Category: Dubious Writing Advice

Write What You Know: I Just Work Here

One of my favorite books about the craft is Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s chocked full of interesting anecdotes and useful tidbits about King’s approach to the written word (definitely check it out if you haven’t already). Much of that book has stuck with… Continue Reading “Write What You Know: I Just Work Here”

First Draft vs. Revision: One Plotter’s Preference

Writing a novel is a process of many individual steps, but all those steps generally fall under two very broad stages: drafting and revising. Just about every author I know prefers one or the other, and I thought I’d share a little about my… Continue Reading “First Draft vs. Revision: One Plotter’s Preference”

Withdrawing a Withdrawal: A Submission Saga

I often encounter a general sense among authors that magazine editors are waiting to pounce on them if they make a mistake or need to ask for an appropriate allowance in the submission process. The belief is that an error or request will result… Continue Reading “Withdrawing a Withdrawal: A Submission Saga”

Hook Shot: Still More Fun With First Lines

One of my absolute favorite blog topics is analyzing the first lines of my short stories and trying to divine whether a good one helps you get published. This all stems from a fantastic essay written by Stephen King called “Great Hookers I Have… Continue Reading “Hook Shot: Still More Fun With First Lines”

Good as New: Evaluating Fledgling Publishers

I covered this topic back in 2016, and I think it’s due for an update. In the last four years, I’ve seen a lot of genre markets come and go (one that showed up and disappeared almost overnight), and there are some things I… Continue Reading “Good as New: Evaluating Fledgling Publishers”

Tropes That Suck or How to Sell a Vampire Story

I have a problem, a writerly weakness if you will. I can’t stop writing vampire stories. Of the thirteen stories I’ve sold in 2020, five of them feature the befanged bloodsuckers. Why do I bring this up? Well, because vampires are tough to sell.… Continue Reading “Tropes That Suck or How to Sell a Vampire Story”

Novel Work: Round One Revisions

A little over a month ago, I finished the first draft of a new novel tentatively titled Hell to Play. I let it sit for a while to rest, refocus, and work on other projects, but now I’ve started doing the initial read-through and… Continue Reading “Novel Work: Round One Revisions”

Rejection Reflection: Is This Market for Me?

One of the toughest questions writers sometimes ask themselves is if a particular publisher is a good market for their work. When the form rejections pile up, you begin to wonder if maybe they just aren’t into your style, voice, tone, etc. That’s entirely… Continue Reading “Rejection Reflection: Is This Market for Me?”

Submission Journal: The Bad Year

I’ve been submitting short stories pretty regularly for the last seven years, and my acceptance percentage is usually between fifteen and twenty percent, except for one strange, terrible year. In 2017 I managed only a measly 7% acceptance rate. But why? Well, first some… Continue Reading “Submission Journal: The Bad Year”

Evolution of a Short Author Bio II

An author’s bio can change quite a bit over an author’s career. Mine sure has. The more writerly accomplishments I accumulate, the more my bio changes, and over the past couple years I’ve added some important things to my resume. Before I get into… Continue Reading “Evolution of a Short Author Bio II”

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