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How I learned to stop worrying and enjoy writing sex scenes

inews.co.uk – Tuesday February 9, 2021

Around the time I started to go through puberty, I fell in love with Jane Austen’s novels. It may have seemed like an eminently proper hobby – parents and teachers no doubt imagined me chuckling at the gentle Regency satire and dreaming about bonnets and pianofortes. But in reality I was holding my breath, heart pounding, waiting for Frank Churchill to “make love” to Emma Woodhouse in the back of a horse-drawn carriage.

I didn’t know that, back then, “making love” just referred to hands-free flirting. I imagined something much more explicit, in great detail. Thanks to the Netflix series, I’ve just fallen in love with Julia Quinn’s racy Bridgerton universe, but I’m grateful I only had Austen as a teenager. After all, if I’d got my hands on Quinn’s novels in the 90s, I might still be in my teenage bedroom, with the curtains drawn. Filling in the gaps in Austen instead forced me to learn how to invent sex scenes – and eventually helped me to write my first novel, Insatiable.

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How to Write A Book – The Beginner’s Guide

yourmoneygeek.com – Tuesday February 9, 2021

So, you want to write a book…

Well, if you're here, I'm pleased to report you've won half the battle. When it comes to writing a book, or even getting it published, bad advice is everywhere. The same is true for completing a manuscript. 

Yet while understanding writing and craft is essential, it won't be the focus of this guide because, in truth, being able to write doesn't guarantee you can finish a book. Neither will binging on those YouTube videos about what Stephen King advises. I can't tell you how many talented writers I've known who can't seem to type The End on a project—alternatively, writers who type those two words too soon.

To truly begin and complete the book the right way, whether you have the goal of self-publishing or getting your work picked up by a traditional publisher (as I was with HarperCollins), you don't need any special writing software or expensive writing tools. No, follow these five simple steps, and you will be on the path of finishing your story. 

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When do you have enough material to start writing your book?

publishing.artshub.com.au – Monday February 8, 2021

The short answer to this is: you will not know until you try. We assume that writers are the ones who have a drive to write and will turn up at the desk no matter what.

This doesn’t mean that turning up is always easy. Procrastination can be self-doubt in sheep’s clothing. So can the sense that one does not yet have enough material to begin. But ultimately, the only way to know whether you do or don’t have enough material is to start writing.

The fascination with ideas and inspiration is understandable given that without these all-important seeds, a story cannot begin to grow and thrive on the page. Remember, though, the seeds themselves are not the full-grown tree or even the sapling; once you have an idea, you still have plenty of work to do.

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How to Write a Novel, According to 10 Really Good Novelists

esquire.com – Saturday February 6, 2021

A long, long time ago, back in the first lockdown, you probably told yourself that now – right this moment, in the middle of a pandemic – was the perfect time to conceive, plot, write, revise, rewrite, complete and publish a novel which completely transformed what we thought it was possible to express in the English language.

It wasn't. Obviously it wasn't. You know that now. But even if it turned out a year-long period of isolation and anxiety actually wasn't much good for your inner David Foster Wallace, there's no bad time to start writing. It doesn't really matter if it goes anywhere. Just write something and see where you go.

To help you along, we asked 10 established and emerging writers for the rules of thumb they use to find ideas, to get words onto the page, and to turn an interesting first draft into something more substantial.

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Publishing is a $26 billion industry, with self-publishing growing as a popular side hustle

financialpost.com – Saturday February 6, 2021

We have had a long time to think. It’s been almost a year since we’ve been asked to stay at home, take care of our health, and consider the well-being of others. During that period, our minds have been percolating, thoughts have been brewing. Shame to let those great ideas get cold and go to waste. Perhaps it’s time to put virtual pen to paper and turn your concepts into reality, or rather into a book.

Whether it’s a piece of fiction, a collection of poetry, a graphic novel, a self-help volume, a how-to instructional, a biography or other non-fiction genre, your book deserves to be read. Going through the steps of “traditional” publishing can be expensive and time-consuming, so why not consider becoming an authorpreneur?

