A good story should always be raising questions — not asking them directly, but instead forcing the reader to ask them. “Wait, what’s that weird symbol they keep seeing on the walls? What was that sound? Something’s up with that top hat-wearing fox that keeps following them, too.
Archive for the ‘Tips for Beginners’ Category
Let’s talk about self-promotion and how it feels icky.
Yes, self-promotion is awkward to do the first time. Yes, it is very easy to do badly. But–it is incredibly important to your career. Someone asked, “Isn’t it enough to write a good story?”
When I told people at ConCarolinas that I’d gone from writing 2k to 10k per day, I got a huge response. Everyone wanted to know how I’d done it, and I finally got so sick of telling the same story over and over again that I decided to write it down here.
Today, when the dominant form of communication is email, it’s easy to go through your publicity campaign without ever hearing your publicist’s voice. This would be a mistake.
A couple of days ago I covered Facebook’s new direction, including both the potential large upside for writers and the accompanying privacy concerns. But what about Google+?
The logistics of slush piles demand ruthlessness, and stories that don’t intrigue the reader early on won’t get a second chance later. So, you’ve got your hook. It’s dramatic, it’s ingenious, and it’s free of typos. Your first two pages have been polished to near oblivion. Now what?
If I’m unsure about a story, I put it on probation, and take another look 6 months later before I either lock it up, set it free, or possibly keep it on probation.
A machine that creates gourmet meals-on-the-go in exchange for credits is still just a vending machine.
We can pick our teachers and we can pick our friends and we can pick the books we read and the music we listen to and the movies we see, et cetera. You are a mash-up of what you let into your life.
I’ve been told by highly skilled writers that this is a good exercise–something to do for now, but eventually I’ll grow out of this once I internalize it. I believe them! I really do. The thing is, I keep discovering different structures to try, and I can’t see myself internalizing any of them until I run out of new ones.