encouragement

On Plagiarists and “Real Writers”

Holly Lisle in her writing tips newsletter today wrote about plagiarism and being a “real writer.” I put “real writer” in quotes not for sarcastic effect. I put those words in quotes because those are the words Holly herself used, and I agree with them completely. She talks about some would-be aspiring authors, as it […]

Gotta Write Who You Are

In How To Write Page-Turning Scenes, Holly Lisle tells the story of a writer who lived SF. He decided to write a fantasy-comedy, just because he thought he could sell it. And sell it he did. And then he sold another one, and then again and again and again… ten titles. Except it made him […]

Negative Reviews May Be Good for Your Book

Thanks to Bill Morris of The Millions for this link to a paper, published in Marketing Science (v. 29 n. 5, September-October 2010), “Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: Can Negative Reviews Increase Sales?” In this paper, researchers Jonah Berger, Alan T. Sorensen, and Scott J. Rasmussen scientifically demonstrate a truth that I’ve been asserting intuitively […]

Rejection Sucks

This morning, I replied to Sarah Allen’s latest post, about how very many editors have been rejecting her stories: I have been telling myself for years now that I’m good at rejection and that I’ve learned to take it like water off a ducks back, and I think relatively I probably do handle it okay, […]

Not Taking Criticism So Seriously

The stories we write are part of us. Like children, we nurture them and raise them. We identify with them. Then we push them out into the world and hope that they make a good name for us. This, I’m sure, is why some reviewers refuse to rate books that they can’t give at least […]

Top 10 Reasons (Not?) to Be a Writer

Alan Baxter posted this list last week, and it’s still making the rounds. “And before anyone accuses me,” Alan writes, “of being all jaded and defeatist, I prefer to look at it as arming myself with the truth in order to beat that f***er down and prove every point on this list wrong.” He’s talking […]

The Myth of the Thick-Skinned Novelist

Some years ago, when I was a fledgling storyteller still puzzling through the basics of what makes a story work (or not), I frequented a certain writer’s forum, now defunct. One of the writers there made it very clear that when we critiqued his work, we should be positively nasty about it. He didn’t want […]

The Best Thing You’ve Ever Written

Yesterday, I posted a status on Facebook about my new novel I’m working on: “This is a tear-jerker. Possibly the best story I’ll have written so far.” That got me to thinking whether I’m conceited or deluded, to say that I’m now writing the best thing I’ve ever written. After all, who am I to […]