For writers who are interested in writing middle grade or young adult fantasy or science fiction, the first step is puzzling out what exactly those categories mean. Science fiction and fantasy, after all, has a long tradition of featuring young protagonists — including such classics as Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, and Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey — even if those novels weren’t originally published as middle grade or young adult books.
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MFA Programs and the efficacy or use thereof tend to come up in discussion periodically. For those of you interested, here is a run down of the types of programs and what to expect. I personally have an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and am currently looking into applying for a second MFA, this time in Fiction. I might be addicted to school. Or it might be that MFA programs really are just that awesome.
I’ve just finished a story, and somewhere in the primitive part of my brain, I’m determined to milk it for all it’s worth.
As authors increasingly explore way to promote their work, one question that occurs when launching a book concerns giveaways, things like bookmarks, pens, postcards, or sometimes more complex or costly items, used to promote the book.
When my first novel came out – in 2000 – by all weights and measures, I had “made it” as a mid-list fiction writer. I’d secured a two book deal (the second: a collection of short stories, the most elusive prey on the planet), a tidy first-timers advance, and a round of positive reviews from all the usual suspects.
There’s a tendency for writers to obsess over rules. If you’re reading my blog series “Chasing the First Sale,” you know I’m the chiefest of sinners; it’s packed full of rules, and there’s a good reason for that: rules are helpful. They give shape to good tendencies and bad.
These days, many authors focus more time on self-promotion through social media than on marketing their books. It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but with all the social media hype, it can be easy to forget about the fundamentals.
Don DeLillo wrote: “One truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language.”
Can the same thing be said about a writer’s connection to the work of another?
In Silent Interviews, Samuel R. Delany said: “I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across.
The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it.
That seems obvious: if you don’t keep doing a habit, it won’t really become a habit. So what’s the solution to this obvious problem? Find a way to keep doing it.