on Digital Pubbing:
So you’re considering the possibility of becoming a freelance writer, but you’re not really sure what steps you need to take to make it all happen. Sound about right?
Becoming a successful freelance writer is a bit of a whirlwind; nobody seems to fall cleanly into the career path. Instead, those who ultimately become successful will almost always tell you that there was no shortage of pure luck at hand. Every success story is different—someone may tell you they got their start with one blowout piece and the work has been rolling in ever since. More likely there were a lot of smaller pieces that paid a bit here and a bit there that ultimately went into building a strong reputation.
Regardless of how most people start, if you are serious about giving freelance writing a shot, there are a handful of things you can do to prepare yourself. Of course, there is no step-by-step guide to success, but having the basics figured out at the start can put you off on the right foot.
Unfortunately there are too many writers who are not supported by their loved ones. Thanks for this great article, Anne R. Allen!
I’m always amazed at how many people I know — friends who would go out of their way to help me physically — cannot say one supportive thing about my writing. Some even ask for one of my books and then never mention it again. Others make fun of the fact I’m a writer. “Yeah, but what do you do for a living?”
When I tell them I’ve written a blogpost about a subject that interests them, they make elaborate excuses for not reading it. Or they say “I’m not a blogger” as if that prevents them from reading online content.
Even after three bestsellers, a highly successful blog, and multiple awards. I have a lot of unsupportive friends who don’t acknowledge that I’m a writer. And I’ve discovered I’m not alone.
It turns out a whole lot of people can’t deal with having creatives for friends.
on Lit Reactor:
If you follow me on social media you know I love talking about publishing. I love talking about writing because writing is my life, but I also love to talk about publishing.
The difference is simple: writing is art, but publishing is a business.
If you’re serious about writing and publishing, chances are you already know about agents. If you don’t, here’s the 101: agents are folks who get your book in front of publishers and other folks who might give you money for it.
Yeah, they do a lot of other things, as you’ll see below, but that’s their bread and butter.
Because agents sell books to publishers, almost every writer out there wants, is looking for, or has an agent. Unfortunately, the thing I’ve learned after spending the last half decade talking about publishing online is that a lot of people are confused when it comes to agents.
So here are some things you should know about them.
Thank you so very much for announcing my new book on your blog, Sally Cronin! That means a lot to me! I really appreciate all your help and support.
Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed during the week here on Smorgasbord. Nothing new to report on the home front as we face another month in full lock down. Hopefully by the better weather (usually) appears in May we will be able to get out and about a little more. […]
Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up..- February 28th – March 6th – Pretty Woman, Shortstories, Poetry, Book Reviews, Food and Funnies.
Invitation to the ‘Rise From The Ashes’
March 5, 3 – 8 pm CST ( 1 – 6 pm PST)
You can purchase pre-made book covers, books, and author services
Many authors, author assistants, and book cover designers are participating. Please check out the fundraiser auction and the different packages, services, and bundles you can purchase:
Please, spread the word about it!
March 5, 2021, 1 – 6 pm PST (3 – 8 pm CST)
Bethany Henry published a post about six important rules for retelling classic stories. Thanks for your advice, Bethany!
on Fiction University:
I love retellings of fairy tales and classic stories. They can be filled with adventure, love, and magic that is both familiar and fun. When done well, these retellings can resonate with us deeply and be wildly entertaining—the base of the original story providing extra background that enriches the experience.
However, not all retellings are created equal.
There is a tricky balance in recreating a classic story in a new way. Readers have expectations and high standards for stories they may already love. Too many changes to the story and the reader will feel tricked or confused. Too few changes and the reader is bored.
And of course the story we tell needs to be good.
Whether you’re inspired by Shakespeare, Jane Austin, or Grimm’s fairy tales, here are some simple rules to guide us in writing great retellings.
Roz Morris provides us with an excellent article on how to write a memoir about difficult times. Thank you very much for this great post, Roz!
I’ve had this question from Julia.
I would like to write a nonfictional account of my experience as a caregiver of my 80-year-old mum during lockdown. I’ve never done any creative writing. Where do I start? A diary, a memoir? I’ve been through a lot of struggle and want to put that on paper. Maybe someday I will publish it to share my experience with people facing the same difficulties.
