28 Dec

How To Write and Make Money – Leah Cutter’s The Beginning Professional Writer

Make Writing your Business - Leah Cutter quote

Make Writing your Business - Leah Cutter quoteI finished Leah Cutter‘s The Beginning Professional Writer in one sitting, even though she explicitly wrote not to.

OK, it’s a short book. It’s got a bowl of letter cereal on the cover. It looks like it’s been designed as a junior student essay.

It’s also the most eminently quotable, fact packed book I’ve read in a long time. And I do mean that as a compliment because it is easy to read, too. And it will tell you everything you need to know as a beginning professional writer. Read More

23 Nov

How a 3-time Hugo Winner learned to Write Great Stories – An Interview with Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal quote
Mary Robinette Kowal quote

Image: © 2012 Rod Searcey

Mary Robinette Kowal is an award-winning novelist and puppeteer. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Her debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the Nebula, she’s won three Hugos and the 2008 Campbell for best new writer.

Here, she talks about how she learned to write good stories reliably.

In 2000 Mary Robinette Kowal suffered a wrist injury, forcing her to take a break from performing. Instead she picked up on her old hobby of writing fiction as a way to keep in touch with her niece and nephew and, in 2004, decided to start submiting her work to markets.

“I have always worked in the arts and my training was such that artists should be paid,” says Mary Robinette Kowal. “I rediscovered that I enjoyed writing, and it’s a little crass, but my thought was ‘how do I get paid for this?'” Read More

02 Oct

How to Write a Novel without an Outline – Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith review

Feeling of reading, Dean Wesley Smith quote

Feeling of reading, Dean Wesley Smith quoteI’m a pantser, the type of writer who loves to go off unprepared and discover the story as I write it. Every single work on the technical side of writing I’ve read up to this point has, more or less explicitly, spoken of outlines. Made me feel like an idiot for not being able to use one.

Along comes “Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline” and it’s all about pantsing, or writing into the dark as Dean Wesley Smith calls it. Reading it was like being six years old and finding the secret hiding place of the cookie jar. Read More

31 Aug

An Overview of the Craft: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer, Review

Boost of Motivation, Novel Writer's Toolkit review Quote

Boost of Motivation, Novel Writer's Toolkit review QuoteSometimes you get handed a book that you wouldn’t have bought in a million years and it turns out to contain grains of pure gold. Bob Mayer’s “The Novel Writer’s Toolkit” was one of those for me.


Bob Mayer is a rather accomplished writer, both in terms of books published (over 60) and money earned (unknown but from what he says “good”). He knows what he’s talking about and he isn’t shy about using himself as an example.

In The Novel Writer’s Toolkit (TNWT) Mayer presents 9 tools (read themes) dealing with everything a writer needs to know, from personal insights (common traits of successful writers, knowing why you write, etc.) to more commonplace advice on plot, theme, character creation and similar.

In some areas The Novel Writer’s Toolkit shines when compared to regular writer’s books, such as the focus on selling and making a career and the key to defining your kernel idea (writing to a premise sentence), which makes the book stand out from the pack. Read More

24 Aug

The Guide to a Professional Writing Career – Douglas Smith’s “Playing the Short Game” Review

Write and submit, rinse and repeat, Douglas Smith quote

Write and submit, rinse and repeat, Douglas Smith quote I can’t tell you what you should write. That’s entirely up to you. But if you are the least bit interested in having a career as a fiction writer then I can tell you what to read: Douglas Smith’s “Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction”. From now on this is my go-to book for all things related to starting and maintaining my fiction writing career. Read More

29 Apr

Stonemeier Kickstarter Lessons – The Must Read For KS Advice – Review

Kickstarter badge

Stonemaier Games logoI’ve never launched a Kickstarter campaign in my life. I can’t even begin to know what you’d need to do to in order to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign.

But Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games does. He and Alan Stone have launched several very successful campaigns, funding Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia AmazonViticulture Amazon and other projects via Kickstarter.

Not only that. Jamey, true to his own lessons, shares his experiences through a series of blog posts ranging from how to build a brand (tip: don’t try to sell, help others, and keep sharing) to the intricacies of shipping and fulfillment. Read More