Can i has a book deal?

April 3, 2008

Here’s yet another way to get your book published–create a guilty pleasures blog.

Bloggers get book deals

And definitely check out these soon-to-be-much-more-famous blogs:

Writing a book? Find a Catcher

March 19, 2008

Writing a book? Find a Catcher
The following story is about a nonfiction book, but would also work for fiction.

I was having trouble finishing all the parts of a big complicated manuscript. So, using a tip from F. J. Mackelroy, I found a colleague who agreed to “catch” an emailed chapter every week. No need for them to even read it, I just wanted someone there expecting it, to provide a deadline and accountability.

The chapters ranged from a few words to regular book chapters— and, except for 3 vacations, I kept at it for 2 years. The chapters were not in strict order, and I did some filling in, making edits, and taking occasional small detours when some topic was insistent, but always returning to the main thread.

At the end of two years, I looked over what I had, and there were 250 pages of solid text!

To do this yourself,
1. Decide on a deadline you will keep. Mine was to send SOMETHING, of any length, written on my topic, every Friday.
2. Find a catcher. This can be anyone—you can decide with them if you want them to comment, reply, or just catch your submissions without even replying.
3. Get going. After a creaky start, I was surprised at how soon it became a habit. Many were sent at 11:50 Friday night. Many times the keyboard was covered with sweat. Many times I was sure it would not work. And it did anyway.

WriteOnMBA, Writing Coach

March 13, 2008

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Creating Short Fiction

March 12, 2008

Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight is my all time favorite book on fiction writing. It’s not just because my name appears in it. It’s not just because Damon was my teacher and friend. It’s because it’s a useful and fun and funny and easy to read book about writing.

Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction

As Algis Budrys, another stellar figure in the cosmos of writing, says in an Amazon review, “What Knight doesn’t know about writing the short story cannot be put into expository prose anyway.”

Get it, and spend some time with a wonderful man.

Bill O’Hanlon sends along a Fiction Writing tip from Elizabeth George

March 11, 2008

Bill O’Hanlon sent along some information on fiction writing, taken from Elizabeth George’s book on writing:

Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life, Elizabeth George; NY; HarperCollins; 2004.

Notes on writing fiction
1. Characters have flaws; they are imperfect.
2. Characters suffer self-doubt
3. Characters grow, develop and change

4. Characters must be put in conflict in the story (character’s will must meet some resistance)

Character is story
Dialogue is character

Your Book: When to Finish It First

March 6, 2008

With nonfiction, as Bill O’Hanlon says, you rarely write on speculation–where you finish writing the whole book before you send it to an agent or publisher. You usually just send a proposal, outline, and writing samples, along with the other things he discusses.

With fiction, however, you often write on spec. For fiction books, especially first novels, editors and agents almost always want the finished book and supporting materials, usually including the first 3 chapters.

With any kind of writing, but fiction especially, it can be useful to publish short pieces first. True, short stories are not just short hunks of novels, and can sometimes be as hard to write as novels, but if you can write them, short stories in magazines are a great way help readers and editors get to know your work.

If you write genre fiction, and there are good magazines and a strong community, such as the fantasy and science fiction genre, this can be especially helpful.

Of course that means, if you write science fiction or fantasy, then when you finish writing that book before submitting it, you’re writing speculative fiction on spec.

Well, I hardly think I need to apologize for that! After all, there’s a strong tradition of this kind of sublime humor in science fiction circles.

Hello writers!

March 6, 2008

Welcome to getyourbookwrittenannex: Tips for fiction writers taking Bill O’Hanlon’s Online Book Writing and Publishing Course: Get Your Book Written and Published in Record Time