You don’t have to be a fanatic to use Twitter; it doesn’t have to take over your life. Just get an account, use your real name, start following some people, and post some things. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you should do it. If you follow a publisher, a lot of times the publisher will follow you back.
Archive for the ‘Tips for Beginners’ Category
One of the first published novelists I got to know told me that it was really awkward to be friends with a writer whose stuff you don’t like.
Buying into a personal mythology of hierarchical status can harm your career. It’s one thing to expect respect for your work and experience. It’s quite another to expect demonstrations of your status or to make pronouncements like “I will not attend any conventions at which I am not a guest of honor.”
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.
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.