Look, this is basically a list of 100 Things Every Writer Should Do Before They Die. How many have you already done?
Some of them are pretty ambitious — reading 100 books in a single year is difficult, no doubt. While others like “write fan fiction” or “go to a reading” have a much lower bar.
In every author’s life there comes a moment when they must slaughter one of their creations.
Yep, you’ve got to kill one of your characters.
I know, I know, you love them, you’ve created them, and yet for the sake of the story and for the sake of the reader, they need to bite a bullet, drink that poison, or succumb to cancer.
Writers hate the term genre. Readers love it.
This is because genre creates expectations. Will these characters be able to fly, shapeshift, fall in love?
Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, just hear me out.
For the writer, an outline is a tool.
A good outline helps you do two things.
- See the big picture
- Organize the little details
The difference between a bestselling book and a book that sells a handful of copies can be summed up in one word: publicity.
Listen, you definitely need a better strategy than standing on a street corner, yelling and waving your book.
Thankfully, the 25 publicists on this list can provide you with a wealth of ideas, giving you access to media that you can’t get on your own.
I’ve seen a lot of fantastic books fail because of bad cover design.
No matter how good your book is, people simply won’t buy it if the cover art doesn’t grab their eye.
It’s unfair, but in a crowded marketplace you have to stand out, and the best way to do that is with a beautiful, eye-catching, genre-defining book cover.
As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time for writers to do some self-examination.
You probably already have a sense whether this was a banner year for you or a real stinker, but you need to think about WHY.
What made this a horrible year for writing or your most successful year ever? And how can you continue your streak or even do better next year?
Guest Post by Jody J. Sperling
Stories are only truly great when they confront the great fears.
Bernard Malamud knew this. His character of Roy Hobbs, a naturally gifted baseball player, was shot by a mysterious and seductive woman, which ruined his career in the big leagues. This was what Hobbs dreaded the most — a career-ending injury.
Guest Post by Jody J. Sperling
If you’re given to quitting, writing novels isn’t for you.
If you’re happier writing than reading, don’t bother writing.
But if you’ve bolted your heels to concrete blocks, and if you view failure as a bridge over the black abyss, and if you’d rather be reading than climbing mountains or watching television or snowboarding, write a book.
This is a parable of a writer named Austin, and how he found his audience through writing four novels.
Austin lived near a major metropolis in the United States, was middle class, and he wanted more than anything to become a writer. He read all the right people, went to all the right conferences, and wrote every day.