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Category: Writing Process

Am I Even a Writer?

Am I Even a Writer?

Pity, party of one. I’ve been in one hell of a terrible slump for probably a year or more, trying and failing to pump some life into a lagging writing career. I’m happy to report that I’m emerging from it, but it’s been a rather dreary time. I thought I’d share a little about why I’ve been feeling this way. Perhaps it’ll help other writers trying to dig their way out of the hole. My slump came to a head…

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Prolific and Diverse

Prolific and Diverse

  "Learning to be prolific would be high on my list of the most valuable writing skills a professional writer can have." – Brent Hartinger The quote above, which Brent Hartinger recently made on his Facebook page, landed in my newsfeed at the most convenient time – a time when I was yet again questioning my future as a writer. As I’ve documented plenty of times on the blog, my journey has been stalled by rejection after rejection, even after…

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The Unfinished Manuscript

The Unfinished Manuscript

"I won't leave any unfinished manuscripts." – Harold Robbins (Good for you, Harold. I can't make such a bold statement.) Question for writers: How many unfinished books are collecting digital dust in your computer's filing cabinet? There’s a folder on my desktop called Writing. Within that folder are several additional folders for each of the projects I’ve worked on over the years – novels, screenplays, short fiction, poetry. There are outlines, character biographies, and of course the manuscripts themselves. Some of them are…

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Writing Actually is Rewriting

Writing Actually is Rewriting

You've heard it a thousand times: "writing is rewriting." Yawn! But actually, it's so true that it's punch-you-in-the-gut frustrating. I’ve documented the writing process of my first manuscript, Welcome to Straightville, ever since I started this website, and it’s a process that is still in motion. In a nutshell, I started writing the book during a semester break in graduate school back in 2008. I worked on it slowly over the next few years before I decided that a writer…

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How to Build a Book Tree, Part Deux

How to Build a Book Tree, Part Deux

In my last post, I provided a step-by-step guide to building a book tree for the holidays. I approached the project with limited research and a limited number of books, ending up with a rather small tree that, while cute, was just a little too little for my liking. If Charlie Brown had built a book tree for the Christmas play, it would've looked a little something like mine. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad. But after staring at the…

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Writing is Rewriting

Writing is Rewriting

This whole novel writing without novel selling thing has been a blast, but… For those of you who may be new to my little corner of the Internet, let me catch you up before telling you how I plan to spend my summer rewriting pretty much everything I've ever written. 2008: I started writing my first novel. 2011: I finally finished what I thought was a decent draft of that novel and began querying literary agencies (far too soon, I…

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Novel Writing Takes How Long?

Novel Writing Takes How Long?

“The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.” – Stephen King, On Writing Nice advice from Mr. King there, huh? And probably an achievable task if writing is in fact your full-time job. For many of us, especially those of us whose career is still in its relative infancy, that just isn’t the case. Or maybe it’s just me. My first book took three years of on-and-off work…

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When Your Book Doesn’t Sell

When Your Book Doesn’t Sell

Listen up, aspiring writers. Here's something you may not know: Having an agent is no immediate guarantee that a manuscript will sell. It could find a publishing home in a matter of minutes or it could float around in submission purgatory for a year or two. A tough lesson to learn is that, should the latter be your book's fate, it isn't because you're a bad writer with a bad book and a bad agent. Well, I guess it could…

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Why I Stopped Writing

Why I Stopped Writing

a.k.a. The Summer of Doctor Who Okay, okay. Don’t panic. I was purposefully being a bit cheeky with that blog title. I haven’t stopped writing for good, but I figured if the folks at Empire News can go viral with a misleading headline about Betty White dying, I can say I stopped writing without technically meaning it! Actually, the fact is I did stop but only for a while. And the incident begs the question, when is it okay for…

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