First, Julia, capture the raw material. Start with a diary. Write it as often as possible, before you make any decisions about what to do with it.
How to write the diary
You might be self-conscious to begin with. You might worry about who will read it and what they’ll get from it. Forget that for now.
You won’t publish this diary. It’s notes that you will eventually use to create a book. So for now, it’s you and your thoughts, talking privately to a page or a recording app – whatever is comfortable.
Keep it simple. Just write what you did today. Then write whether that was usual or unusual, and how. If it’s usual, for how long has it been usual? Write how that made you feel, what was difficult and what was a pleasure, and why. Write what you think tomorrow will be like. Or next week. Write your hopes and pleasures and fears.
Do this every day, or as often as you can.
This is an excellent post with recommendations about writing crime. Thank you so much for your article, Connie.
I recently began reading a murder mystery where the author used a mushroom to kill the first victim. That’s where this book fell apart—the idea was good, but the facts and execution weren’t.
Using a mushroom stroganoff to poison him was a poor choice because fungi is an undependable weapon unless you are an expert. Also, individually, one mushroom may be more or less poisonous than another of the same kind, rather like people are. Judging how many one would need to kill a three-hundred-pound man takes more thought than I am capable of plotting out.
Also, it was stroganoff, which is basically beef and mushrooms in a sour cream sauce. This author danced over the fact that serving the food at this dinner party would have been a tactical nightmare. It would have been nearly impossible to ensure the intended victim got the poison mushrooms and no one else did, which is how this murder was written.
Agatha Christie knew that and regularly poisoned entire dinner parties, literarily speaking. Her murderers made everyone at the table sick but only the intended victim actually died.
This particular mystery was set in Scotland, and I don’t know how poisonous their mushrooms are, but I think that logic would hold true there as well as it does here in the Pacific Northwest.
If I hadn’t been on several nature walks with Ellen King Rice, a wildlife biologist and amateur mycologist who writes well-plotted mushroom thrillers, I would have accepted the slightly contrived fatal dinner as written and focused on the other failings of this novel.
This experience reinforced my belief that readers are often more knowledgeable than we authors are. E-readers can do the research just by highlighting the word and hitting search.
Thank you very much, Janice Hardy, for your recommendations on our characters. We really appreciate it!
on Fiction University:
Sometimes we just need a little help to create a memorable character.
Some writers develop incredibly detailed characters before they ever start a story.
I am not one of those writers.
I do the bare minimum necessary to create a character, then I throw them into my story and see what they do. By the time I’ve written the first draft, I know who they are and can revise accordingly.
Although I’ve written this way for decades, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It’s an interesting tactic, but it has left me with a lot of revising I wouldn’t have needed if I’d done a bit more character work before I started writing.
Lately, I’ve wondered if I should change my process, or at the very least, add another layer of character creation at the start. Because I’ve always said that characters drive the plot, and I’m a plot-driven writer, so my process is missing a critical aspect when I think about it from that perspective.
Apparently not even traditionally published authors are safe from crooks. Victoria Strauss on her ‘Writer’s Beware’ blog describes one particular case on her blog. Please read it and be careful. Thank you.
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®
Earlier this month, the book industry website Publishers Marketplace announced that Little, Brown would be publishing “Re-Entry,” a novel by James Hannaham about a transgender woman paroled from a men’s prison. The book would be edited by Ben George.
Two days later, Mr. Hannaham got an email from Mr. George, asking him to send the latest draft of his manuscript. The email came to an address on Mr. Hannaham’s website that he rarely uses, so he opened up his usual account, attached the document, typed in Mr. George’s email address and a little note, and hit send.
“Then Ben called me,” Mr. Hannaham said, “to say, ‘That wasn’t me.’”
Mr. Hannaham was just one of countless targets in a mysterious international phishing scam that has been tricking writers, editors, agents and anyone in their orbit into sharing unpublished book manuscripts. It isn’t clear who the thief or thieves are, or even how they might profit from the scheme. High-profile authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan have been targeted, along with celebrities like Ethan Hawke. But short story collections and works by little-known debut writers have been attacked as well, even though they would have no obvious value on the black market.