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Writing Your Life’s Story

evanstonroundtable.com – Wednesday February 3, 2021

Many years ago a colleague of mine mentioned that his mother had an interesting saying: You should always have more to look forward to than to look back on.

At the time I was in my 50s or even 60s, well past the midpoint of my life. The view out the rear-view mirror was growing ever larger and the road ahead ever diminishing. But there was work, children, volunteer projects – in other words, plenty to keep me busy looking ahead.

Now I’m halfway through my eighth decade and the rear-view mirror is the size of an Imax movie screen and ahead is a TV monitor shrinking by the week.

Yikes.

Still, until incapacitation sets in, I believe that no matter how old, there’s always plenty more to gainfully occupy one’s time.

At the top of the list should be writing a memoir. There are many reasons why it’s important.

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Want to Write a Book This Year? These Tools Can Help

wired.com – Monday January 18, 2021

2020 WAS NOT the year I wrote my first book—but it was the year I started thinking about it. And in typical freelance writer fashion, I decided to take advantage of my position and get some advice on how to go about it from people much more accomplished than me under the guise of researching this article. Here’s what I managed to learn.

A Way to Take Notes

Apparently books don’t spring fully formed from the ether. You kind of have to work on them, brainstorming different ideas, doing research, and taking notes before you can really get started. News to me, but oh well.

Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project and Hyperfocus, and all-around productivity guru, is obsessive about taking notes for his books. He has legal pads stashed around his home, carries a small notepad when he walks around town, and even has a waterproof notepad in his shower. If he can’t commit his thoughts to paper, he uses Simplenote.

Epic fantasy writer Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage series, is a little less over-the-top about note-taking, but he also prefers the paper approach and carries a notepad with him—or at least tries to. Whenever he leaves it in his car, he “whips out” his smartphone and uses whatever notes app came preinstalled.

Both writers stressed that what tool you use for taking notes doesn’t matter as much as the act of doing it. Notes can be anything from a cool word or an idea for a magic system to transcribed conversations or annotated historical documents. But, whatever form they take, they’re likely to be the base of your book.

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JK Rowling’s drama with the man who discovered her is one of many rows writers have had with their agents

inews.co.uk – Wednesday January 13, 2021

When authors become successful, they usually spend a good deal of their launch-party speech thanking their literary agent for believing in them when they were starting out and for finding them a publisher, and listing them high on their novel’s page of acknowledgments.

The agent’s role as a writer’s champion and negotiator can often result in close relationships that last years – but also intense disputes when an author moves on.

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How to start writing in 2021 – tips from those who do it themselves

metro.co.uk – Thursday January 7, 2021

So, you want to start writing in 2021? Perhaps it’s always been your dream to write a novel and leave a permanent literary mark on the world? Or maybe you’re simply looking for a new hobby to try in 2021 and this January lockdown seems like an ideal time to start. You might have been putting it off for a while because you’re simply clueless on how to go about writing a novel, non-fiction or short stories – or it could be the idea of starting that you’re finding overwhelming. Whatever your situation, there are some simple tips to keep in mind to get you on your way. We’ve asked those who have written their own books – both fiction and non-fiction – to give shed light on how to get started and the important things to bear in mind. Here’s what three authors had to say…

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The Writer’s Desk: Off-beat advice to improve your writing

myedmondsnews.com – Thursday January 7, 2021

Happy New Year. Hopefully you’ve adjusted to the new normal, found your rhythm, and are able to write again. Below are some uncommon tips I use when the words won’t flow.

Look for ideas on Post Secrets

In order for a story to captivate your audience the stakes must be high. Everyone has secrets, and you’ll find plenty of high-stake ideas from other people’s secrets. On PostSecret, people anonymously mail-in their written confessions on a postcard, and selected secrets are posted on the web page. Many of the secrets shared are heartbreaking, yet also demonstrate resilience. For example, “I am so poor that when I’m driving, I actually look for places that would be good to live in if I ever became homeless. I have chosen six different spots.” Other great sources for ideas are Humans of New YorkStory Corps, and Subway Therapy. All of these projects have books associated with them.

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