Archives: writing

Treat It Like a Business

Oftentimes, you hear the writing advice, “Treat it like a business.” When authors say that, most of the time what they mean is you have to write even when you don’t feel like it. Which is true. As E.B. White once put it, “a writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

But sometimes, people go a little bit overboard. They interpret it as, “Thou must write every day to be a real writer!” and take it to extremes.


Sometimes, Even Dedicated Writers Need a Break

Traci and Dorian at the Academy of Science

Traci and Dorian at the Academy of Science

I’ve just returned from a six-week writing hiatus. Zealots of the “treat it like a business” concept might scoff. “I write even when I’m sick,” they’d say.

I’ve heard numerous successful authors say they write even when under the weather, and they can’t tell the difference between what they write while sick vs. while feeling well.

But does that mean we should never take a break? NaNoWriMo encourages people to write every day, after all.


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The Big Con Roundup: Worldcon & DragonCon

The Big Con Roundup: Worldcon & DragonCon

Since I didn’t have a chance to attend WorldCon or Dragon*Con this year, I’ve been jealously watching other people’s adventures. So I thought I’d do a round-up, in case you’re doing the same. Plus, there’s lots and lots of great fantasy and science fiction writing and publishing advice in these posts.

But first, +Scott Edelman tells us one small thing we can do to make others feel welcome at cons.

Moaning Myrtle cosplay photo via

Dragon*Con Fan Posts

TONS of Worldcon posts after the jump!

Worldcon: Mostly Writing Posts

If you’ve made it this far, you should definitely check out this Dragon*Con Justice League vs. Avengers cosplay video:

Have you been to a Dragon*Con or WorldCon before? Would you recommend the experience to other fans of science fiction and fantasy? Leave a comment below.

And if you’d like a link to your Dragon*Con or Worldcon post to appear here, just leave me the link!

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Self-Editing: First Pass

Edited Version of First Book

Edited Version of First Book by Joanna Penn | Flickr

As a copy editor in my day job, I know that no one can truly self-edit. However, as a novelist, you also won’t receive the full benefit of a professional editor’s attention if you don’t clean up your work first. Especially if you’re a messy first drafter like I am. This is my first time revising a full-length novel, and here are a few things I’ve learned so far.

Three Revision Passes

I haven’t gotten to the second or third passes yet, so for this post, I’ll talk about what I’m looking for in the first pass. Roughly, I’ve broken down revisions into three areas:

  1. Scene audits (determine the nature, purpose, and necessity of each scene)
  2. Storytelling devices (refine setting, character, dialogue, exposition, voice, and others)
  3. Details (polish sentence construction, cadence, and language)

My ideas for what to include in each pass came from a variety of sources, including Writing Excuses and other podcasts, my coursework at university, Fictorian EraThe Creative Penn, SF Novelists, Magical Words, and other blogs I read on a daily basis.

I’ve just mashed everything together here so as to better analyze what worked and what didn’t in the future. The first pass is going smoothly for me so far. So what do I look for during a scene audit?
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