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Groundwork

There is a stage in everything, when it looks like you’re going nowhere.  It is of course possibly a reflection of reality. Your career has stalled, your book has stalled, your relationship has stalled, the house you’re trying to build has stalled…

It’s quite easy to stick at this point, to give up. It may even be sensible. But hey, I’m a rock-climber: telling me something wasn’t sensible (or possible) hasn’t put me off so far. Read more

It’s all in how you look at it

Point of View

How many of you here have started something in first person, only to go back and redraft it as third? Or third person redrafted to first?

Or figured out you were in the wrong person’s head, and had to restart in a different head?

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Off the Rails

I’m crossing my fingers while writing this that the internet will hold on long enough for me to post it. Since the Great Outage, I’ve bought a new router, jumped through more network hoops than I care to think about, worked ten hours a day at the day job with the exception of the day I drove the Junior Mad Scientist into the city for an appointment, and even that day I didn’t arrive home until late, and had dental work done. Still, the ‘net is iffy at best. Today, it is hoped, a technician shall arrive and figure it out, because I’m stymied.

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Working the Stereotypes

 

Diversity’s the big issue in fiction these days.

Well, not really. The howling mobs of the perpetually offended only care about race and sex. Of the author, and of the characters.

True diversity of thoughts and emotions, behavior, opinions, and politics? The mob doesn’t seem to care. But most readers do. They don’t want every character to be the same, except for details of hair, eye, and skin color. A good story is the story of human interactions, even in a book full of running gunfights and explosions. Read more

On (Not) Writing Daily

They tell you to write every day, and that’s a very good habit to develop. However, since most of us live in this messy place called Real Life, it’s seldom possible to follow that advice literally. The babysitter just quit, the ten-year-old broke his arm, the nursing home has an emergency with your father, the kitchen caught fire, the garage roof fell in… Only someone completely without human connections and supplied with a large staff of perfect servants gets to be that rigid about rules.

I think most of the people who are sufficiently interested in writing to read a blog like this come as close as humanly possible to writing every day, even if Real Life does force them into some complicated detours. Read more

It’s Kate’s Birthday

So she’s run away to have some fun. At least I hope she has. In the meantime, here’s an echo of my post today over on my personal blog. B&N is showing that old is new or new is old or some such thing.

Barnes & Noble “New” Concept a Return to Old

I’ve not made a secret of the fact I worry for the future of bookseller Barnes & Noble. For the last decade, I’ve seen signs the company is in trouble. It goes beyond the revolving door in the executive suite. It goes beyond the problems traditional publishing is having. It is a combination of a large number of factors that, ultimately, almost all rest in the board room. But at least the company hasn’t given up. That’s the best I can say. Read more

Cover(s) reveal and a bit more

Before we get to the cover reveal, here’s a head’s up. If you were publishing your print books through Createspace, be prepared to move over to the KDP platform or find some other service for your print needs. I’ve used the KDP system when it was still in beta and it’s actually a bit easier to use than the Createspace interface was. The problem now is there’s this little question they ask without giving you any real explanation about what they mean or what the impact of answering “yes” will be. Read more