• On NaNoWriMo, NaNoReMo, and Mo’

    By on November 4, 2018 Posted in Inspiration     Comments 7 comments
    Nov
    4

    National Novel Writing MonthShow of hands: Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?

    Before I got wise, I thought NaNoWriMo stood for National November Writing Month. Which doesn’t make a ton of sense.

    But as most of you know, it’s really National Novel Writing Month, during which thousands of writers vow to write every day and have a first draft of a novel by November 30, a.k.a. my birthday, what should be a national holiday.

    I won’t be NaNoWriMoing, but I will be NaShoStoWriMoing. My old accountability partner and I are restarting our thing, and my goal is to each week write a first draft of one new short story and revise one old story.

    Roll call: Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it before? Did it work? Tell us about your approach and process in the comments. read more

    Observations on Books & Reading in Ireland

    By on October 28, 2018 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 7 comments
    Oct
    28

    Justine and I spent a week in Ireland in mid-October, half in Sligo on the northwest coast, half in Dublin. We visited about a dozen bookstores and libraries and took note as best we could of the literary culture. Here are a few (hopefully not lame) observations:

     

    1. Two of the Dublin bookstores we stopped at mark their books up from the cover price. I don’t mean hard-to-find first editions–I mean trade or mass market paperbacks of new or recent books. These stores place their own price tag sticker over the price printed on the book.

    One book whose cover price was 10 Euro was marked 15.50. That’s a $6 markup!

    Your turn: Have you ever seen this anywhere in the States? Is it a turn-off, or do you not mind? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

     

    2. Few new releases in Ireland (and the UK, since that’s where most of them are published) seem to come in hardcover. Most of them are trade paperbacks that are just a little taller than the standard trade. I like this. They’re also less expensive than the U.S.’s $25-30 per.

    Your turn: Do you like hardcovers or do you wish U.S. new releases came in paperback? read more

    Congrats to WriteByNighters!

    By on October 20, 2018 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments
    Oct
    20

    Continuing our series on publication and our new publication assistance services, we have a few fun announcements to make, and some congratulations to dish out to a few hard-working WriterByNighters.

     

    First, congratulations to Bridget Farr! Bridget’s middle grade novel, Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home, has been sold to Little, Brown & Company. Pavi is a foster child who starts her own business helping other foster kids navigate the system; but when a fellow foster kid is placed with a family with whom Pavi had a terrible experience, Pavi must help her avoid the same fate. Pavi Sharma’s Gide to Going Home is set for publication in the fall of 2019.

    Bridget worked with WriteByNight’s Resa Alboher in book coaching, and is currently working on a new novel in coaching with Jessamine Chan.

    read more

    Your Top 6 Questions About Publishing

    By on October 13, 2018 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 2 comments
    Oct
    13

    After last week’s announcement of our three new publication assistance services, a few readers reached out with questions about publication, and we answered ’em, because that’s why we’re here.

    But when it comes to publishing, many writers have questions, and many writers have the same questions, so I grabbed the six most popular (actually, it’s kind of seven; I’m cheating a little) to answer here today.

    Some are about self-publishing, some are about traditional vs. self- vs. hybrid, some are about WriteByNight’s role in the process (spoiler alert: We don’t publish books! But we can help you find a publisher). All of them are questions we’ve heard more than a few times each, so chances are that you’ve wondered about one or two of them yourself.

    If you have any questions about publication that we haven’t answered here, leave ’em in the comments and we’ll respond. read more

    New Publication Assistance Services!

    By on October 6, 2018 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments
    Oct
    6

    We have some exciting news: We’re expanding our publication assistance services!

    In addition to our existing services designed to help you on the path to traditional publication, we’re adding three new options for those of you interested in self-publication or hybrid publication, or for writers deciding which route to publication is the best fit:

    1) If you’re considering self-publishing your book and want some guidance on how to deal with this overwhelming option—the costs, the technology, the marketing, and beyond—our new Self-Publishing Coaching will teach you the ins and outs in as little as one session.

    2) We’ve partnered with hybrid publisher Atmosphere Press in order to help you bypass the slush pile and fast-track your query straight to the executive editor — longtime WriteByNight coach and consultant Nick Courtright!

    3) If you’re not sure whether traditional, hybrid, or self-publication is the right path for you, our new Publication Consultation will help guide you. We’ll read your manuscript carefully and then meet with you one on one to discuss its prospects for publication and to plan a course of action for turning those prospects into reality. read more

    Who Are Today’s Top Horror Writers?

    By on September 29, 2018 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 13 comments
    Sep
    29

    I’ve just finished (and loved) reading Frankenstein for the first time, a discussion of which you can listen to for Yak Babies (my books podcast) October Spooktacular, a series of episodes about horror books, movies, games, and more.

    Now I’m in the mood to read more horror, both old and new, as Halloween approaches. But I need help.

    I have a few classics I’ve never read but plan to, including DraculaThe Haunting of Hill House, and Dorian Gray.

    I might also revisit a few American gothic favorites such as Edgar HuntlySleepy Hollowand maybe some Hawthorne short stories.

    As for contemporary horror, I’m looking for some new names. That’s where you come in. read more

    Should You Use Obscure Words & Jargon?

    By on September 23, 2018 Posted in Dos & Don'ts     Comments 20 comments
    Sep
    23

    Within the past month I’ve had conversations with two people expressing opposite viewpoints on a (not) hotly debated topic: Using big and/or obscure words in your writing.

    On one these people, Andrew, bemoaned the fact that so many writers, particularly in literary fiction, will sometimes spend an entire paragraph describing the intricacies of, say, the woodworking that went into making an end table.

    To paraphrase: “They use all this esoteric jargon to describe this thing, using all these words I don’t know, rather than just describing the thing in everyday language.

    “Or,” he continued, “not describing the thing at all. Why does it matter that there’s an end table, if it’s not significant to the story? And even if it is, who cares what sort of tools or whatever the woodworker used? It’s so masturbatory. Why do I need three pages about an end table when I can get the same effect with one line?”

    Andrew went on to talk about how annoying he thinks it is to come across words he doesn’t know, because he has to either stop reading and look up the word or continue reading without fully understanding what’s happening.

    But Daniel would call that lazy reading. read more


    Recommended Reading


    Categories






    Latest Tweets