Archive for the ‘Advice for New Writers’ Category

You Can Take It With You

Interstellar space travel. We dream about it. We write about it. Science fiction writers have come up with all manners of interstellar travel, ranging from multigenerational arks, to wormhole generating warp drives that can spit you across the galaxy in a blink of an eye. As wondrous and amazing as all these approaches may be, most suffer from a very fundamental problem.

Do You Know How to Sell Your Sword?

As an author, it’s important for you to know how to sell and market your book. Because there is no shortage of books and articles on the subject, I’d like to tackle the subject of marketing your book from a more metaphorical approach. (If you’ve ever heard me speak, you should know I’m pretty big on metaphors to help you better understand topics in a different way.) In your case, I feel that it’s not only important to understand how to sell, but also understand a little bit more about a typical sales cycle.

Victoria Strauss — The Perils of Searching For Publishers on the Internet

Imagine you’re a new writer. You’ve just completed your first manuscript, and are on fire to get it published. You don’t know a lot about the publishing world, or how to identify a good publisher for your book–but that’s okay. You have the Internet. So you open a search engine–Google, let’s say–and type “publishers” into […]

Murder Your Darlings

It’s the nature of writers to fall in love with words, particularly their own. Clever turns of phrase excite us; we beam like proud parents when our protagonists take on lives of their own; a shapely plot twist can turn our heads. There is nothing wrong with indulging in the occasional fling-as long as it stops in draft. When time comes to make that final revision, however, you must harden your heart, sharpen the ax and murder your darlings.

The Sobering Saga of Myrtle the Manuscript

From March, 1986, until its untimely demise in February, 1989, I was the Editor-in-Chief of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, and Editorial Director of its “twisted sister” publication, Night Cry. During that time, we received an average of one hundred manuscripts per week, in addition to a backlog of more than 2000 manuscripts left behind by my predecessor.