[identity profile] fleetfootmike.livejournal.com
The late David Gemmell, as quoted by [livejournal.com profile] officialgaiman:

My favourite David Gemmel conversation was about 16 years ago, in a bar in London. We were talking about writing and the freedoms of writing. And I'd just said that one of the things I liked best about writing was the freedom to write whenever I wanted. "Can you imagine," I said, "there are writers out there who start at nine every morning, take a lunch hour and then type until five. And who won't write on weekends. Why would anyone want to do that?"

And David, who was buying me a drink at the time, said, mildly, "That's my working day, actually. But I start at eight thirty."

Which taught me one of those lesson things, really. Nice man.
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Apologies for being late on the Writing Tips posts lately, folks. Last week I was sick and that totally threw me off kilter. Then we had our share of the recent heat wave going around the country, and that totally fried my brain over the weekend. Over the last few days it's cooled off again up here in the Pacific Northwest, and while my brain's been coming back online, it's been occupied with work and stuff. But! I haven't forgotten you all.

So let me talk about another writing tip. Last time I'd posted about writing synopses, and before that, setting up characters. Now I'd like to get back into the general flow of following a book from start to finish.

I could talk some about worldbuilding, but for me at least that works a lot like setting up my characters. So I'm going to skip that unless I hear from y'all that you'd like me to cover that in greater detail. Instead, I'm going to move on to talking about how to get a plot going.

Read more... )
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
By special request of [livejournal.com profile] pinkdormouse, I'm going to jump a bit out of my planned groove for these posts. I've been trying to proceed through a general logical order of putting a book together, but the topic I want to address today may still go well into the early stages of novel planning. For me, it's come in at both the early stages of novel planning and at the very end of things, after I've actually gotten the book finished! Regardless of when you do it, it has to be done--because you're going to want this thing when you take the scary step of sending off a query package to a publisher about your book.

The scary thing in question? Your synopsis.

Read more... )
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
This week's post continues the progression I've tried to establish with the first two. The whole idea of taking notes really is something I have so much to say about that I can break it out into multiple posts, so I'm going to give that a shot. This one's about "Setting up characters".

I mentioned last week that in ye olden days I tended to set up at mimimum basic character sheets for things I was working on, and that these days, these character files have gotten more involved depending on the complexity of any given work in progress. So I'll talk some about what goes into a given character file of mine.

Read more... )
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
This post is late this week, folks, I realize--but as I posted over on my journal, I've been asked to send partial manuscripts for two of my novels to Bantam Spectra, which is making this week kind of nuts. *^_^* But, going through that whole process does kind of lead me into the topic for this Writing Tips post, which is "Taking notes".

Read more... )
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[personal profile] annathepiper
I think I shall post one of these a week, just to make sure something gets posted around here at least that often. And I'd like to space them out somewhat regardless, to guarantee that we'll have some regular traffic for a while.

But! I would dearly, dearly love to see this be a group activity. So here's my request to you all--if you'd like to share thoughts on a writing tip with others, please, by all means, write up a post and talk about it! Or, if there's a topic you'd like to see addressed but you aren't confident with posting about it yourself, post a request for someone to speak up about it.

I will now declare that my day for posting writing tips posts will be Wednesday. If somebody else doesn't post a different post before that day of every week, you'll see one come out of me. But if someone beats me to it, that'll be the writing tips post for the week. :)

Questions? Holler!
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
One of the most useful and vital pieces of information I have gleaned from pro writers to date has been to set yourself doable daily goals for getting writing done.

More back here... )
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Folks, Writer's Weekend is on the immediate horizon, and as I've done for the past couple of years now, I intend to go and take copious notes on the various panels I attend. They'll be posted on my own journal and linked to from here as well, so look for a bit of traffic over the next week or so. And if any of you listening in will also be there, sing out so I'll know to look for you!

Meanwhile, I'm also thinking about posting some semi-regular random writing tips posts, and I encourage y'all to think of good ones of your own to share with others--what works for you and why. (Keeping in mind, of course, that we writers are a persnickety and individualist bunch, and that what works for you may not work for others. ;) )

Looking forward to seeing your all's thoughts!
[identity profile] otoselkie.livejournal.com
365tomorrows.com, which posts daily SF short stories, has made a post saying that they will be looking for reader submissions. The submission form is here.
annathepiper: (Muse at Work)
[personal profile] annathepiper
So! Things have been kind of quiet around here lately, so I thought I'd throw out a quick ping to you all to see if there are any burning writing-related questions you'd like to see discussed so's we can liven things up. Should I do another Pitch Practice thread? Is there any interest in a beta-reading exchange? I'm thinking maybe, if anybody needs beta reading, we could do some sort of a swap thing--you want beta reading on something, offer to beta read something else by someone, maybe on a chapter-by-chapter trade for long works? :)

Talk to me, people. Or by all means, feel free to start topics of your own!
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Y'all might want to add the feed for A.C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss' [livejournal.com profile] writer_beware blog to your Friends lists. The actual URL for the blog is http://accrispin.blogspot.com/.

This promises to be a very useful resource to keep writers aware of what goes on in with scam agents and publishers and the like. It goes along with the Writer Beware page hosted by SFWA, the Science Fiction Writers of America. Definitely, definitely recommended reading.

(crossposted between my journal and [livejournal.com profile] scuzzboppers)
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Recently I've seen a rash of blog posts from various agents talking about a flood of pretty much identical query letters hitting their agencies. These letters all seem to follow the same template, come across as overly familiar, and completely ignore the golden rule that if an author wants to query an agent, she should damn well read that agent's webpage or do appropriate other research to find out how an agent wishes to receive submissions. I've seen quite a bit of speculation about whether the letters come out of a query-letter-generating script of some sort, or whether someone has set up a "service" that offers to bombard agents all over the place with the same form letter about your novel.

But regardless of how the letters are getting generated, they are getting universally panned as Bad Ideas. Long story short: write your own query letter. It's difficult, it's annoying, but in the long run, it's just wiser.

Kristen Nelson rants about it here, [livejournal.com profile] agentobscura here, and the redoubtable [livejournal.com profile] miss_snark here.

(x-posted between my journal and [livejournal.com profile] scuzzboppers)
[identity profile] seattlesparks.livejournal.com
Forgive the brief, blatant advertisement. Since I'm doing PR for Foolscap, I'm going to try and put it a few places I think people might be interested. And I know there are a few other Northwest folks here, who have an interest in speculative fiction... ;)

Foolscap is a small Northwest convention focused originally on only the written form of speculative fiction. (That expanded to become comic books and art as well, but it is still focused on 'things that are flat.') The convention is mostly a discussion convention; guests and attendees sit down and talk about things that interest them.

Foolscap VIII is September 24-26 at the Bellevue Sheraton. The guests of honor are C.J. Cherryh and Kage Baker.

Why am I posting so far in advance? Well...

Foolscap will have a table at Norwescon where we'll be offering memberships for $35.00 ($10.00 off our current price) to anyone who buys two or more memberships. We'll also be offering a limited number of student memberships (must show current student ID) for $25.00.

If you'll be at Norwescon this weekend, and think Foolscap might interest you, this will probably be the best membership price you'll get!
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Folks, [livejournal.com profile] alg has posted that she has some space open on her upcoming paranormal romance and romantic suspense lists! So if these are areas you've been writing in and you're interested in submitting something to her, you should go read this post for details on what she's looking for. Tell her I sent you. ^_^

(x-posted to my journal and [livejournal.com profile] scuzzboppers)
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
This is another post recommended by [livejournal.com profile] alg--it is a post by [livejournal.com profile] deannahoak on how an author can make a copyeditor's job easier. Some stuff in here that takes the standard wisdom of "submit in standard manuscript format" and expands upon it by telling you why this makes a copyeditor's job a lot easier. Check it out!
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
She tells me to relay that if anyone has any questions in the vein of "demystifying publishing", she'll be happy to answer them. So if there's any aspect of the publishing process you have a question about, drop a comment here and I'll pass it on to her!
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
Here are a couple of posts by [livejournal.com profile] alg about how the submission process works when you're sending a manuscript out. For those of you who don't already know who she is, she's one of the editors at Tor. Much of what she has to say is therefore Tor-specific, but on the other hand, much of it isn't, so it's good stuff to know in general. Wear your snark glasses when reading Anna's posts. ;)

http://alg.livejournal.com/75231.html
http://alg.livejournal.com/75477.html

(x-posted between my journal and [livejournal.com profile] scuzzboppers)
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
So courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] alg, I picked up a new blog that those of you who are pursuing professional publication may want to check out. It's Pub Rants, the blog of agent Kristin Nelson, at the Nelson Agency in Denver. I've been following her posts for the last few days and they seem very informative and helpful. She has an LJ feed as well at [livejournal.com profile] pubrants.

From there I picked up the URL of Miss Snark, of whom I had previously heard but who I had not yet read. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Miss Snark, she's an (anonymously posting) agent in New York, and her blog is devoted to all sorts of in-depth goodness about how an agent's job works. Very, very informative. And also funny. She's also feeding via LJ, at [livejournal.com profile] miss_snark. Check her out!

(x-posted between my journal and [livejournal.com profile] scuzzboppers)
[identity profile] juanal.livejournal.com
Hey everybody, I joined here a long time ago, but I don't think I ever posted much if at all. I am Juan and my point of contact was Anna.

I'd appreciate it if you could take a look at my little short story below and let me know honestly what you think. I wrote it in the last 3 hours and it is based on my actual experiences with Milo earlier today, but I really hope its fiction. Its is fresh off the vine and likely very under ripe so please give me your real feedback good or bad, I can take it. Thanks.

=========================================================
Milo's Story )
annathepiper: (Default)
[personal profile] annathepiper
I got asked over on my journal by [livejournal.com profile] kissare on behalf of her S.O. how a person new to the whole world of writing might get started, and it seemed to me that this would be a fabulous topic to address here. One of the big things I told her, though, was that in my experience the process of writing varies wildly from writer to writer--what works for me may not work for others. Different resources will be useful to different people. Writer A may use a different system to get herself working than Writer B.

So I'd like to expound for a bit on my own thoughts on this, but I'd also love to see comments from the rest of you about how you got started on writing. Talk about what resources you found online that were helpful, if you use a writer group/workshop, whatever you feel is pertinent, anything you would say to someone who plunked you down and said, "So, I want to write a book. What should I do?"

I'll put my own commentary in a comment! But please, folks, jump in. The more the merrier!
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