Self-Publishing ‘Properly’, Or: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

I got an email earlier from my editor, Misti, telling me that’s she’s almost finished her edit of ASCENSION POINT.

SQUEEEEEE-

Ahem. We’re going to have a chat on Wednesday, and shortly thereafter I’ll be able to start carving up my MS into a leaner, meaner form, with an eye on publishing before the end of October.

As this milestone nears, I just wanted to post on something I’ve been thinking about, what I consider the two different approaches a writer can take to self-publishing. In essence, one’s free, and one’s not. But there’s only one which I think is doing it ‘properly’. Can you guess which?  Read more…

Link Dump: Write Smarter, Not Harder

It clearly was now time for bed,

His eyes felt so bleary and red.

But it struck our host

That he had yet to post

So he banged out a link dump instead.

And finally, some immortal words from Mr. Kurt Vonnegut.

G’night, folks.

‘The Ultimate Guide To Writing Better Than You Normally Do’

‘Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.’

Solid advice. Full piece here.

‘Listen To Constructive Criticism’

Here is another marvellous post from Nicola Morgan’s ‘Help! I Need a Publisher’ blog, this time on how to respond to criticism.

“[The writer] continued by explaining that the person giving her feedback had said lots of positive things but had suggested that x and y should be changed, but that she’d actually got a publishing deal and x and y were retained. Therefore, the person giving the feedback was wrong.

Oh goshy goshy gosh. And feckity gosh all over again.”

It’s talking about writers, of course, but the advice actually applies to anyone who ever gets feedback about anything – everyone in other words! You should read the whole thing, because as always Nicola whacks the nail firmly on the head.

It’s quite pertinent to me at the moment. Read more…

Downton Galactica? Battlestar Abbey? It’s all Culture and Character, Folks

Great article on Tor.com here.

This piece reminds me of one of the best pieces of advice for science fiction or fantasy writers that I’ve ever read. My sieve-like memory for detail doesn’t allow me to quote or even paraphrase the source, but the essence of it was that in the best SF/F the science or the fantasy isn’t the centre of the story. They’re the framework, the setting, and probably certain plot drivers, which surround the actual heart – the people and civilisations interacting, the personality and culture clashes which resonate with the reader because of their familiarity. 

Iain M. Banks is the master at this, in my opinion. His Culture novels – the name itself flagging up the key theme – are anthropological masterpieces, often based around one civilisation (the Culture) being far more technologically advanced than the other that they’re interacting with, and dealing with the political and sociological fallout of even the most benevolent interventions. We can all recognise the parallels in that, I think.

“This has all happened before, it will all happen again” indeed.

Link Dump: Advice

More solid advice.