The Poet and the Mad Computer: Rules for Killer Book Titles

Data, big or small, will never write a good novel. Why? Easy Answers In so much of our daily lives, there are simple problems with simple solutions, or simple problems to which a few general rules can be applied to solve them. Consider a window that won’t close. The rule “don’t force it” will prevent… Continue reading The Poet and the Mad Computer: Rules for Killer Book Titles

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Story Ideas: Where Can You Find Creative Writing Ideas?

Why are you looking for creative writing ideas? Does that heading come across as a little aggressive? It will, if you feel guilty about looking for ideas. But why would you feel guilty about looking for ideas? I suppose because: a writer is an artist. Artists should get their ideas from inspiration artistic creation should… Continue reading Story Ideas: Where Can You Find Creative Writing Ideas?

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The Fiction of Genre And What It’s Really For

I strongly suspect you already know whether your book is going to be Science Fiction or not. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that you had a shrewd idea of what type of science fiction it was before you read “How To Decide What You’re Writing.” Although this discussion pretends to be about Science Fiction, what it’s really about is genre, and what, if anything, it’s for.

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Book Editing: The Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Editor

Publishing is about product, writing is about process. ~ Emma Darwin Why do you want any kind of edit? Writing fiction is a unique creative exercise, because unlike every other creative art (except perhaps music), fiction depends on rules, guidelines and conventions – it depends on being recognized as fiction – and fiction depends on… Continue reading Book Editing: The Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Editor

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Editorial Expectations: What You Should Expect From Your Editor

What follows is a series of posts that I originally wrote several years ago, as part of the process of articulating the importance of the work of the literary editor. I’ve revised (2016) and collected them all here, in the following sections with original publication dates in brackets: What Makes An Editor (2011-08-09) What to… Continue reading Editorial Expectations: What You Should Expect From Your Editor

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English Grammar: A Contradiction in Terms #1 – Past Tenses

This is a new series where I will give examples of standard English that are ungrammatical. I’m not talking about idiom, nor about those exceptions that escape the rules. These will not be obscure, nor exceptional, just correct English that is grammatical nonsense.

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