […]