Is it Crass for Writers to Worry About Pleasing Their Readers?
Nov 08, 2017
Should we be writing for ourselves, or for our readers?
Hunker Down and Write!
Oct 08, 2017
When there's political and cultural upheaval, some artists are galvanized, and some are overwhelmed.
Catching an Agent or Editor’s Attention: What's the Secret?
Sep 06, 2017
It's all too easy to be ignored by the gatekeepers. Is there a trick to getting noticed?
Pitching Your Book at Conferences
Aug 25, 2017
Let's say you're going to a writer's conference and you've taken the plunge and decided to pitch your book. You're going to meet with an agent or editor one on one to get an unvarnished, professional opinion of your work... now what?!
Get Your Stories Down on Paper, Now!
Aug 07, 2017
My friend Stephen had an incredibly interesting life. When he died at age 50, he left behind a small family and lots of burned bridges. One thing he didn’t leave behind—something so important that its absence is a tragedy—was any kind of cogent record of his life or work.
The Secret to Writing a Great Book
Jul 14, 2017
To be successful (which for me means completing a book others will want to read) your vision for the book must be powerful and clear.
Does Writing Advice Work for You?
Jul 09, 2017
Maybe not, and that's okay: ultimately, the only thing that matters is what works for you.
How to Get the Most Out of Feedback
Nov 20, 2016
I believe in the value of feedback. But I also believe, strongly, that writers must be prepared for what is to come or else critiques can be wildly counter productive.
A Writer's Search for Flow
Oct 03, 2016
When we have time to write—hours upon hours of uninterrupted time—do we get more done? Are we happier? The answer may seem obvious, but think again.
What Really Happens When Your Book Launches
Sep 28, 2016
We all know that the process of writing a book is complex and full of surprises and leads to uncertain outcomes. But when our books come out, few of us know what to do.
Warning Signs that You Landed a Bad Agent
Aug 03, 2016
What should you expect from an agent? How will you know which is the best agent for you? What are warning signs that things are going wrong?
How to Survive Submitting Your Writing to Editors
Jul 06, 2016
Sharing new work is always agonizing. There's just no way around it. But here are some ideas so you survive the process...
Inside an Editor’s Mind: Reading First Pages
Jun 01, 2016
I used to wonder how it was possible that the first five pages of a manuscript could matter so much. It seemed unfair and shortsighted. But...
What it Means to Work "Collaboratively" on Writing Projects
Mar 02, 2016
When my old friend Dean asked for help, I was intrigued...
How to Successfully Screw Up Your Search for a Literary Agent
Feb 03, 2016
A few sure fire ways of ensuring you won't be snagging that agent...
Should You Care About the Word Count?
Jan 06, 2016
The first few pages have to grab readers by the throat and not let go. Every page thereafter has to thrum with energy, imagination, insight. You have way more to prove if you’re going to write something that demands upfront that readers take a risk on you.
Hanging on the Telephone
Dec 02, 2015
For those seeking traditional publication, there are a few times in a writer's life when a phone call is all-important, rather than email: when you are trying to get an agent, and when the agent is submitting to publishers.
Questions That Can Drive Writers Crazy
Oct 07, 2015
What happens when you stop pushing so hard?
Writing Fiction Based on True Events--Watch Out!
Sep 02, 2015
Have you ever had someone read your work and say, “I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem that plausible to me…” when you’ve written about something that really took place?
Seeking Success as a Writer? Hurry Up & Slow Down
Aug 05, 2015
Can you hurry the creative process? When you launch a book, is it possible to blow through everything on your marketing to-do list?