• Your Top 6 Questions About Publishing

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Your 2018 Goals: Rounding the Third-Quarter Pole

    By on September 16, 2018 Posted in Are You Writing?     Comments 7 comments

    It’s been almost half a year since we last checked in on each other’s 2018 writing goals — remember, so long ago, completing the sentence “In 2018 I will” and leaving a comment on this post or emailing me privately? — and so, with autumn fast approaching and three-fourths of the year gone, what better time to check in on those goals?

    Are you achieving your 2018 literary goals? Have your goals changed? Do you have new goals? Let us know in the comments below.

    Or if you’d rather talk this over privately, drop me a line: david[at]writebynight[dot]net.

    Here’s the fun part where I ask some of you in public how you’re doing!

    Barbara M., you shared that you wanted to finish an audiobook over the summer. Have you had the chance to do so?

    Dot D., you wanted to complete a draft of your novel and get some editing done on another book. How’s it looking?

    David L., you completed that sentence with “publish ‘Intrusion’ and ‘Dave’s You Must Be This Short To Enter’ this year.” Mission accomplished?

    As for me, I wrote that in 2018 “I will complete a draft of the book I began writing in May [2017].”

    Welp. read more

    Packing Books for Vacation

    By on September 8, 2018 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 13 comments

    I’ve been on vacation — a beach vacation, at that — for ten days now and I’ve read not even half a book.

    Before we left, I asked Justine to be my book sheriff: “Don’t let me bring more than two books,” I said. Because usually I get out of control when packing for a trip. I always think I’m going to do nothing but read, and so I bring the number of books that aligns with constant reading.

    Like, a book per day. read more

    Seasonal Reading Habits & You

    By on September 1, 2018 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 4 comments

    With autumn fast approaching, it’s almost time to put away our summer books and look to the fall.

    That’s a thing, right? Don’t our reading habits shift with the seasons?

    I’m going to take a stab at diagnosing myself as a reader — what kinds of books do I turn to in which seasons —  and then afterwards I’ll consult my reading list to see how wrong I am.

    Your turn: How about you? Do you read different kinds of books in different seasons? Let us know in the comments. read more

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