Writing

General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

How I got published, part 3 – The Query

Yesterday I talked about the process by which Jim and I began writing A Year of Hitchcock: 52 Weeks with the Master of Suspense. Week in and week out we were either in front of the TV watching Hitchcock’s work or, more often than not, in front of our keyboards writing, revising, and writing some more. It was midway through the year when we knew we had something publishable on our hands. By this time we has also developed an inertia that wasn’t going to break down, so we pulled the series offline and continued working on the same schedule we had set for ourselves at the start of the year. Now here’s where we broke ranks with how many nonfiction books are traditionally pitched…
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How I got published, part 2 – Ideas and Execution

A Year of Hitchcock

So as I mentioned in the first part of this series, ideas are, in the grand scheme of things, relatively worthless. In some ways they are the least significant piece of the puzzle. After all, creative people – and I assume that if you’re reading this you’re probably a creative person – usually have far more ideas than they know what to do with. Had I 48 hours to each day and no need to sleep I still wouldn’t have time to do and create all I’d like to do and create. No doubt that applies to many of you. Ideas are just the start. But every story has to start somewhere, and this one started with an idea. I had been itching for a…
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How I got published, part 1 – Introduction

Chances are, if you like to write you’d also like to be read. While you can throw things onto the Internet and be read instantly, it’s not quite the same thing as a publisher saying, “I like your work. I’d like to invest our time and money into it. I’d like to publish your book.” Because let’s be honest with ourselves: Blogging is nice, self-publishing is interesting, but the majority of aspiring writers know being picked up by a legitimate publisher is key to making a career of it. I was fortunate enough to get exactly that response to A Year of Hitchcock: 52 Weeks with the Master of Suspense (Scarecrow Press 2009), a book I co-authored with my friend, Jim McDevitt. How did the…
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More excellent blogs and resources

In a previous post I mentioned a few blogs and resources you should consider following if you’re interested not just in the craft of writing, but getting paid for it. ‘Cause doing something you love is nice, but getting paid to do so is even nicer. Well, here are a few more. The Swivet is a mixed bag of odds and ends, but it always returns to writing. It first caught my attention with an excellent piece about self promotion that all aspiring writers ought to read, ESPECIALLY if you’re about to be or have just been published. It’s far too easy to forget that you’re responsible for getting yourself out there. For letting people know you exist. After all, more exposure = more work….
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Grappling with the business of writing

Writing isn’t just writing, it’s reading and knowing how to sell yourself and how to query or submit to a publisher and a million other things that aren’t the actual process of writing. Oh, first and foremost you’ve got to be able to string words together in an interesting way — it’s the most important thing, no question about that — but when you’re all done making with the wording what do you do with it? It’s easy to stagger around blindly at that stage. All this mess about query letters and proposals and cover letters markets — writers want to WRITE, they don’t want to bother with that stuff! But you HAVE to if you ever want it to be more than a hobby….
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